The 5 best iPad apps for designers

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The 5 best iPad apps for designers


Which are the best iPad apps for designers? There are certainly some strong contenders. Here, we bring you five of the best iPad apps to and help designers produce great work.

The iPad is a fantastic tool for designers. It can allow them to sketch out ideas while out and about, or even help them produce a finished piece. There are many apps that can help designers make the most out of their iPad, but which are worth downloading?

We’ve collected five iPad apps that we think are the most useful apps for designers. Of course, they’re only the tip of the iceberg, so if you’re a designer and you’ve got a favourite app that hasn’t made it onto our list, let us know about it on Twitter.

1. Adobe Ideas


Free | Download Adobe Ideas now

Adobe Ideas brings the ability to draw vector illustrations to the iPad, and therefore the fingertips of designers.

Tools you’ll find in Adobe Ideas include customisable brushes, vector-based drawing tools, Paint Bucket, Eyedropper, layers, Eraser and 50-level undo/redo.

Plus, there are shortcuts for frequently used tools to improve workflow as well as quick and easy ways to share, sync or export your artwork, especially if you have a Creative Cloud subscription.

Support for pressure sensitive styli is an added draw, especially since the launch of the new Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, which allows you to draw on an iPad with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Adobe Ideas is a free tool that could benefit any iPad-owning designer. If you want an extra 20GB of Creative Cloud Storage (on top of the 2GB you get for free), you’ll have to pay £1.49 per month.

2. Quark DesignPad


Free | Download Quark DesignPad now

For layout designers, Quark’s DesignPad app could be a useful tool. It lets you create layout concepts for posters, postcards, invitations, brochures, business cards and more using a grid-based design control.

There are lots of controls available within the app to help you create the layout in exactly the way you’ve imagined, and you can insert pictures, text, shapes, boxes and more into your design.

Quark DesignPad is free to download, but if you’d like to use features such as PDF export, Dropbox support, AirPrint and wave shapes for boxes then you’ll need to pay £6.99 for the Pro Feature Pack.

3. Paper by FiftyThree


Free | Download Paper FiftyThree

Paper is a gorgeously designed sketchbook app that could come in really handy for doodling ideas or sketching up designs while on the move.

The expressive ink engine means that, even when you’re using your finger to draw in the app, the results are generated by reacting to your movements, so the lines won’t be consistent in thickness for a more natural sketching experience.

It’s free to start with, but you’ll only get the pen tool and the eraser, and you’ll have a set selection of colours to pick from. If you’re willing to pay a little extra, you can get additional tools through in-app purchases.

The Essentials Kit, which adds the sketch, outline, write, and colour tools, costs £4.99, but you can buy those tools individually for £1.49 each if you don’t want them all. For the mixer tool, which lets you mix and make your own colours, you’ll need to pay £1.49 as it’s not included in the Essentials Kit.

It’s really intuitive too, allowing you to use gestures to move between sketchbooks quickly and fluidly. You can rewind by using two fingers to return to any previous point in your sketch, too.

You can email pages from your Paper journals via email, or publish them straight to Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter.

4. iDraw


£5.99/$8.99 | Download iDraw now

iDraw is a vector graphics and illustration app for iPad that offers vector basics such as text, lines, shapes and curves as well as more advanced features including layers, gradients, text styles, an RGB colour picker and more.

The ability to group and align objects can come in handy when working on a design in iDraw and the path combinations tool means you can combine multiple shapes together to create new ones to use in your work. Plus, the bezier pen tool makes creating shapes with custom paths easy.

iDraw also offers grids and rulers to help you keep your designs in proportion and get everything lined up the way you want it to be. Images can be imported onto your canvas from your iPad’s Photo Library, too.

Dropbox integration is a helpful feature, and iDraw can import Illustrator files. It’s only able to export as SVG or PDF files, or a JPEG or PNG, though.

5. FontBook


69p/$0.99 | Download FontBook now

The final iPad app in our list is FontBook. It’s a useful tool for designers as it offers an up-to-date library of typefaces from 134 international type foundries. That means there are more than 730,000 typeface samples within the app for you to browse through.

You can browse by Class, Foundry, Designer, Year or Name, or you can search if you’ve got a particular font family, foundry or designer in mind. Plus, there are Font Lists that let you search by criteria such as genre, stylistic period, similarity or popularity.

Add fonts to your favourites to come back to later when you’re about to start a new project or get to work on a design that requires type.



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