5 Must have design apps on new iPad Pro for designers

This is all about the apps that I’ve downloaded to my iPad pro that useful designs like logo design, hand lettering and more. If you saw the review of the iPad pro that I posted a few days ago you’ll see that I am pretty impressed extremely good point for an artist.

You didn’t have to spend another $100 on another Apple pencil, you just had to put in your old one and it worked brilliantly and it’s super quick, the screen looks amazing especially for artists.

1. Procreate

Procreate is basically like an illustration app on the App Store, it goes for about six pounds or ten dollars or six dollars I’m not too sure in dollars it is designed so you can draw on it and create given things, it’s kind of like Photoshop but without some of the tools (that’s there on purpose), the workflow of procreation or creating drawing you can create professional work and professional drawings and paintings within procreate you can change your brushes, you can buy brushes, you can make brushes, you can use them all and it’s all basically powered by brushes.

This means that I’m able to create a specific calligraphy brush without buying, but just spending the time creating the shape and actually putting it on the iPad. The great thing about procreate is that it’s so cheap, it’s a one-time buy, it’s so fluid and there’s not many bugs in it, it is so quick when you’re drawing, it feels like you’re drawing on paper especially now with the new updated 120 Hertz screen, you’re able to draw a landscape or portrait and it works great the same way when you use your Apple pencil.

It works really well and you can create good calligraphy work on there and some of the work that you do create looks like you’ve actually created it on paper, in real life physically not digitally you’re able to record your screen and procreate as well and do a live broadcast.

Another cool feature that I think that by far the best feature of our procreate is its stability, while the app does crash sometimes don’t get me wrong especially when you’re loading that large of files such as an a4 sheet of paper at 600 dpi, it will crash sometimes but in the new iPad pro it seems a lot more fluid and it doesn’t crash nearly as often.

I think the most amazing part about procreate is that I can take what I’ve done and beats my phone almost straight away, it’s kind of like Photoshop but I just send it to my phone and to send onto Instagram I can take pictures and edit them in there I can also go ahead and create a brush for a specific style of art or I can just create a forehand lettered piece, I have options in there to create different grids and stuff like that my only gripe about procreate is that they don’t have rulers or grids.

2. Photoshop Sketch

My second app that I downloaded and the one that I mostly use is Photoshop sketch if you know Photoshop you’ll know that it’s literally industry standard of photo manipulation and painting on the computer. Adobe released a product all that debit income slide and when the Apple pencil evolved from basically styluses coming to the market then they updated Photoshop sketch so you can now bring in your Photoshop brushes your favorite brushes into Photoshop sketch and have it on the go.

One of my favorite things I love about sketch is the fact that I can have rulers and different shapes to reference from one drawing that all look like guides, now as a hand measuring artists or a logo designer this is invaluable to me because those rules all the time to mark out where I’m going with my letterforms or trying to get that perfect line or curve with my mobile design.

Having these shapes and been able to draw on them is great, one of the major drawbacks about Photoshop sketch is that it just doesn’t work as well as procreate and that’s not because Photoshop is bad it’s just because procreate is a lot more streamlined to what I’m doing.

It’s a free app, but you have to have an Adobe account to get in there which is also free. it’s a free app for drawing and you can do some amazing things, you can link it up to your Behance, you can also send your work like that into Photoshop or illustrator by the click of a button, but I must say having the rulers and the ability to sort of composite what you’re doing beforehand in such an easy way by using rulers and shapes is the main reason why I have it on my iPad.

I find myself normally starting sketches in Photoshop sketch and then bringing it to procreate once I’ve mapped out everything and I have a layout, if we’re doing a logo design however I normally use Photoshop sketch to bring in the more finer details for the curves because you have French curves you have the circle squares and you also have a ruler setting and you can put it to any angle.

3. Notability

Notability is an app for note-taking and it’s really simple, the app does cost you around 10 pounds of you from UK not too sure how much that is in dollars but the app is actually really good, I bought it a few weeks ago and I’ve been using it to take notes of my business.

I do bullet journaling which basically is a loved way of journaling my day to day life, what I feel what I need to do and my thoughts and feelings, notability can be synced through the iCloud to my iPhone and other devices that I’ve had which is really invaluable.

If we’ve taken a note on my iPad then I can go ahead and bring it to my phone, I must say the greatest thing about notability is the fact that I can literally write whatever I want in titles or I can draw notes down so I can annotate it or I can actually write down my notes which is what I do.

I like to write notes down and not type them because I spend most of the day typing writing for me is a lot better not just my hand lettering artist but just because I feel more of a connection to what to write and it’s a lot more comfortable than using the keyboard especially when you type like thirty thousand characters a day.

