The intersection of design (art) and mathematics is a small but highly active field. One particularly good example of art-meets-math is the app Processing. It‘s a code/math-to-art app. Creative arts aside, the field of scientific digital publishing does not yet have enough tools for the regular pro-user. We still have to resort to a lot of hacks and combinations of tools with some pretty ugly workflows.
@Adrian_M, like you I design a lot of figures and images for print and the web that need properly typeset mathematics. I usually want consistent typography. So, if the body text of a document is Cambria (from Microsoft Word), then I want my figures to use Cambria Math for labels and annotations.
To get all the mathematical and scientific characters in Unicode, I use Cambria Math when I’m preparing documents in Word and STIX 2 Text/Math when outside the Office suite. You can extract Cambria and Cambria Math from where they’re buried in the Word app to use them elsewhere. Besides Computer Modern, which I don’t usually use, I don’t know of any other good fonts for this range of Unicode. At least Affinity Designer supports this range of characters in Unicode. Gravit Designer doesn’t.
Ipe is a small and not-so-easy-to-use app that I use to create most of my mathematical figures and graphs. But it requires TeX installed separately and uses Computer Modern font. I haven’t figured out how to get TeX to use STIX 2 Math or Cambria Math yet.
You can put .EPS files from Ipe in Affinity Designer. But everything, equations included, is imported as curves so you can’t do any further text editing. This is the newest hack I’ve discovered which might come in useful soon. Unfortunately, Gravit Designer can’t import .EPS from Ipe and although it can import .PDF from Ipe the text/equations get messed up.
When I write for the web (blogs, online course books), I write in Markdown. I try to use SVG for figures but sometimes export figures as PDF (for crisp printing) or PNG (for accurate exporting). I write mathematics in LaTeX with the standard $$ delimiters, and when it’s published on the internet MathJax or KaTeX handle the rendering of the mathematics. But when I make documents and posters for school or to share on the web, I still use Microsoft Word and a combination of drawing apps. It is hard to get consistency across my products and my work flow is not pleasant.
@Macoun University students are indeed using some of the bigger mathematical packages out there. School students are using Desmos and GeoGebra these days. The problem with all of these apps is that they are made for “doing” mathematics, not preparing mathematics for publishing, or at least not for high school level of publishing or posters, where figures need to be a lot simpler but still technically correct. They are great for exploring and visualising mathematics but you have limited control over design and presentation. Academic publications will accept image output formats from the bigger apps, but those apps do not give much design control and you have to learn a lot of ugly syntax. Also, some of them are quite expensive.
As I understand it, Affinity Designer is developed in Xcode/Swift. I am teaching myself Swift and Xcode but I haven’t gotten far enough to know what a best solution for mathematical typesetting
would be in such an app. As I said, in Gravit Designer it’s easy—LaTeX with a MathML renderer (MathJax or KaTeX).
Well, that’s about everything I can contribute to this discussion. I’m liking Affinity Designer but I’m still hacking my way around different apps to produce the stuff I need/want to make.