When comparing Adobe Illustrator CC vs Affinity Designer, the Slant community recommends Adobe Illustrator CC for most people. In the question“What are the best vector graphics editors?” Adobe Illustrator CC is ranked 3rd while Affinity Designer is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Amazing integration with all other Adobe Software (PS, Ae, Id...)
Pro Flexible, non-intrusive interface
Small palette menus and the ability to save multiple menu layouts keep the UI out of the way.
Pro Has all the vector tools you could dream of
Pro It's the industry standard
Pro Frequent updates
The CC subscription model means that major releases are no longer necessary, so existing users gain immediate access to new features.
Pro Easy to learn
It's easy to learn how to work with this software.
Pro Advanced tools
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 Subscription model
Illustrator CC requires a $19.99/mo (minimum) subscription to use. Adobe no longer sells previous versions of Illustrator.
Con Steep learning curve
Con Heavy use of CPU/RAM
Con No proper selection mode
In a vector-art program, the critical selection mode is the one in which objects must be fully enclosed by the selection marquee to be selected. In the simple example shown here, selecting all the circles should merely require you to draw a selection rectangle around them. But in Illustrator, there's no way to avoid selecting other objects as well, even though they're not totally enclosed by the selection box. Year after year, Adobe fails to fix this bizarre oversight, making Illustrator a tedious pain to use.
Con Imprecise coordinates
Oftentimes your 140 is 139.9997 and as a vector program it doesn't rely much on precision.
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.