Ever since I first tried out Affinity Designer a couple years ago, I knew Serif (the company behind it) was doing something incredible. It wasn't long after that I tried out Affinity Photo, and finally, Affinity Publisher. The incredible thing about this trio of software, the Affinity Suite, is that they work together absolutely seamlessly. Each program in the Affinity Suite has been designed with such great consideration for the user, and the tools they need. They are all sleek, fast, incredibly user-friendly, and containing no bloat whatsoever, unlike most other software around.
If you're not familiar yet, the Affinity range of professional graphics software started appearing with the launch of Affinity Designer in 2014, which is an illustration app that uniquely includes both vector and raster design tools. Affinity Photo, which was first launched in 2015, is a sleek and fast image editing app. And, finally, Affinity Publisher, an incredible desktop publishing app that rounds out the Affinity Suite. While these are all available separately, if you have the full suite of apps you have what they call StudioLink, which allows you to switch between the 3 apps instantly, allowing for an incredibly smooth workflow.
Another thing I love about the Affinity line is the workbooks that can be purchased to accompany the software...and these aren't your run-of-the-mill software guides. Each book has been created to not only explain the tools, but guide you through learning the software in a logical fashion...and the books are beautifully hardbound.
As I've already had the workbooks for Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, I had to complete my collection with the just released Affinity Publisher Workbook. Here is a look at what is contained within it.
The Affinity Publisher Workbook is divided into 6 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 the tools, like pages and master pages, as well as working with text and bringing in content.
The next chapter is an excellent one on page design principles, from Emily Goater, Serif's in-house Publisher software expert. In this chapter you learn the basics of design for publishing, like Structure, alignment, typography and designing for impact.
Chapter 4 starts off the guided tutorials in the book with some professional projects, including desiging a brochure, a magazine layout, and a fashion lookbook. Not only are the tutorials well-picked projects, but they really get you deep into learning the software, and each compounds on the previous one.
Chapter 5 continues with some projects more on the creative side, including designing a book, designing the cover, and creating a poster for a film festival.
Chapter 6 is dedicated to corporate publishing projects, like company branding, stationary, and reports. Not something I would use, but these projects make the book well-rounded for everyone.
The last four pages of the workbook are tear-out cards, detailing the keyboard shortcuts in Affinity Publisher. These are double-sided, with one side for the macOS and one side for the Windows version of the software.
The Affinity Publisher Workbook, like the other two Affinity Workbooks, is designed to provide a complete and immersive learning experience. Each project builds on the previous one, and there are also footnotes that give you the chapter and page resources, should you need to revisit these to complete the projects.
If you are interested in a great way to learn Affinity Publisher 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 an overview and sample section of the workbook for yourself here. And, if you are interested in learning more about Affinity software, be sure to click the links below.
Nick C Sorbin (Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor of 9 years for Renderosity's CG Industry News. By day, a mild-mannered Certified Pharmacy Technician working in both home infusion and a hospital ER, contrasting creative outlets as a digital artist, sculptor, musician, singer/songwriter, and Staff Writer for Renderosity Magazine. Read his articles