Design Apps For Ipad Pro – Discover our favorite graphic design apps and how you can use them to get your print designs into our newsletter.
While Adobe is a design software giant, other apps are available to help you create stunning works of art. If you prefer working on a tablet (and Photoshop isn’t your thing!), we’ve listed our top options for exporting print-ready files and helpful guides on each.
Design Apps For Ipad Pro
Procreate is one of the most popular graphic design apps out there – and for good reason! Available as a one-time purchase in the App Store, Procreate provides a fast and versatile design experience. With an HD canvas, over 130 brushes and a simple yet intuitive design dashboard, it’s perfect for drawing on the go as well as adding the finishing touches to existing designs.
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Like many design apps, it takes some getting used to. However, it is still a good place for beginners and you can check out their guide for more tips!
First, you need to choose your color. Like many graphic design apps and programs, Procreate works with RGB (Red, Green, Blue) profiles. This is good for online viewing but not good for printing, which requires CMYK. You can set it up before you start designing by selecting New Canvas and then pressing the + button. On the next screen, select ‘Color Profiles’ on the left and then ‘Generic CMYK Color Profiles’.
Important: You should do this before you start designing because you can’t change your color settings later.
With Procreate you can also set the size of your canvas. You can check the exact size you need by looking at our range of moms. style Once you have chosen the size you want, you should add an extra 3mm for the veins on each edge. This will prevent any of your designs from being cut when you cut them. Example: If you are printing an A2 poster (420mm x 594mm) your canvas should be 426 x 600mm.
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Once this is done, make sure to set your resolution to 300dpi (dots per inch) as well. This is one time to keep your art to a high standard.
After you finish your design, you will need to export it as a file format. Correct – in our case PDF. For Procreate, just tap on ‘Action’
You can see a complete tutorial on how to export to PDF on the Procreate website here.
Another popular graphic design app is Affinity Designer. Also available for PC and Mac, this app has all the power of the desktop program but is optimized for the iPad. An inexpensive alternative to similar programs, it is a good starting point for beginners due to its simple features. It is also a popular choice for many designers on a budget. With no application required, it has the ability to create and edit pixel layers as well as over 100 brushes to try out. Affinity Designer is ideal for everything from creating new designs to editing and updating existing images.
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Setting up your file for printing starts with your blank canvas. After opening the app, tap ‘File’ then ‘New’ to set your size. On the right side, enter the size you want and add 3 mm (1/8 inch) for bleeding on each edge. Then make sure to select ‘CMYK’ under ‘Color’ and click ‘Generate’ to start designing.
Once you’ve finished your design, it’s time to export it as a PDF. Just tap ‘File’, ‘Export’ and then select ‘PDF to Print’. Now it is ready to upload.
Top tip: ‘Raster DPI’ should be set to 0 so that it is not rasterized (pixelated) when you export.
One thing that can keep new designers away from Photoshop is the amount of different features it has. Design apps like Pixelmator Pro sacrifice hidden and more difficult features for a smoother editing experience. Although it has clear and vector drawing tools for creating and displaying designs, it is most popular as an image enhancement program. Perfect for a quick fix on the go. Additionally, with its drag and drop support, you can quickly move graphics between other apps as well. This makes it quick and easy to import the images you want to work on.
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Their website also has many free tutorials that cover everything from removing backgrounds to painting the sky in photos.
Start by opening the app and creating a ‘new blank document’. Here you can edit the size of your canvas. Just change the unit to mm and add your size. Don’t forget to add another 3mm for the veins on each edge. If you’re going to use this size multiple times, be sure to save it as a template. You can do this by tapping on ‘File’ then ‘Save as Template’. Then you only need to export your artwork when you have finished designing. To do this, tap ‘File’, ‘Export’ and then select ‘PDF’.
Graphics is a professional graphic design app designed specifically for artists on the go. With an interface similar to Adobe Illustrator, this vector-based program has many useful drawing and editing features. These include brushes, pencils, shapes and text tools. Although it doesn’t have as many features as some of the other apps we’ve listed, it can make for some slick-looking designs when fully utilized. You can add shadow and light effects, and easily change the units and scales for the design. Precisely. Alternatively, you can sit back and stick to the level of the conversion tool to create a beautiful outline.
Originally a desktop program, it incorporates many of these features into its interface. So it’s a good choice if you want to use your iPad with a keyboard and mouse. If not, don’t worry, it still works perfectly on touch screen and can be used with Apple Pencil.
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To set up a new canvas, select ‘File’ then ‘New’. Here you can customize the size and shape of your canvas. Change the units to millimeters and increase your size. Don’t forget to add 3mm extra for bleed on each edge. Now change the ‘Color Mode’ from RGB to CMYK and you are good to start designing. When your design is complete, tap ‘File’, ‘Export’ and select ‘PDF’. Here you can also change your resolution to 300dpi to give your artwork the best quality for printing.
Clip Studio Paint has earned a reputation not only as one of the best Adobe alternatives, but also as one of the most useful drawing apps. Although more expensive than some of its counterparts, you definitely get more bang for your buck! It is not only filled with hundreds of brushes, but each one can be customized by shape, color density and stroke direction. This is on top of the previously shown shapes that include the full range of possible human figures.
While this is certainly effective, it comes at the cost of being a very deep program. So not a good jumping off point for beginners. (Until you
Kind of challenging.) However, if you have some design skills under your belt or are looking for a program with Photoshop’s level of detail and customization, Clip Studio Paint is the choice for you.
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When creating a new canvas, add an extra 3mm for the desired size as well as bleed on each side. Below, you’ll be able to set your resolution to 300dpi and change the ‘Primary Color Display’ to CMYK. If you want to work in RGB first, you can change the color profile later by tapping ‘View’, ‘Color Profile’, then ‘Sample Settings’. Once here, you can select CMYK.
When you have finished your design, it’s time to export it as a PDF for printing. Tap on ‘File’, ‘Export’ and select ‘PDF’ from the drop down menu. When the next window appears, make sure ‘Expression Color’ is set to ‘CMYK’. Then you can press save and your artwork is ready to print.
That’s it for our list of the best graphic design apps. If you want to work more on PC or Mac, check out our top free graphic design software. Or if you ever feel like moving to Adobe in the future, we have a range of free tutorials that you can check out now.
Becca, our home interior designer, loves all things creative. When she’s not designing, you can find her checking out independent cafes in Newcastle or getting her hands dirty with her home renovation.
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