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Gianni Rondinini

[Designer] How to set up project with multiple designs (similar layout, different colors)?

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Posted (edited)

I understand this is more of a workflow question than something strictly related to Affinity, but every software is born with goals in mind and I'd like to hear how you would do this in Affinity.

My question applies to different works, but at present I'm working on some pirate money bills for my kids. I need to design quite some of them: 1 doubloon, 2 doubloons, 5, 10, 20, 50, ...
All of the bills will have similar layout: same size, same position and room for the value (1, 2, ...), same position and room for embellishments (I found some pirate-style .svg graphics --CC license) and the like.

Differences between bills are the drawings I'll place here and there (if you think of dollar bills, it could be the president name and picture), the overall color (they'll be monochrome, each of a different color) and, of course, the text telling you the value.

It would be extremely useful if I could draw the first bill, then copy it and edit the needed parts, then make a 2nd copy and edit the needed parts and so on; however, as it always happens, I'm pretty sure that, as soon as end working on the butlast bill, some cool (...) idea will come to my kids minds and they'll ask me to change something here and there. I'd like to avoid starting from scratch again and/or have to change everything by hand.

Here we get to my question: I thought it would be the right way to work with a number of artboards in a single document; this would make things easy to have everything in one place.
But, is there a way to "link" common properties between different artboards (such as, overall dimensions) and/or objects used in artboard?
For example, should I decide to change my font, is there a way to tell Affinity to change the font of a number of text objects? Should I decide to change bill size or the texture I'll use for common parts or anything else used in all of the bills. At the very center of the 1-doubloon bill, there will be a "1"; same place, same font, but different text in each of the other bills: there will be a "2", a "5", ...
Same number (different size) will appear in a different place on the same bill, then it would be cool to link the text (and font, but not font size) between these text objects.

I'm getting stuck to the startup of the project, as I'd like to keep the things as flexible as possible.

I understand I'm asking something very complex, but if Affinity has any tool to help with any part of my problem, it would be appreciated.

Thanks for any suggestion you may have.

Edited by Gianni Rondinini
Corrected few typos

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If you’re thinking of using artboards, you must be using Affinity Designer (because Affinity Photo doesn’t have that feature). Another Designer-only feature is Symbols, which should help considerably in a project like this.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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I would probably just have one artboard for all the bills and then have all of the elements that are the same between them at the bottom in one (or a few) layers.

Then I would have a separate layer for each of the denominations where you can have the specific $ amounts and any specific pictures.

If you need to change any of the base features you just need to adjust them once. If you really want separate art boards using Symbols like @Alfred suggested is probably the way to go. There are some video tutorials on symbols on their YT/Vimeo channel.

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21 minutes ago, JeffrySG said:

If you really want separate art boards using Symbols like @Alfred suggested is probably the way to go.

I also don’t see the need for separate artboards, but even with a single artboard (or just the main canvas, with no artboards at all) I would still use symbols for this.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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