Designers: it’s time to get an iPad. And here is why ...

  The mobile design revolution is here. Imagine getting an assignment to create a design and presentation for new set of headphones 20 minutes before boarding a flight from New York to L.A.. Your boss wants you to present your design as soon as you get off the plane, and you are flying coach. They’ve asked for a basic 3D model, presentation, and a moodboard. You’ve got a MacBook Pro and a small Intuos tablet, but only one seatback tray table. In most cases this would be a problem with the traditional laptop setup. These days however, armed with an iPad, and a few key apps, an assignement like this would be no problem at all for the creative profesional. The iPad is no longer just a fancy “e-reader” or glorified iPhone anymore. Instead it is the 21st century sketchbook, drafting table, canvas, darkroom, whiteboard, moodboard and 3D Modeling station that sits literally at the tips of your fingers. While it ushers in a whole new user experience for creating, it is built on a solid foundation of experience, with the primary goal of many of the apps being to enable designers to go further creatively than they’ve ever been able to before. It literally allows creatives to “think different” and work in different ways than they might have in the past, and this is important because our needs as creatives are more varried and spantanious than they have ever been.


What sets the iPad apart from any other device in the world is the App Store, and the developers behind the Apps. With over 700,000 apps for the iPad these days, the number of fantastic apps made for creative professionals has blossomed over the years and has transformed the value proposition of the iPad. Time, experience, updated OS’s, the cloud and updated hardware has allowed developers to truly understand the iPad experience, and how it can fit in and help a creative workflow. New software that is able to take advantage of old hardware has given new life to older iPads while running beautifully on the lastest generation iPad Air 2’s. The iPad along with it’s App ecosystem has grown up a lot over the years, and this is only the beginning.

It is the combination of mobility, and hardware that are enabling legacy apps to be used in totally new ways. Adobe is a great example. For over 20 years Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator ruled the creative industry on computers. Four years ago Photoshop mobile was a watered down and relatively simple image editor that could be used on the iPad, but the Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 suite of mobile apps is proof that the iPad has become another necessary tool in the design studio. These are no longer “companion” Apps that are limited. Instead apps like Adobe Brush and Adobe Shape augment the Adobe experience by allowing users entirely new ways of creating content never before possible. Making a brush set of wheels from existing cars is now just a few taps away. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1436"]

Demonstration of Paper by 53[/caption] Digital painting and drawing has seen major progress over the years with advanced apps such asCocepts,Procreate

, Sketchbook Pro and Art Rage. Some of these apps take the sketching experience to the next level such as Wacom’sBamboo Paper which works beautifully with Wacom bluetooth enabled pressure sensitive styli, giving a beautiful pencil or pen on apper sketching experience. Taking things further, 53 develped the trifecta of the sketching experience by creating the bluetooth enabled Pencil stylus which works beautifully with Paper, an app that can be used for sketching or visual thinking. On top of being a great drawing app though, Paper has a community layer that allows individuals the ability to share their work and “remix” others works — esentailly making copies of an original work and giving their own take on it. It’s not only fun, but a totally immersive and unique creative experience. Digital sketching has never been better, and the iPad is on it’s way to being the “ultimate sketchbook”.


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Herman Miller Setu Modeled in Umake Beta[/caption] As 2D graphics creation, sketching and photo editing apps have been progressing over the years on the iPad, one area of creation that is relatively new to the iPad is 3D Modeling. Recently UMake announced their beta of the 3D sketching and Modeling app that works exclusively on the iPad. UMake allows users to create in 3D by sketching their ideas in a three dimensional workspace. Fusing the natural pen and paper experience with advanced tools for transforming sketches into 3D models, UMake allows creators to design and share their ideas like never before. In addition, the data made on UMake can be exported for use with more advanced 3D modeling programs like Rhino on the computer. Models created in UMake can be rendered or even 3D printed, and UMake is still only in Beta with a projected release for the end of 2015. 3D modeling has officially come to the iPad, and this is transformative. Four years ago I bought a MacBook Air for my mobile solution. This year, when it came time to look into upgrading I was considering a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. Instead I opted for an iPad Air 2 because the available apps for design and creation on the iPad as well as the portability of the iPad outweighed the pressure sensitive stylus and larger screen of the Cintiq Companion 2. With apps such as Paper, Pixelmator, the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and UMake avaible for the iPad, I know that if it were me boarding that plane, I would be looking forward to a great flight filled with creativity and a sense of satisfaction of being able to tackle such a challenge using only an iPad. The iPad is no longer a cool gadget. It is a true creative tool and belongs in your studio.

Posted on

October 12, 2016