Affinity Designer: The Complete Guide to Affinity Designer
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Affinity Designer: The Complete Guide to Affinity Designer

You can start using Affinity Designer 1.7 today to design beautiful and professional graphics!
4.5 (2,959 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
37,489 students enrolled
Last updated 11/2019
English [Auto], French [Auto], 3 more
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Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 11.5 hours on-demand video
  • 11 articles
  • 20 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will learn how to use Affinity Designer to design your own professional graphics
  • Quickly understand the interface and how to navigate Affinity Designer
  • Use all of the important tools including the Pen Tool, Pencil Tool, Brushes, and more
  • You will have fun learning with real world projects perfect for social media
  • Create advanced shapes with fills and gradients to look amazing
  • Save and export your Affinity Designer projects for any purpose
  • You should have Affinity Designer installed on your PC or Mac
  • You DO NOT NEED any experience designing graphics or using Affinity Designer to take this course

Welcome to the MOST COMPREHENSIVE Affinity Designer course on Udemy, including the 1.7 update!

With this course, you will learn everything you need to feel confident designing graphics in Affinity Designer.

You're here because you want an inexpensive, yet powerful and professional, alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Affinity Designer is perfect for you. 

And this course will help you get started!

What Will You Learn?

  • Dive right in and learn how the Affinity Designer interface works.

  • Create new documents for print and web.

  • Add and adjust shapes exactly how you imagine them.

  • Design advanced shapes with reflections, expressions, and operations.

  • Understand the power of color in your designs and how to use it properly.

  • Draw lines with the Pen tool and Brush tool

  • Add and edit text with the Character and Paragraph panels

  • Design professional logos

  • Use masking and shading

  • Export and save your projects for any use

Learn By Doing

Throughout this course, you'll be working on real-world projects such as social media graphics so that you can see your new skills in action!

About Your Instructor

Jeremy Hazel is a professional graphic artist, who loves sharing his knowledge with students like you. Jeremy is dedicated to making this the best Affinity Designer course on the market, so that you can easily start using this amazing application.

If you ever have a problem, Jeremy will be there to help you out!

About Affinity Designer

Winner of the Best App of the Year, Affinity Designer is the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available! 

It's perfect for illustrations of any kind!

100% 30-day Money Back Guarantee

Enroll now with now risk. If you're not enjoying the course, Udemy will gladly refund your purchase with no questions asked.

See you inside the course!

Who this course is for:
  • Graphic designers who want an alternative to Photoshop
  • Affinity Photo users looking to take their graphics to the next level
  • Anyone looking for an inexpensive and powerful design tool
Course content
Expand all 114 lectures 11:28:32
+ Basics of the Affinity Designer and the Interface
12 lectures 51:28

An introduction to the new course........updates, new lessons and a message on housekeeping

IF YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OLD COURSE: The lessons are still there, they are at the bottom AFTER the outro on the never fear.....they are still here for you

Preview 01:53
Additional resources to help in your learning

Just a placeholder for the download files

Downloadable files for Section 1
  • Know how to open a document from the home screen

  • Know how and when to use vector art vs. pixel based art

  • Explain how the personas are different from one another

Preview 04:28

Learn the difference between raster and vector art, and each format's limitations

Preview 05:01
  • Identify the 3 major parts of the interface

  • Know how to customize the tools and the tool bar

  • Know how to add and subtract panels in your studio

  • Identify the location and content of the CONTEXT toolbar

Basics of the interface
  • Understand how layers are fundamental to digital art

  • Know how to locate the layers studio panel

  • Confidently add, subtract and adjust layers

  • Learn how to NEST a layer and what that means

Basics of Layers in Affinity Designer
  • Learn how to apply the techniques taught so far

  • Learn how to nest objects inside of each other

  • Apply a basic effect to a shape

Creating a simley face in Affinity Designer- Step 1
  • Learn how to highlight and shade using the pencil tool

  • Explore the pencil tool and be able to trace out a basic shape

Adding highlights to the project
  • Learn how to use a pixel layer to shade image and give it some character

