When I decided to make all my own art for Corgi Corral, I figured I would use Photoshop CS6 because that’s what I’m most familiar with. However, after making both the corgi and the sheep in Photoshop, I’ve started to realize that there’s a reason people use Illustrator for vector graphics: Photoshop’s tools just don’t cut it. I can’t afford Illustrator, so I went hunting for an alternative and stumbled upon Affinity Designer ($49.99), which happened to be on sale right before Christmas.
I just started messing with it the past few days, and I really like it. When you create a new document, there are preset sizes for Apple devices such as iPad Retina (1024×768 points) and iPhone 6 (375×667 points). All I had to do was watch a couple of short (< 4 minute) video tutorials before I felt like I knew enough to get started with the pen and shape tools, which are all really flexible. Another thing I like is that when you bring up the list of color palettes (PANTONE, Greys, Colors, Gradients, etc.), it also lists any custom palettes you’ve created from within Apple’s color picker. I’ve created a few palettes in Xcode, and I could access them easily from within Affinity Designer. Finally, I don’t have a graphics tablet, so the ability to do stuff like this is pretty great:
Anyway, the app gets great reviews and an iPad version is coming eventually, so if you’re looking for some intuitive, robust vector graphics or pixel art software, you might want to give Affinity Designer a try. It also has a nice dark interface, if that matters to you!