Greetings! Now that I’m using social media, I’ve redesigned my business cards to include the appropriate links. Before I go to pick up the new cards, I thought I’d talk a bit about how I made them.
In case you don‘t recognize the application in the screenshot above, it’s Affinity Designer. Affinity is comprised of two apps thus far: Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, and they make it incredibly easy to do all sorts of image editing. Often an image needs to be a particular size or file format, which means that pretty much every image on this site went through Affinity at some point, even if it was just for cropping or resizing.
You may notice that both the front and back of the card are in the same document, which highlights a feature of Affinity that makes it perfect for the job of designing business cards: “artboards.” Despite being in the same Affinity project, the front and back of the design are on separate artboards, meaning that they’ll each export as a different .png file when I go into the powerful “Export Persona.” I hope this puts your fears to rest if you thought I was just going to fold them over.
The great thing about using artboards rather than separate documents is that it allows me to precisely line up the image on the front with that of the back, which made possible the faux-transparent effect.
Another great feature of Affinity is that its two apps are fully compatible with one another. You can take a project from Designer and edit it in Photo and vice-versa without any trouble. Affinity Designer in particular is a vector-based app, but it’s unique in that it seamlessly combines vectors with pixels. The QR code (“QR” stands for “Quick Reference”) in the bottom-right corner of the card, for instance, is purely a vector shape, which means I can make it as large or as small as I please without losing any detail; every line will be just as crisp at any resolution.
The text made up of vectors, and the white glow around all these elements is yet another vector effect.
I mentioned that Affinity has two apps. The business card design lent itself to the features of Designer, but I probably use Affinity Photo even more often. Affinity Photo is designed to work with raster (pixel) graphics, which are the most ubiquitous image files. Photo’s massive array of features makes it well suited to retouching and editing photos, and it’s just as perfect for digital art as Designer. My most recent work in Affinity Photo was removing the white background from my Facebook Messenger code.
Affinity Photo’s “Erase White Paper” tool allowed me to accomplish this in a matter of seconds—something that would have taken a great deal more time in any other app. If you’ve much experience with graphic design (particularly for websites), then you’ll know that transparency is often extremely important for an image; you’ll also know just how annoying it can be when someone sends you a JPEG. Affinity Photo makes all this far easier.
If you’re in need of an app for graphic design, Affinity has numerous and unique features that almost make Adobe’s suite look like Microsoft Paint by comparison. As I said, I use Affinity for everything. I rarely even send someone a photo I’ve taken till I’ve enhanced it in Affinity Photo. Whether you’re making Celtic knotwork in Affinity Designer or adjusting the curves on a landscape in Affinity Photo, these apps’ focus on workflow make them a sheer joy to use. I’ve also seen some of the new features they’re going to add in the near future, and they blew me away; I kept thinking, “I didn’t even know that was possible!”
After getting my business cards printed, I felt like talking a bit about how I designed them, and I hope you’ll forgive my endless gushing over these apps. I couldn’t help it; they’ve just made my life so much easier!