Illustrator rival launches free trial option

You can now try out new vector drawing tool Affinity Designer without paying a penny.

Affinity Designer

You can now try Affinity Designer for free for 10 days

Adobe Illustrator has long held a near-monopoly on vector drawing software, and that doesn't look like changing sometime soon. But a number of rivals have started nipping at its heels this year, and one of the most promising is Affinity Designer from Serif, launched last month, which has drawn plaudits across the design community.

But although it requires no subscription like Illustrator CC, and is considerably cheaper than buying Illustrator CS6, one complaint has been the lack of a trial version.

So today, Serif is launching a free trial option so you can take out Affinity Designer for a spin and see whether you like it.

Affinity Designer

The trial period is commitment-free and totally unrestricted

It's a 10-day trial with no commitments, and offers totally unrestricted use of the software, with no saving restrictions or watermarks.

At the same time, Serif is making its first update for the software, including the following improvements:

  • Full optimisation for OS X Yosemite and iMac with Retina 5K display.
  • iCloud Drive Support.
  • Added Stroke alignment options for Inside and Outside strokes.
  • Improved performance for Pencil and Brush Tools, also improved the shapes they create.
  • Introduced ‘Continuous Export’ feature to Export Persona.
  • Added automatic @3x export support.
  • Clipboard now supports vector copy and paste between other applications.

Affinity Designer

There are a ton of improvements in the latest release
  • Images can now be replaced in-place.
  • Improved SVG and PDF export. Also improved JPEG export quality.
  • Many printing improvements.
  • Improvements to boolean operations and Expand Stroke function.
  • “Gamut check” option for Soft Proof adjustments.
  • Many OpenType improvements.
  • Users with integrated and discrete graphics cards can now opt to only use the integrated card for power saving.
  • Pen tablet users can now automatically change to the eraser tool by using the eraser tip of their pen.
  • Numerous other performance improvements and bug fixes.

You can access the free trial and find out more about Affinity Designer here.

Have you been using Affinity Designer? How does it compare to Illustrator for you? Let us know in the comments!


Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.