When it comes to creative software, it can be difficult to know what to go for, especially if you have never used them before.

Is it worth going for a free program, a cheaper product, or investing a high amount of money?

In this article we will compare the features of Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator.

Two professional vector graphics software products that are used by designers to create vector images for print or web.

So, let’s get to it!

What Is Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool for creating illustrations, logos, icons, typography, charts, diagrams, etc.

It has many advanced tools such as drawing guides, shapes, text boxes, paths, Bézier curves, ellipses, gradients, strokes, and filters, etc.

It is an industry standard platform used by many professionals, but a price tag comes with that also.

Whilst you cannot buy it outright, you will be able to subscribe to Adobe and pay a monthly fee to use it.

This can rack up a large cost, so it is most suited to those who are professionals and will need to use it for their work.

Why Do People Use Adobe Illustrator?

The main reason people use Adobe Illustrator is that they want to create beautiful artwork.

They like the fact that you can easily edit a design once it’s created, which makes it perfect for beginners and professionals alike.

You can add more elements to your designs, such as shadows, reflections, textures, and gradients.

These details are what can set good artwork from bad artwork – or at least just give you more creative options!

You can also export your files in different formats, including SVG, PDF, EPS, JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, PSD, AI, and DXF.

This means you don’t have to worry about losing any information when exporting your file.

If you’re looking for something simple, then you may not need all these features. But if you do plan on using Photoshop, then it would make sense to invest in Adobe Illustrator too.

What Does Adobe Illustrator Cost?

If you decide to purchase Adobe Illustrator, you’ll be charged around $599 per year. However, there are other subscription plans available, depending on how much time you spend using the software.

For example, if you only use it occasionally, you could opt for a one-month subscription for $49. Do keep in mind that these prices could change at any time.

What Is Affinity Designer?

Affinity Designer is vector graphic design software that is owned by UK-based Serif Labs. It is a much cheaper, yet still professional, design tool that is a great competitor to Adobe Illustrator.

It has many tools and options to try, such as typography, grids, color palettes, layers, and effects. You can even import 3D objects into your designs.

There is no subscription service, however, so you will need to purchase it outright. This isn’t a bad thing however, as it means you will only have to part with cash once.

Why Do People Use Affinity Designer?

Why Do People Use Affinity Designer?

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, Affinity Designer is a good option.

People use the software to create web graphics, mobile apps, logos, business cards, posters, flyers, infographics, websites, and more.

This is because it’s easy to learn and use. The interface is very intuitive, making it easy to get started. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you along the way.

You can save your projects onto the cloud, meaning you won’t lose them if you accidentally delete them.

You can also share your creations via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Also, the interface is exactly the same whether you use it on the iPad or computer, meaning you can easily use it across platforms without any changes. 

What Does Affinity Designer Cost?

Affinity Designer costs less than $99 for Windows and Mac, and less than $50 for the iPad, and does not include a subscription.

This means that it is just a one off payment, rather than something you will need to pay for monthly.

Just like Adobe Illustrator, you can test out the software with a free trial to make sure it suits your needs first. 

Which One To Choose, Adobe Illustrator Or Affinity Designer?

The choice between these two programs depends entirely upon what kind of work you want to produce.

If you are a designer who wants to create beautiful images, then you should choose Adobe Illustrator.

If paying a high subscription fee isn’t a bother due to design being your day job, then Adobe Illustrator is a great option.

This is because it is recognized as an industry standard program, and may benefit your own skills in the long run.

However, if you prefer to create things quickly and simply, then Affinity Designer might be better suited to your needs.

It is a much cheaper option that allows for just a one off payment. This makes it much more suited to professionals and those who class design work as their hobby.

Either way, both programs offer similar functionality, but they each come with their own pros and cons. So, let’s take a look at them:

Adobe Illustrator


  • Great for creating complex illustrations
  • Can export files to other formats such as SVG, PDF, EPS, PNG, JPG, PSD, AI, etc.
  • Has a large community of users


  • More expensive than Affinity Designer
  • Requires a subscription

Affinity Designer


  • Fast and simple to use
  • No subscription fees
  • Great for iPads


  • Not as powerful as Adobe Illustrator
  • Doesn’t support all file types

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing between Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer, it all comes down to what you want to use it for and your budget.

If you are a professional designer that has an income that can pay for an Adobe subscription fee, then it is worth going for the industry standard program.

Even if you are a professional, or just a design hobbyist, the one off payment of Affinity Designer is likely to be more suited to you. 

If in doubt, try the free trials from both!