Notability is great, it is highly priced but you’re able to organize all your notes into journals, inside notes, ability upload it to the iCloud and you’ve got them all there I would say if you’re a college student you take notes or someone who just takes notes at like whether it’s at your church or whether it’s at university or wherever, if you take notes notability will actually help your workflow, increase it because you’re not only writing notes you can take pictures and put the pictures in there and you can have your text walk around it, you can also record what’s been saved through the microphone or the dictation function and you’re able to record the whole thing to go back to take further notes if you need to.

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This is great for meetings and I do it often when I have meetings with different people or whether I’m just like spewing my thoughts out to a piece of paper.

4.Affinity photo

Affinity photo is like Photoshop on the Mac, it is not as good at as Photoshop, I tried it it is not got the full charge to that, I liked Photoshop a lot of people say it’s better than Photoshop but I don’t think it is. I think it’s a great alternative but it’s not better.

Something that is better in affinity photo for iPad if you watch the conference that Apple held announcing the new iPad pro then you’ll see that some guy in there was actually showing the new affinity photo on outside and how powerful it was.

Affinity photo is a photo editing software just like Photoshop with all the functionality on your iPad so you don’t need a Wacom Cintiq or you don’t need the azure pod studio to connect to Photoshop on your computer, you can do it on the go you’re able to choose layers of brushes, create brushes, you also have vector tools inside there like the pencil which is amazing and it’s it’s sport vector as well which blows my mind.

But affinity photo hasn’t been marketed towards someone like me who’s a handling artist or illustrator, it’s been marketed towards people who want to manipulate photos which it does very well but there are so many functionality parts inside of affinity photo that you can use illustration.

Another thing I love about affinity photo is the amount of tools and functionality you have inside of it, there are so many different tools, you have the layer panels, you can make brushes, you can import Photoshop brushes even if they don’t work just as well, but you can import them in you nearly have all the functions of Photoshop in there, as so this is invaluable to anyone in this photo editing for a job or sort of he just takes Instagram pictures and wants to edit them on the fly.

For hand lettering artist this app is great but it’s not ready, it can be used to illustrate and it looks great but I found that it just doesn’t have the speediness the nippiness that procreate has, one thing I love about procreate is the fact that it’s as smooth and you’re working on it and everything on there is designed for an illustrator so you know where your layers are, you know where your next brushes are, you know where your razor is.

In this you have to choose between a bunch of different tools on the left hand side and you’ve got your layer panels on the right hand side there’s a lots of going on that you don’t want to have really if you’re someone who’s just illustrating something on the iPad there’s just a lot on that.

One thing I will say though that I absolutely love about the affinity photo is that it does have a stabilizer there for your brushes so you can create nice calligraphy, I mean literally the amount of control that you have over your brushes is insane.

One thing that I’ve always said about procreate is that I would love more control over my brushes now this is where affinity photo comes in, you can create whatever brush you want literally, they’ll all be unique, every year you can edit about a brush, but whatever it is, the streamline or whatever you have literally a curves monitor there where you can change the curves which is incredibly good, this is something that I’ve wanted for such a long time in procreate.

5. Astro pod studio

You’ve probably heard of Astro pod, basically turns your iPad into a Wacom Cintiq, control your computer through Photoshop or illustrator on your iPad so it treats it just like a screen to tablet as basically it means it’s really quick at responding to the computer and you can do it over Wi-Fi or you can do it over the actual cable the lightning cable into your PC which makes it a bit quicker as your pad was amazing.

The problem with it at first was that it was a bit slow and also it sort of pixelated whenever I used it, and this is intentional to make sure that the actual app wasn’t slowing down or the connection wasn’t slowing down whilst you were drawing, at start of the year Astro pad released a new version of the Ashford lineup called a Chappell studio and this is for creative professionals and you pay seven pounds a month, but you pay tax and Parliament for this and basically lot quicker and a lot more functional, you can do more with it.

I use this to do some of my hand lettering in Photoshop especially when I’m using tiles brushes and if you’re a digital painter you’ll know about that but I use cows brushes when I’m doing commission pieces as well or when I’m just doing any sort of painting and whether it’s letterforms or not.

The great thing about Astro pad is that you’re paying seven pounds a month to not buy a Cintiq if you already have an iPad if you have an iPad pro with an Apple pencil I can’t recommend as your pad to do enough it is so nice to have the ability to draw straight in Photoshop and get the full functionality that we’re looking for and obviously you don’t need to be connected to the computer to do this, it works super fast.

You can choose the layers that you have and you have the full functionality of Photoshop in front of you as well as some hot key commands on the screen, there it is super quick and this sort of takes the need of having an on-screen tablet away from me if I have an iPad I can draw at my office on Photoshop if I want to and it’s really simple you just download an app on your computer and open it up when you want to use it then the same with your iPads but you can use this anywhere that’s the thing you can use the iPad in your office you can use it outside use whatever and all these different apps help you with it.

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