12 Best iPad Applications for Designers

Everyone in the cyberworld knows the news about Steve Jobs having resigned as CEO of Apple. He will be missed, for he surely left a legacy, making Apple one of the best brands of the century. The iPad is one of the last innovations he introduced to the world.

The iPad was initially met with much skepticism and mocking, but now there is no doubt that this is one of the best, most ingenius gadgets of the 21st century. It’s handy and lightweight, thus it’s so easy to carry around anywhere. This makes us, as designers, more efficient and maybe more creative with our work.

But there are literally thousands of apps available in the Apple Store–how do you separate the treasures from the garbage? Or the ‘needs’ from the ‘wants’? It’s hard to choose applications because the options are many–perhaps too many. Thus, we make things easier for you by coming up with this list, or the top iPad applications for designers and creatives. Here they are:

1. A Digital Drawing Pad

A digital Drawing Pad allows you to draw with your iPad when you need to illustrate something and you don’t have pen and paper on hand. It’s a faster method of drawing, and best of all you can erase them in a click or tap, so you’re saving paper and ink at the same time.

Designers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a digital drawing pad application. They are great for presentations, design studies, product concept designs, illustrations, storyboards, and more. A digital sketchbook iPad app is a must-have for architects, digital artists, interior designers, students, professionals and entrepreneurs. There are plenty of sketchbook apps for designers to use, such as:

Adobe has long been a trusted brand for those of the creative field. It impresses us again by introducing Adobe Ideas, a handy tool for drawing and sketching on your Apple iPad. It’s a perfect app to sync with other Adobe programs like Photoshop and Illustrator.

A great application for painters, artists, or even just for people that are feeling artistic. You can create different effects and rendering from various art mediums such as pencil, oil, watercolor, pastel and more.

2. Quick Sketchpad

Sometimes, you don’t need a heavy application with plenty of features to perform a task. If you need a light and fast app just to illustrate diagrams, a quick map sketch, or fast note taking, there are iPad apps that can do that for you.

Let’s start with a personal favorite: Penultimate. Think of it as the digital version of a Moleskin notebook. The movement of the pen is so fluid and flexible, it feels like you’re really writing on paper. Take important notes, sketches, diagrams or that next great idea. It simulates your own handwriting and drawing style so accurately. It can now even import images into your digital notebook.
It’s beautiful, and it only costs 99 cents.
Jot is an ultra-simple application–it’s simple and fast, where you can sketch your ideas and jot notes whenever and wherever. You can then save and share them through e-mail, or even show them online in real time via Live Sharing.
Another lite app that’s designed to create quick notes and fun doodles during class. To create a new page, just tap the page curl on the bottom right corner and it will change papers.

5. Vector Drawing Tool

Vector based illustrations and technical drawings are sometimes needed or preferred over rasterized drawings. Because vector images are mathematically defined rather than pixel-defined, they can be scaled down or enlarged no matter what the size without any loss of quality. Here are some apps for vector drawing capabilities perfect for beginners and pros alike.

iDraw has had plenty of rave reviews, often said to be among the best vector-based drawing pads for the iPad. iDraw has all the tools to create technical illustrations and drawings.
Powerful iPad app to create vector based drawings, sketches and diagrams. Save them as PDF, JPG or PNG and share them online. Features include: easy shape tools, custom path creation & modification, gradient effects and boolean operations.

6. Font Tools

Finally, a font creator for the iPad. Because of the touch interface, it makes font editor a lot faster and easier. After creating your own typography you can convert it to TTF file and can be used in all types of applications such as Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, and even share it on your website as web font.

7. Website Tools

Be updated with your latest stats whenever, wherever you are. There are many different stat updaters for your various accounts: your blogs, social networking sites, Google ads, Youtube videos, just to name a few.

Ego is a web stats application-in-one that can support Google Analytics, Squarespace, Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo, FeedBurner and Ember.

An awesome iPad app for Google Analytics, giving reports of their web traffic, referring URLs and multiple metrics. The app can handle multiple accounts.

iMockUps is powerful and well thought of. its primary function is to create draft wireframes for web sites and apps. It can make wireframes faster and easier, taking advantage of iPad’s touchscreen device. A must have iPad app for web designers and developers.

Rachel Arandilla

Rachel Arandilla is a curious subject -- she appreciates things that are quirky & clever. She loves spontaneity and adventure. She is a carefree soul, has a deep love for travel, culture and languages. And she's beginning to wonder she keeps on referring to herself in third person perspective.

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  1. Yalta says

    I didn’t know about iFontMaker! It’s very helpfull program and I glad for catch this site.
    Now I will visit it more often.

  2. says

    Hey Rachel,
    Awesome article of applications for designers! I particularly liked the Artist Touch and Font Tools which I intend to purchase right away. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Kerr Hutchinson says

    Some great apps I didn’t know about. I also love the mini photoshop app I have on my iPhone.

  4. says

    Tight roundup! I’m fond of ipad apps and I find this list very useful for my bro who is an aspiring designer. I’m sure he will find one that suits his needs here. Thanks for sharing, cheers!

  5. Peter says

    I’ve used both Sketchbook Pro and Sketchpad and can attest that they are great programs. I was anti Apple for a long time, but there really is nothing like the iPad on the market right now.

  6. says

    Excellent list! I see two on this list I’m going to download already (along with the ones I already have): iDraw and Analytics HD.


  7. says

    Sketchbook Pro is an AMAZING iPad app! Believe it or not, I’ve actually been using it more for mocking up website wireframes.

    Can’t wait to try out some of these other apps! Thanks!