Top new features in Affinity Designer 1.4

The rival to Adobe Illustrator just had a big update. Find out what's been added.

Affinity Designer

Illustrator rival Affinity Designer relaunches with new features today

We've long been fans of Affinity Designer, one of the most popular alternative to Illustrator around.

Today, its makers, Serif, have released version 1.4, a major update that's free to owners of the subscription-free, Mac-only tool. So what's new?

01. Artboards tool

Affinity Designer

Artboards are added by popular demand

One of the biggest updates is the addition of an incredibly flexible artboard tool. This gives you the ability to create artboards of any size, as well as the added flexibility of being able to group artboards, have artboards within artboards and even create them from any shape, not just square.

The tool goes right through to export, where you can instantly export all your artboards with independent export options, or across multiple pages as a PDF document.

"Artboards have been our most requested new feature since we launched, so we're delighted to get this functionality in," said Ashley Hewson, Serif's managing director. "It's a must-have feature for UI and responsive design, so it's great to be widening the use case of Affinity Designer into these areas too."

02. Printing features

Affinity Designer

New features are aimed at designers wanting to print their creations professionally

A number of features aimed at professional-level printing have now been added to Affinity Designer.

Spot colours are now supported, including a full library of Pantone swatches, along with overprint, bleed and trim controls. Output options have also been improved with the addition of PDF/X support up to PDF/X-4.

03. Other improvements

Affinity Designer

The new version offers a rotatable canvas for the first time

Further additions to Affinity Designer for version 1.4 include the following:

  • a rotatable canvas
  • customisable keyboard shortcuts
  • global colours
  • new typography controls
  • significantly improved import and export of PSD, PDF, SVG and EPS formats.

Serif has also launched a major update of sister app Affinity Photo today; you can read about that here. To owners of both apps, the updates are available to download now free via the Mac App Store.

For new customers, Serif is making Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo available at the special offer price of just £29.99/€39.99/$39.99 each until December 15th, after which it reverts to the normal price of £39.99/€49.99/$49.99.

Learn more at the Affinity website.

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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.