Create Digital Planner Rings Affinity Designer

Create Digital Planner Rings Affinity Designer
When designing your digital planners, you can include the same features as physical planners. Your planner can have section tabs with hyperlinks, binder rings, elastic bands, section dividers and much more. In this tutorial, you will make your own digital binder rings in Affinity Designer.

This is a great tutorial for those learning how to use Affinity Designer. You will learn the following.

  • Set the document options for an iPad or other mobile device project.
  • Draw, edit and transform vector curves and shapes.
  • Organize your design assets in the Layers panel.

Your digital planner will need two types of binder rings. When the planner is closed, for example the cover graphic, you will need binder rings with only one hole. If your planner has a two-page spread, you will want to use binder rings with two holes. Let’s create the two hole ring.

  1. Open Affinity Designer

  2. Click the New Document button at the bottom of the Welcome screen, to start a new document with the following settings for mobile devices (see screenshot).

  3. Type: Devices
    Page Preset: Custom
    Document Units: Pixels
    Create Artboard - Checked
    Color Format: RGB/8
    Color Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1
    Transparent Background - Checked
    Page Width: 264 pixels
    Page Height: 80 pixels
    DPI: 264
    Portrait - Unchecked
    Actual Size Zoom: iPad (Retina)

  4. Rename the default Artboard to Planner Ring.

  5. Let's set up Designer to work in whole pixels.

  6. From the Toolbar, click the Snapping icon (Magnet), click the arrow to the right of the icon to open the menu and set the following options. Keep the other default settings (see screenshot).

  7. Enable Snapping - checked
    Preset: UI Design
    Move By Whole Pixels - checked

  8. From the Affinity Designer menu, click Preferences. In the Decimal Places for Unit Types section, set the Pixels and Points to zero (see screenshot).

  9. Use the Rounded Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle to fill most of the Canvas. Leave just enough space for the holes (see screenshot).

  10. Width: 240 pixels
    Height: 48 pixels

  11. In the Layers panel, rename this layer to Ring.

  12. With the Move tool, center the shape inside the Canvas. Watch for the green and red guidelines to appear (see screenshot).

  13. Let’s make the ring’s edges more rounded.

  14. From the Context Toolbar, set the Corner Radius to 50% (see screenshot).

  15. Now we will add two Nodes to the path and give the ring a slight upward curve.

  16. Right-click on the shape with the Node tool and choose Convert to Curves (see screenshot).

  17. You will see the surrounding box turn to Nodes on the sides of the shape. But we need some nodes in the center.

  18. With the Node tool, click on the center point on the top and bottom paths. You will have two new blue Nodes (see screenshot).

  19. With the Shift key selected, click both of these center Nodes with the Node tool. Drag the Nodes upward (see screenshot).

  20. Select the top center Node and click the Smooth icon in the Context Toolbar. You will see the control handles attached to that Node. Draw both handles outward horizontally to create a smooth curve on the top path. Repeat this on the bottom path (see screenshot).

In the next tutorial, we will add a color gradient and details to the binder ring.


Design a Digital Planner in Affinity Studio - Tutorial Series Index

Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.