  • Utilize a pixel layer for shading

  • Make basic brush adjustments in the pixel persona

Adding a pixel layer to shade the image
  • Apply a mouth to your image using simple layer nesting

  • Sculpt the tongue using the pixel techniques for curvature

  • Add finishing touches to your creation 

Creating the mouth and detailing
  • Learn how to save a file

  • know how to export a file with an opaque and transparent background

Exporting and placing an image
+ The basics of shapes in Affinity Designer
17 lectures 01:37:55

Just a placeholder for files

Section 2 downloadable files

In this lesson you will :

  • Learn how to locate , choose and adjust shapes

  • learn how to define stroke width AND color

  • Learn how to adjust the color using the HSL color wheel

Applying Fill and Stroke to shapes

With version 1.7 the ability to apply multiple strokes to a shape is HUGE , we show you how

  • To offset a path

  • Reorder strokes

  • Work with the appearance panel to achieve a whole host of effects

1.7 Update Apply multiple strokes to offset a path
  • Learn how to use the gradient tool to set gradient fills

  • Learn how to set radial, linear and conical gradients

  • Learn how to adjust the colors in a simple gradient

Filling a shape with the gradient tool
  • Learn where the transparency tool is

  • Learn how to apply transparency to a shape

  • learn how to adjust transparency on a layer

Adding transparency to a shape with the transparency tool

Just a simple explainer video telling you how to use the challenges in the course

Introduction to challenges

Using the knowledge you have , we try our first challenge and recreate an image using 3 shapes , gradients and transparency

Challenge- Creating a 3 sphere image using transparency
  • Learn how to mirror shapes horizontally and vertically

  • How to rotate around the center of the objects

  • How to make the anchor point different  than the center

Adjusting the size, and rotation of shapes

Power duplication can save a lot of time and speed up your workflow .... and in this lesson we cover the most advanced part of shapes.....EXPRESSIONS

Power duplication and expressions
  • Learn how to align and distribute shapes automatically

  • Learn how to choose alignment based on order selected

  • Learn how to be precise in placing the distribution of the shapes

Aligning and distributing shapes in AD
  • Learn how to customize your snapping preferences for shapes

  • Learn how to adjust your presets for snapping

  • Learn how to turn the grid on and off

Snapping - What is it and how to use it
  • Learn what an operation is and how to create some really cool shapes with it

  • Learn how to anticipate what each operation does

Creating complex shapes using Operations

In this lesson we take on the challenge of a southwestern yours does not have to look like mine, but if you wanted to see my file, I included it as a resource

Southwest turtle challenge
  • Learn how to use symbols to improve your workflow

  • Learn how to create, modify and remove them

  • Know when and where a symbol is appropriate to use

Using the symbols panel with shapes

Learn how to find and adjust grids

Learn how to set a grid for size and discrimination

Learn how to change the color to match the job


Learn how to use Affinity Designer to set up a seamless pattern template you can use over and over

Making a template for a seamless pattern 4x4

Learn how to make a plaid seamless texture in Affinity Designer

Making a seamless Plaid pattern
+ Sketching the rocket ship- Step 1 (only the baseline stuff
5 lectures 31:07
Rocket ship files for section 1 of the project
  • Learn how to sketch out at rough concept using the pixel brushes before beginning work once from one object in relation to another

Setting up the composition
  • Cement the concept of using shapes and layers along with Boolean operations to create objects form primitives

  • Learn how to convert a shape to a curve

  • Learn how to use the corner tool

Making the rocket ship
  • Learn how to enable blend modes to create texture

  • Navigate a rough brushes and practice using them to create an actual image

  • Learn to apply both highlights and shadows to your image

Detailing the rocket ship
  • Learn how to subtly apply pixel based paint to the background of the image

  • Learn how to dull pain that comes on too strong

  • Know the difference between flow and opacity

Underpainting the galaxy
+ The heart of vector art- Lines and Curves
14 lectures 01:28:29

