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Get creative with spirals!

Andy takes a look at some creative ideas for designing stunning spirals using Affinity’s new Spiral Tool.

Newly introduced into all Affinity apps in V2.3 (30/11/2023 launch), the Spiral Tool joins 21 other shape tools in both Affinity desktop (Mac and Windows) apps and iPad apps.

The tool offers a truly comprehensive spiral creator encompassing a choice of creative styles and options. With professional-level and smooth results, it’s sure to resolve the long-standing demand from the creative design industry for a powerful spiral creator.

“The objective was to create a spiral that replicated common and useful patterns—which is why we included commonly created approximated models. The other objective was to maintain spiral editability and give an instant preview of changing parameters, as with all shapes. Users can push parameters to the extremes for some unique results!”

Ben Idoine, Affinity Senior Software Engineer

Creative showcase

In terms of creativity, spirals can be incorporated into many graphic designs, photo-editing projects and page layouts. Here are just some examples that spring to mind.

Everyday objects

You’ll encounter spirals in many aspects of life: rope coils, watch springs, mazes, staircases, waltzers and children’s sweets are just some examples.

Lollipops with different spiral styles


We see spirals in nature all the time. From snails to swirling clouds, whirlpools, ripples and waves; even the cosmos has spiralling galaxies. So, it makes sense to include these elements in nature-focused designs.

Spirals in nature: wind and waves

In some instances, rather than drawing a basic spiral it’s fun to add some variety to the spirals by altering stroke properties. This can introduce dashed and dotted lines, and even apply a pressure profile for a naturally tapering spiral as in the example above.


Spirals also make great repeating patterns. Curving and straight-edged spirals can be used equally to fill out backgrounds or fill specific areas in your design.

Repeating patterns based on standard and straight-edged spirals

Focal points

One interesting use in photo editing is to draw spirals on the focal point of your design; this cleverly draws the eye into the main object of interest. If carried out subtly, this won’t distract from the main object.

Spiral added to a butterfly to strengthen the focal point

Taking spirals further

The spiral you choose may be just the beginning of your design. Don’t forget that like any vector shape, you can convert the spiral to curves for complete design freedom—including deleting parts of the spiral for a more asymmetric look or merging the spiral into your planned design.

Using a simple spiral as the basis for a fish-themed logo

The technicals

If you’re keen to explore spirals further, it might be worth knowing that Affinity’s Spiral Tool goes beyond basic spirals and offers many distinct looks. Here’s a visual overview.

Spiral styles and variations

Find out more

For any Affinity app, you’ll find the Spiral Tool along with all the other shape tools in the Shape tools menu. For more details, why not catch up with:

Learn how to use the Spiral Tool – new in version 2.3.
  • Our tutorial video which explains how to use the Spiral Tool and take advantage of its customisable parameters for even greater flexibility.

  • The Spiral Tool topic in

Documentation manager

Andy manages our software documentation here at Serif and is our chief technical writer. In-between falling off his bike cycling into work, he keeps himself busy ensuring all our apps have up to date and accurate help content, and is editor-in-chief of our stunning Affinity Workbooks.