Affinity Designer vs VectorStyler

  • Hi all, new member looking to getting started with graphic design as a hobby.

    I have been learning the basics of AD but with the recent merger with Canva, not sure its a good idea to invest time in learning a program which might change drastically, or not exist in future.

    Considering taking a punt with VS especially at the discounted price. Anybody have experience of moving between the two programs, and how did it go?


  • Me. And hi.

    VS is overwhelming in the beginning as it is more capable than AD. My advice is: open every panel, every tool. Test. Learn what does what. All features are connected to actions. So draw a circle, check the panels and how they adapt.

    Don't compare Adobe AI or AD with VS, each is different. In my opinion, VS is even superior as it is a swiss-vector-knife as it is a standalone app. No adobe-suite / affinity-link concept.

    The output / export features let you switch between any programs. So you are not limiting yourself.

    Check also the canvas and art bard panel as well as the layers. This is quite complex as it allows you to structure your document very precisely.

    And if you need help, the forum helps 🙂

  • Thanks @michaelokraj, some good thoughts.

    I know there's a steep learning curve with any pro design software, so I would rather invest my time in something that will be around for a while!

    Great to see VS is only in its infancy, but already showing amazing potential 👏

  • administrators

    @Baz101 Hi, and welcome to VectorStyler.

    With VectorStyler you get closer to the full feature set of the state of the art app of today.

    This means that you have access to much more features and options, but at the cost of a bit. more complexity.

    Graphics can be imported from most common formats. But there is also native Adobe Illustrator import (not the PDF stream, but the actual high-level AI data).
    This means that you can use all the real vector brushes and tiling patterns that you can in Illustrator.

  • Thanks for the warm welcome @VectorStyler.

    I think you will be seeing many Affinity users browsing your website this week 😀

  • administrators

    @Baz101 Just to add to the real vector brush aspect, you get all the brush types: artistic brushes (real vector content stretched over a shape), pattern and scatter brushes (as expected), and bristle brushes also (and you can create your own bristle brush styles).

    But there are other things also:

    • full support for variable and color fonts.
    • a blend effect.
    • mesh gradients and gradient along/across stroke.
    • complex typesetting features, including vertical typography (and support for Japanese typography).
    • you should check the stroke expansion quality in VectorStyler, in terms of the number of nodes.
    • and what happens when you delete a node.
    • and a lot more.

  • @Baz101 said in Affinity Designer vs VectorStyler:

    Thanks for the warm welcome @VectorStyler.

    I think you will be seeing many Affinity users browsing your website this week 😀

    We are making sure, the word get spread 😉

  • @Baz101

    Take your time, start with Tools you know and look how they work in VS.
    Take look at the different Panels in the Panel Menu.
    The Panels offer Settings to control/manipulate Tools and Shapes.

    Open the Shape Panel and put a few different so called Smart Shapes ot the Canvas.
    Select the a Shape and look how the Panel Settings change for example.


    To take a look in the Tutorial section will also be helpful
    to understand some Tools and Features.

    The search Function of the Forum are also very helpful.

    In case you don't know, there is also an Offline PDF manual which @freggern kindly maintains.
    Here the Link:

  • @Subpath Thank you for the tips and link to the manual 👍

  • Thank you to all who recommended VS. 👌

    I purchased a licence yesterday 👍 and will be familiarising myself with the program over the weekend - got lots to learn (again).

    Can anyone recommend any channels/video tutorials for a complete beginner ? Is it similar to working with Adobe Illustrator?


  • @Baz101

    There are certainly similarities with Illustrator. But since I come from Corel Draw,
    I'm sure other users can say more about this. However, my recommendation
    would be to hold off on making comparisons. Otherwise you just have copy of Illustrator.
    I know that many would like something like that 🙂

    The basic vector graphic tools are the same for all of them. It shouldn't be a big problem
    to use tutorials from other vector graphic programs.

    There aren't many YouTube videos for VS. But VS has a Vimeo channel where you can
    check out a few functions and techniques can look at. It may be outdated
    (no longer appears on the website) but it can still be helpful.