Just a placeholder for the downloads for the and unzip

Downloads for the entire section on Vector line art
  • Learn the basics of curves and lines in Vector art

  • Learn to add and subtract nodes

  • Know how to adjust the handle son the curve for modification

Introduction to nodes part 1
  • Understand how you can make any shape from the types of nodes and the number of nodes

  • Add and subtract nodes

  • Force the shape you create to be any other shape you can imagine

Introduction to nodes part 2
  • Know how to create a shape from multiple shapes

  • Know how to reverse the direction of a stroke

  • Confidently diagnose what happens when  you merge 2 shapes

Introduction to nodes part 3

New to 1.7 is the sculpt allows you to pick up with a design where you left off

1.7 Update- Sculpt function and the pencil tool

Know how to set a custom line profile

Line weight and art

Apply the concepts learned to an actual real life project

Making a pinstripe design using the pencil tool and profile of a line
  • How to create various types of lines

  • How to adjust lines that do not work out

Basis of the Pen tool
  • How to create various types of lines

  • How to adjust lines that do not work out

Basics of pen tool application

1.7 now has a function that allows you to make a selection of nodes from MULTIPLE shapes, this allows you to transform multiple nodes from various shapes to almost create a SUB-SHAPE 

1.7 Update Node transformation
  • Know what a vector brush is and how to find them

  • Learn how to adjust existing brushes and describe the variables

  • Know how to create a category , copy a brush and rename an existing brush

  • Execute the correct order of operations to use the vector brush

  • Create a new basic brush

Basics of vector brushes and brush management
  • Know how image brushes and intensity brushes are different

  • Know how to set up backgrounds properly for each type

  • demonstrate how to show the differences between the types of brushes

Basics of Image brushes and intensity brushes in vector
  • Know how to assemble an image brush

  • Know how to properly export an image brush

  • Know how to properly use an image brush

How to make an image brush
  • Know how to set up a canvas to make an intensity brush

  • Know how to use brushes to create brushes

  • Know how to properly export an intensity brush

Create an intensity brush
+ Color and artistic elements in Vector art
20 lectures 01:58:43
Download files for this section
  • Learn how to identify the difference btween CMYK and RGB

  • Identify the fundamentals of HSL

  • learn how to toggle between these modes in Affinity

  • Learn how to perfectly match color using these codes

Basics of color -terms and visualization
  • Learn how to identically match the codes given from the resource to the color

  • Know how ot create a color chord in Affinity Designer

  • Identify 3 resource for color

Color schemes and free resources for color
  • Know how to create and rename a pallet version

  • Know the difference between a document and an application pallet 

  • Know how to get your document pallet to travel with the image

  • Know how to create a pallet using an existing photo or a pre-done piece of artwork

Color pallete management
  • Know how to selectively grab any color you want from an existing image

  • learn how to select varying color ranges

  • Know why sometimes the selection process does not work

The color picker tool
  • Know what a mask layer is

  • Feel comfortable that mask layers work on luminence and shades of grey

  • Know how to remove a mask layer

  • Understand the fundamental concept of a mask layer

Mask layers
  • Know the difference between a clipping mask, a gradient mask and a transparency mask

  • be able to apply all 3 masks to simple shapes

  • know how to adjust the gradient and transparency masks

3 masking techniques you already know
  • Know what a blend mode does

  • Know hw to rouoghly choose a blend mode

  • Know what blend modes are best for shading and highlighting

Blend modes - What are they
  • Know how to create a sky background using masks and pixel layers

  • Utilize the Gaussian blur to the background to break up the hard edges

Balloon Project Background
  • Learn how to create a greyscale template for use in various colors

