Title: Affinity Designer Workbook
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Serif Europe Ltd (October 2016)
Recently I had reviewed Affinity Designer, a powerhouse design software that uniquely combines raster and vector workspaces in the same application. Having learned there was also a guide available to learn this software, I leapt at the chance to check it out as well.
The Affinity Designer Workbook is a comprehensive guide filled with all the info on the tools and how Designer works, but also includes in-depth tutorials to get you from first beginnings to advanced work. The book is set up so that each project builds off of what you've learned. And, even after you've settled in with the content, it is a handy reference to have at hand.
The book is divided into four main chapters. The first is the interface tour, where you learn everything about the interface, each of the tools and panels, and generally get cozy to where things are. The next chapter is Core Skills. Here you get to learn the basics of working with design tools and best practices. Things covered here are the pen tool, art boards, layers, objects, design grids, geometry tools, effects, etc.
The next two chapters are the most exciting as you get to dive right into the program through nine step-by-step tutorials in two categories. Chapter three is a collection of five Illustration tutorials and chapter four is a collection of four Design tutorials.
The illustration projects include a flat character design, a dramatically lit cityscape, an isometric illustration, a 3D character, and a hybrid vector/raster painting comp.
The design chapter consists of real-world design work. First is a logo design tutorial which even covers client presentation, and continues into a second part with designing for print. Lastly, there is an involved tutorial that puts you deep into UX and UI design for an app, and a second part that covers app icon design.
The 7 artists that contributed the tutorials are some of the best illustrators and designers in the field and they share plenty of tips and techniques throughout their instruction.
Though the book is designed to be used from beginning to end, you can skip around to whatever interests you. And, before each tutorial, there is a covered skills notice, which tells you what you should know before stepping in, including the page numbers so you can quickly go back for reference.
The book itself is absolutely beautiful, with a hardcover and excellent paper quality. The last four pages are tear-out cards, detailing the keyboard shortcuts in the program. These are double-sided, with one side for the macOS and one side for the Windows version of the software.
The Affinity Designer Workbook is the best software guide I have ever reviewed. It is so well-designed I will have a hard time trying to refrain from comparing other future software guides to this one. To me, this is everything a software guidebook should be.
If you are interested in a great way to learn Affinity Designer in-depth, look no further. It is currently available on the Affinity website here for $49.99 (USD), and it is well worth every penny. You can see a sample section of the workbook for yourself here. Also, should you happen to own Affinity Photo, or are planning that purchase, there will also be an Affinity Photo Workbook coming very soon!