Need Design software

I’m having a great time learning Sparkle. Thanks all for the help. Moving from the PC world I’m finding I need design software. I see that Sparkle has a great plug in for Sketch, so that’s one check mark. I’m on a small budget but Sketch and Affinity offer some good prices. Any preference for long time Sparkle users? I’m considering doing mock ups, then copy and paste etc. Many Thanks

Welcome to the Sparkle crew!

Affinity Photo, Design and Publisher are all great value.

I’ve been using Adobe software since 1993 and I find that the offerings by Affinity are now way better value.

There are quite a few other options, you can find a lot of them in the Apple Store on your Mac.

I have not used Sketch as yet.


@Woodrow, You are going to love macOS and its stability! :slight_smile:

Like @Chris, I have been using the Affinity Serif Suite allowing me to leave Adobe in the dust! It is a one-off payment and no subscription! If you go over to their shop you can get Photo, Design, & Publisher for half price for most of June! :slight_smile: -

Sketch is a great product, but for now Designer (if you go with it and your mentioned limited budget) can do similar especially with mockups.

The is another great vector program out there and it’s called Vectonator ( which is across Apple macOS and iOS. Of late they have made it free which is just out right crazy! It is an application very similar to Affinity Designer!

Anyways, go and have fun! :slight_smile:

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- 50% during confinement

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I’ve purchased both Affinity Designer and Photo and find them very cool and easy to understand!

Yet for Designer I’m somewhat missing useful flexible stroke width options, object deformation and transformation (morphing) tools like in Illustrator, I’ve learned (by actual use) that Inkscape offers similar creative possibilities and appears even to AI. Also the former easily loads files from the latter – and outputting SVG-files by default works very well with Sparkle.

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@greenskin @Raaskot @Chris I’m quite familiar with the Adobe suite but I do believe in Sparkle and the work for development of a Sketch plug in. How does Affinity work in your workflow ? Certainly affordable but Sketch now has synergy with Sparkle and the mock up demo is impressive.
I do realize these are newbie questions as I’m moving from an all in one Xara solution on PC … to Mac and a myriad of programs. I’m taking a lot of pictures of pets for our shelter. so Affinity Photo makes sense.
So how do other pgms mentioned in this thread play with Sparkle? Many thanks in advance.

For my workflow I use Affinity Designer for all of my graphic content, and even photo content, then export it for use in Sparkle. As Rasskot said, there are a few features missing however I’ve managed to work around them. I generally get things done faster in Affinity than Adobe Illustrator. And SVG’s area breeze.

I am using Affinity Photo more and more however most of my photo work is in Lightroom > Designer > Sparkle.

Mockups - I just build from scratch in Sparkle. Being that it works like a page layout program I don’t feel the need to build a mock up first. If I do, it’s a wireframe sketch with pen and paper.

I’m building a wireframe for an App at the moment. I was jumping between Adobe XD, Designer and Sparkle. For the purpose of the project, working rough I think I’m just going to do it in Sparkle.

Speaking of affinity, is that your pet shelter? Kudos to you! I live in Bali and help rescue doggies with a few friends. I have two rescue dogs of my own, however I am stuck in Australia due to flight restrictions and my dogs are sadly stuck in a kennel until I can return. If you are planning on building your shelter website in Sparkle I would like to offer you a free template for Sparkle from to get you started. Anyone who helps dogs have a better life is awesome in my books.



@Chris. Yes, an animal shelter. Very challenging at the moment. 53 cats and 12 dogs at the moment. Keeps one busy photographing that many animals. Thanks for your input regarding Affinity. As I fall down the Mac rabbit hole there’s a myriad of software. Affinity seems to be a great solution. I keep thinking about the Sketch plug in for Sparkle though. Tough decisions! Stay safe and well. May you be able to travel soon.

As per @Chris, my workflow is similar, with most web design projects using Affinity Designer as needed but flowing directly into a Sparkle layout, which moves from being the ‘mockup’ to the fully developed and launched website. Clients love seeing a real website grow from initial design ideas through to the finished product, always reviewing it in its deployed form. I also teach Sparkle and many other creative tools (via

My photo workflows use DxO PhotoLab (I do architectural and real estate photography professionally), exporting to JPEGs or PNGs for use in Sparkle, which generates multiple sizes of these and the A.Designer exports, a huge time-saver! Sparkle examples:, and

I’m pretty much Adobe-free now, and no software subscriptions at all — thank you, Affinity and River SRL! — with an older copy of Elements kept around for the occasional .psd that creeps into the mix!

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@Woodrow, My workflow is similar to @Chris

I love the integration of Sketch and Sparkle but for most part I find myself low fidelity wire-framing (aka mockup) the website based on hand (or digital) sketches and ideal client CTA workflow, and then build it out from there. With my coming templates I have been using Sketch integration.

This is an example of a low-fidelity mockup I presented my client which all happened over a day - and based on their feedback the website was rapidly developed! :slight_smile:

In the end we all do it different so it will be a matter of experimenting until you feel you have nailed it, but I can say that Sparkle has made my development stage of building out a website a total dream! :slight_smile:

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I like that mock up. Very nice. Question, typically 960 width, but it’s height is something I’d like to try. This is a custom setting in Sparkle I gather.
Thanks Greenskin.


Thanks @Woodrow! :slight_smile:

If I’m correct in what you are asking then when you open a Sparkle page at the very bottom you’ll notice a dark grey bar and in the horizontal middle are 4 pairs of dots. I call this the page scrubber! but I’m sure it has another name. If you click on the dots and hold and then drag your mouse down you can make the page height as much as you want.

Welcome to Mac OS and Sparkle. My suggestion : Affinity Designer. Will do the job.