  • Learn how to adjust pixel brushes to shade and highlight

  • Set blend modes for shadow and highlight layers

Building the basic Balloon

Learn how to create complex images using the template you made

Learn to apply effect and blend modes

Know how to apply and reverse transparency

Finishing the balloon
  • Know what an adjustment layer is

  • Know how to create them

  • Know how to modify the features of the most frequently used adjustment layers

  • Define what a LUT is for Affinity Designer

Adjustment layers
  • Create a basics Affinity logo using the pen tool

  • Create a custom pallete for the project

  • Set up your reference images

Preview 07:24

Use effects and brush applications to create a neon grow effect

Creating the neon effect

Use duplication to crate the inner glow for the neon

Applying the neon glow part 2
  • Add a gradient background to show depth of field

  • Apply a soft haze through duplication and adjustment of effects

Adding background and glow
  • Learn to create a cast glow in a 3-D space for your neon

  • Learn to adjust multiple elements to create a cohesive look

Aligning the background and the foreground

In 1.7 we take a look at adjustment to pinpoint colors we can change...WITHOUT masks

1.7 update HSL adjustment layers
  • Know where and how to apply effects

  • Learn about the quick pick and then the hidden effects ion the advanced menu

  • Learn how to set a profile in the 3-D and emboss effects


Learn how to create , apply and remove styles

Create a simple 3-D style with a gradient

+ The pixel persona
19 lectures 02:00:17
Downloadable resources for the pixel persona section
  • Know how the pixel perona is different than the vector persona

  • Identify he different tools available

  • recognize how pixels are assigned values and can be adjusted

Introduction to the Pixel Persona Interface
  • Know how to set the options for a successful selection

  • Know how to set your brush for optimal selection

  • Know how to define a selection and export it as a new layer

Basics of selection volume 1- The selection brush
  • Know how to select using various marquee tools

  • Know how to de-select the pixels after adjustment

  • Learn how to use image based properties like tone and color to make your selection

Basics of selection volume 2 - marque and menu selection

Know when and how to use the selection brush

Know what the limitations are on Affinity Designers selection capabilities

Know how to choose the best selection method for the job

Basics of selection 3 - Lasso selection

A challenge designed to test your ability to select the pixel images you want......using the techniques that were taught previously

Pixel Persona Selection Challenge - Photo adjustment
  • Know the 3 sections of a pixel brush in Affinity Designer

  • Know the basic terms of pixel brushes

  • Know where to go to see the nozzle shape and texture

Pixel brushes - Basics and import/ export
  • Know how to create a category and add a brush

  • Know how to delete and rename a category

  • Know how to import and export brushes

Adjusting Pixel Brushes

Learn how to create a basic bokeh brush

Feel confident in brush adjustment terms and technique

Know how to trial a brush once you made it

Engage in layer management to work with the smallest risk possible

Pixel brushes Creating a pixel brush - Basic round brush- making a Bokeh brush
  • Know how to create a simple fog brush from exsiting texture brushes in affinity Designer

  • Know how to export a brush properly for the next step

  • Know how to adjust and use a pixel fog brush

Creating and intensity brush-Making a fog brush

Version 1.7 introduced us to sub-brushes and they are awesome , in this lecture we will use sub brushes to create a galaxy style light brush

  • Learn how to adjust sub brushes

  • learn how to set the size to adjust with or without the parent brush

1.7 Update- Sub brushes in vector
  • Know the various tools I the pixel persona

  • Know how to choose the smudge function

  • identify the difference and the additive nature of dodge and burn

  • Apply proper blur and sharpen techniques

Smudging blurring sharpening dodging and burning

Version 1.7 brought us symmetry in the pixel persona, and this is exactly how to use it .....

