When comparing Inkscape vs Affinity Designer, the Slant community recommends Inkscape for most people. In the question“What are the best vector graphics editors?” Inkscape is ranked 1st while Affinity Designer is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Inkscape is:
Inkscape is GPL-licensed and maintains public repositories.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
Inkscape is GPL-licensed and maintains public repositories.
Pre-built binaries are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Inkscape can be built from source on additional platforms.
Pro Opens lots of file types
Inkscape supports many common formats for import (including SVG, Photoshop and Illustrator) and its plugin architecture allows more to be added.
Pro Export to different file types
You can export and save your files for example as a "normal" svg, png, jpg, bmp etc. file.
Pro It's really easy and fun
You can edit and create vector graphics with Inkscape.
Pro One-time purchase
Rather than a monthly subscription based model, Affinity Designer instead has a one-time fee ($49.99).
Pro Intuitive user interface
The user interface of many graphic editing software programs can often be discouraging for beginners. Affinity Designer, however, has a very well laid out and intuitive user interface with a small learning curve.
Pro Powerful artistic tools
Extensively tweakable brush types, color options...
Pro Extended slicing and export possibilities
An object can easily be transformed into a slice that can then be exported in various sizes end formats in 1 go. E.g. Export slice A as PNG 1x, 2x and 3x AND GIF 1x AND SVG.
Pro Powerful symbol managemment
Symbols can get individual property changes (color, shape, layer effects, fonts text...) while the other properties stay linked with the base symbol.
Pro SVG Support
In the era of "retina" displays, 4k UHD, 5k, and even 8k, Scalar Vector Graphics - independent vector images that can scale to any resolution without any display quality loss - are more important now than ever.
And this tool is quite capable of rendering true SVG output suitable for consumption at any display resolution (not a big bunch of rasterized bits in the document, actual paths, points, etc.).
Pro Cross platform
Available on both Windows and MacOS
Pro Focused vector graphics tool
Unlike some design tools, Affinity Designer isn't trying to be all things to all people. It's focused on its main area of expertise: vector graphics. That's not to say you can't use a raster image (think a photo in *.jpeg format for example), but it's not built to do much with that other than using it somewhere amidst the layers and that's about it.
Pro Sketch Alternative (Great for Mixed OS Teams)
For those working in mixed environments that aren't 100% MacOS, you'll find devoting yourself to Sketch.app brings with it...pain. If this fits the bill for what you need feature-wise and you're in a mixed OS environment, it's a very capable replacement for Sketch.app. Note that it doesn't have all the same features, but then again it doesn't need all the same features. Short of organization differences inside the document you're working on, there shouldn't be anything you can't do with Affinity Designer that you could have with Sketch.
Pro Integrates well with Affinity Photo
These are companion apps & switching between them is built in - Photo is a very powerful raster tool with a feature set close/better to Photoshop, it will also use some Photoshop plugins. This allows you to add-on powerful raster capabilities if you want them - put doesn't force you to.
Pro Excellent Photoshop/Illustrator import & export
Best I have seen in a non Adobe app, you can use most of the Photoshop mock-ups and templates easily. Opens most Adobe files to a level to be able to effectively use the content. Allows cross team collaboration across tool-chains.
The new version 1.5 has a very powerful feature set such as support for symbols and asset windows, as well as constraints controls and improved export options. This all adds up to an interesting alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Con Mac version is in worse shape than Windows/Linux version
Con Incompatible with previous versions
Sometimes backward compatibility breaks. For example, pre 0.92 SVGs are incompatible with later releases (due different default resolutions).
Sometimes it just crashes without any reason, so it's not really usable as professional application.
Con Very slow startup on some systems
Depending on factors like how many fonts you have installed, Inkscape can take upwards of 30 seconds to launch.
Con Uses its own SVG-format by default
Inkscape might use SVG as its default format, however this SVG's contains some additional SodiPodi/Inkscape additions that can be troublesome if you want to import the SVG into some other application.
Con Based on the GTK widget toolkit
Software is based on GTK, so it might not integrate well in non-GTK environments. It also requires many dependencies on those non-GTK desktops. It also adds dependencies to GTK-environments since it is written in C++ which requires the gtkmm wrapper/interface
Con Y-axis inverted
0,0 coordinates begin in lower left corner, not upper left corner as SVG standards define.
Con No plug-in architecture, so can't be tailored to specific purposes
Some applications (e.g. Sketch) have an open plug-in framework, by which the software can be extended by independent/third-party developers according to popular trends.
Con Treats all objects as filled
You can't select objects on the canvas by clicking on them, if they're surrounded by another object (like a rectangle or a frame). Designer treats all objects as filled, so if you've drawn a frame or outline or an object with a hole in it, you can't select objects within that hole directly. You have to laboriously iterate through all objects in a list until you get to the one you want. This is an extremely common situation, which cripples the entire product. Very surprising and unfortunate defect.