Top 10 Graphic Design Apps for the iPad

Top 10 Graphic Design Apps for the iPad

Graphic Design has come a long way since the days of paint and canvas, and powerful graphics computers are becoming easier and easier to get a hold of. On top of this, broadband Internet access is making it increasingly possible to do your design work on the go, from any location, with a few excellent graphic design apps.

Freeform is an essential tool for any graphic designer who needs to work with vectors. Sometimes all you need is a little vector tool to mock up an idea on the move. Not only is it cheap, but it supports multi-touch gestures you’re used to using on a tablet PC. The days of drawing on napkins are over with Freeform on your tablet.

SketchPad HD is the replacement of bulky notebooks and clusters of pens, pencils, and drawing tools. It simulates a number of different papers and writing tools, as well as offering a keyboard for typing if you need clarity more than you need a handwritten feel. Take notes, make sketches, and scribble to your heart’s content.

PhotoPad by Zagg does everything for photo manipulation that you would want Photoshop to do, but it does it on your iPad. Use basic functions like rotation and cropping, or take advantage of the advanced features like color levels, contrast, and saturation. The best part is, it’sfree.

Moodboard Pro is essentially a bulletin board, only it’s digital. Use it to pin up inspiring photos and fragments of text, sketch on it to plan out ideas, and organize your thoughts. Moodboard is the perfect application for keeping that inspiring ‘desk clutter’ feel without carrying your clutter with you.

Brushes App is your digital substitute for paint and canvas. It simulates a number of different brushes with a wide variety of colors, deep zoom, and multiple layers to work with. You can create entire digital works of art and share them in the convenient file format they provide.

Color RGB is an extremely simple app, but can be very useful. Given it’s small size, low cost, and minor footprint, it’s easier to have it and not need it than the other way around. What does it do? It lets you pick a color and find the hex code value of it. Useful for transferring exact colors, translating a color into code, or vice versa.

Layers Pro is about as robust a graphics program as you’ll find in the iPad app store. It manages layers, brushes, colors, and tools in much the same way as Photoshop does. In fact, it’s a very similar program, and it’s available for a very small fee. Definitely worth getting if you only need one program for everything.

Artist’s Touch is an app that works best for newbies and ‘untalented’ artists, according to their site. While it’s powerful for pros, it’s best used for people who just want an artsy painting without all the hassle of learning to paint. All it does is take an existing photo and map it out, and allow you to paint over it to your heart’s desire.

iDraw is less an app and more an entire graphics design suite. It offers all the full features you might expect from Adobe Illustrator. Vector tools, different paper types, shape manipulation, and anything else you could want. The price tag reflects the functionality.

Autodesk SketchBook Mobile is the mobile version of SketchBook Pro and still retains all the features you know and love. It’s perfect for creating and enhancing sketches. Not to mention a slew of intuitive features and interactive elements, including a number of different brushes.

With these excellent apps for the iPad and other tablet devices, you can get your graphic design work done anywhere in a flash. With the ubiquitous access to broadband Internet, you can upload your work on the go no matter where you are. You’ll never be restricted to an office again.

Rachel McAllister