1.7 Update symmetry in Affinity Designer Pixel persona
  • Learn how to create a flame brush for use in the project

  • Set a blend mode to allow for additive build up

  • Add the flame brush to your brush set

Making your flame brush
  • Know how to make and export a smoke brush in your project

Making your smoke brush
  • Create a project from nothing into something

  • Apply blend modes and texturing to create a candle

Setting up the project
  • Apply blends modes to create flame effects

  • Apply blend mode to shoe the relationship between 2 objects

Making the flame
Crafting the smoke
  • Finish up the piece and know how to cast a glow against the background

Setting up the backlighting
+ Working with Photos in Affinity Designer
8 lectures 53:53
Downloadable files for this section

In this lecture we cover how to set  up your images and lay them out....including the dreaded " selection of images"

  • How to rasterize and image layer

  • How to select using the selection brush tool

  • How to refine a selection using the selection brush tool

  • How to export a selection as a new layer into the composition

Rasterizing and Selection of an image using the selection brush

In this lecture we create a 2 tone color image, using adjustment layers

  • How to apply adjustment layers

  • Increasing contrast using levels adjustment

  • Basic masking using adjustment layers

  • Revealing and concealing effects using masking layers

Adding adjustment and recolor layers to the Image

In this lesson we cover the basics of Dodge and Burn

  • How to dodge and burn destructively

  • The difference between opacity and flow

  • The non-destructive way to set up for dodge and burn using curves layers

Dodging and Burning - Both destructive and nondestructive

In this lesson we cover

  • How to adjust the darks and lights in an image using curve layers

  • Optimal settings for brushes during the process

  • How to check and readjust if you get it wrong

Dodge and Burn using curves adjustment layers

In this lesson we RASTERIZE , or flatten the image we made  and apply the smudge tool

  • The differences between flow and strength

  • The importance of direction

  • How to match the foreground to the background for proper flow of the viewer

Rasterizing and Smudgning

In this lesson we add in the sharpening and blurring effects for your image

  • Blurring reduced focus in areas farther away

  • Sharpening increased focus as you approach the subject

Sharpening and Blurring

In this lesson we finish the image

  • Add in a custom vignette

  • Add in and adjust the blend modes on a smoke layer created with our custom brushes

Adding a vignette and smoke
+ Finishing the rocketship
6 lectures 53:29

This has all of the downloads for the rocket ship course......all in one place, enjoy

Resource files for this section of the course- finishing the rocket

Learn how to detail the planets using pixel layers, blend modes and Effects

Crafting the Planets
  • Apply what you know in the application of a real project to create a deep space illustration including

  • use of blend modes

  • use of the flare brushes provided in the lesson

  • Use of texture brushes and effects

Finishing the earth and stars
  • Use the luminance brush made earlier in the course to confidently craft your blaster

  • know how to read a line of action in a complex scene

  • Know how t blend the image to crate good texture in a rocket blast

Making the blaster
  • Apply pixel layers to create finishing details on the rocket

  • Apply the techniques from pixel layers in a real world application

Detailing the rocket ship
  • Know how to tie foreground and background elements in through the use of clip masks

  • Know how to increase or decrease the intensity of an image using the same color through the use of blend modes

Finishing and saving the file
+ Working with text and the export persona
11 lectures 01:12:05

Just a placeholder  for all of the downloads for this section of the course

Downloadables for this section
  • Know how and WHY to create an artboard file using a basic T-shirt layout

  • Be able to adjust and rename the artboard

  • Create modify and use guides for a basic T-shirt design

Rulers Guides and Artboards
  • Learn how to create text in Affinity Designer

  • Learn how to adjust properties of text like Leading, size and color

The artistic text tool
  • Learn how to create framed text

  • Learn ho to adjust for size variance vs. "reflow" of text

  • Know how to make shapes text frames

The text frame tool
Making paths for text
  • Know how to attached text to paths

  • know how to switch the baseline from inside to outside of the path

  • Know how to switch the direction of the path

  • know how to adjust the text once the path is centered

Placing text on a path

A simple challenge practicing text on a path

Text Challenge 4 Applying text to path
  • Apply the techniques taught in the course toward the application of a holiday card

Making a Holiday card
Making a holiday card -Finished
  • Know what exporting is

  • Know which formats give you vector and which formats export in raster

  • Know when and where to use each the of formats

What is exporting and various formats
The export persona
+ Thanks and wrap up
2 lectures 01:02
Outro and thanks for taking the journey
Bonus Lecture: Get Any of Phil's Course for Up to 90% Off