9 Must Have iPad Apps for Graphic Designers

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Creative types are always finding inspiration on the go. With improving technologies, the feats that graphic designers can carry out on iPads are increasingly impressive. Artists can now work anywhere with virtual mediums for brainstorming, designing, and posting directly to the online platform of their choice from a device like the iPad Air with retina display. Let these slick apps help you produce artwork seemingly out of nowhere and without hours spent at your desk. You’ll be the envy of your artistic friends.

Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

If working in vector-based illustration is your thing, then you can use your stylus (or finger) to start new projects in Adobe Ideas. The app features tools similar to Illustrator for producing excellent hard-line digital illustrations. Even better? You can save projects to your Creative Cloud and open them later on your desktop to refine them in Illustrator. Ideas is a free app that works on iOS 5.1 or later on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Quark DesignPad

Quark DesignPad

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

Build layouts for posters, postcards, invitations, flyers, brochures, newsletters, advertisements, and much more for free on Quark DesignPad. With features similar to Quark or InDesign, Quark DesignPad provides simple layout tools for streamlined projects on the iPad. The app allows designers to work remotely or on the sly during meetings. Pay an extra $9.99 for the Pro Feature Pack, which includes others tools like AirPrint, the ability to export PDF files, and Dropbox support.

Paper

Paper

Images via iTunes.Apple.com

FiftyThree earned a 2012 App of the Year award for their design of Paper. It’s beautiful and—better yet—it’s free. Create diagrams, illustrations, notes, or sketches, and then share them with friends on social media.

FontBook

FontBook

At the reasonable price of $4.99, designers can access fonts useful for creating professional designs that require more than the average in-app fonts. FontBook allows you to browse fonts by Class, Designer, Foundry, Year, or Name, if you have a specific font in mind, or search by genre, similarity, popularity, or stylistic period if you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for.

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Adobe Photoshop Touch

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

Ready to really have control over your images before you post them? Adobe Photoshop Touch allows you to adjust layers, combine images, and apply professional effects remotely at just $9.99. You can upload your images to iCloud Photo Stream and save them at high resolutions for professional design jobs, sharing, or future editing.

Inkist

Inkist

Image via inki.st

Draw, blend, adjust opacity, select a new color, and draw some more. Inkist gives you the ability to finish beautiful illustrations on your iPad and then export to PSD (Photoshop) files for editing at a later date in a different Adobe program. The app offers Stylus pressure sensitivity so artists have greater control over their detail. The app is free for a limited time, so don’t wait to try it out on your iPad.

Sketchbook Pro

Sketchbook Pro

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

This drawing app features 15 preset brushes and up to three layers for building artwork. Use photos for backdrops, and choose from a full color wheel of RGB color swatches in this free app. Sketchbook Pro is compatible with iCloud and features more brush sets as in-app upgrades.

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

Layers, brushes, and colors, oh my! This free app is a designer’s dream for quick sketches, fleshing out ideas, and producing quirky illustrations. The Pro Version is available for $4.99, and more layers are available for $1.99 (this upgrade is not included in the Pro Version purchase).

Inspire Pro

Inspire Pro

Image via iTunes.Apple.com

With 60 brushes emulating oil paint, airbrush, graphite, wax crayon, marker, and basic shapes, you can produce beautiful images as an amateur or pro artist. The app costs $9.99 and offers additional in-app purchases for other brush sets.

With mobile design apps, artists can now take their virtual design tools everywhere they go. From inexpensive to completely free, there is no reason you shouldn’t deck out your iPad with great tools for creating projects. These tools are perfect for a quick social share or capturing an idea before it escapes you.

The Design Work

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