    Here the link:

    If you get stuck with something, searching the forum or simply asking questions may help.

  • @VectorStyler

    may i ask whats happen with the Vimeo channel
    its not link any more on your Website
    are they outdated ?

  • administrators

    @Subpath Those recordings are outdated somewhat. Mostly because the UI style has changed a lot.

    I will be making later some tutorials on youtube.

  • @VectorStyler said in Affinity Designer vs VectorStyler:

    Those recordings are outdated somewhat. Mostly because the UI style has changed a lot.

    I will be making later some tutorials on youtube.

    Talking about that, since my tutorials are obsolete do you want me to take them down from Youtube?

  • administrators

    @Devil-Dinosaur said in Affinity Designer vs VectorStyler:

    since my tutorials are obsolete do you want me to take them down from Youtube?

    No, I do not think they are obsolete.

  • Global Moderator

    One of the main benefits AD has over VS is its tight integration with the rest of the Affinity apps and the much more extensive raster functionality which is available, both within AD, and through its integration with AP (the ability they have to open and work with each others' files). It is also somewhat more approachable for people who don't want to take the time to learn the more complex interface of VS.

    AD also has an entire company behind it (maybe two now?) where VS is a single developer. If someone at Serif gets hit by a car and dies today, there are others who can take their place, and the show can go on - is there a continuity plan in place for VS?

    VS on the other hand, as was pointed out, does have a much more extensive feature set than AD in many areas which fall more tightly into its domain (vector artwork), and the pace of development is much faster. If you put the time into learning it there is more that it can do within its own area, but you lose the integration that AD has with the other apps in its suite, with no real replacement for them at this time.

    Each has its place with its own set of benefits. I'm taking a "wait and see" approach on what ends up happening with the Affinity apps, though it is certainly nice that if it does flop as many seem to expect, I do have alternatives to fall back on for most things, with VS being a solid alternative as a vector app, and I do maintain a QuarkXPress license for DTP; I think Affinity Photo is actually the one I would miss the most right now. I have Pixelmator Pro, and of course there is GIMP, but I generally have not been as impressed with what I can do with that when trying to actually work on a photo. In particular I would miss the inpainting brush, as I seem to get better results with that than with its equivalents in the other tools I've tried (those that even have equivalents), other than PhotoShop, which is no longer an option due to the subscription model.

  • VS has advanced vector illustration features similar to Adobe Illustrator's Live Paint, Gradient Mesh and Blend Tool. Its hotkeys are also almost identical to Adobe Illustrator's. AD doesn't have those features.

    However, AD can handle more text and it has a checkbox to easily scale strokes proportionately at any vector drawing phase as Adobe Illustrator has, which is essential for vector illustrations.

  • @gotanidea But AD can after all these years still not do RTL text. It is laughable. Just think how much of the world population they exclude as potential users by not having this solved.

  • I was always a little surprised that AD was advertised as a
    vector graphics software and still think thats a bit misleading.

    On the other hand, I found the pixel/vector mix quite ok. Although it was a
    little strange that there were no real vector brushes. But an isometric studio that
    I still love to this day. I also liked experimenting with the symbols too.

    But I stopped supporting AD when I realized that user are already
    waiting years for desired improvements.

    That's when I looked around and discovered VectorStyler, downloaded
    the test version, started the program and suddenly found myself in
    a vector graphics candy store. Where everything around me was
    full of vector graphics sweets 🙂

  • @fde101 Agree. What I learned from this week's Serif's betrayal of their community to stay independent, is that actually the Studio Link (and same goes for Adobe Suite), we should NOT use only ONE company as our source for all our work/flows. That said, I am completely switching to tools that are independent of each other and will work, as I started 25 years ago. Back than, I used PageMaker and Quark for dtp, Freehand and Illustrator for Vector, Photoshop for editing.

    Curious about your take on QX. You said, you use it still to this day. I am just testing it and considering purchasing the license tomorrow. It feels like home, kind of. Mature. Pro. Very complex. But full of features for details and no BS functionalities.