App for Graphic Design on iOS

We just picked up an iPad for my daughter for Christmas. She is loves drawing so we are looking at apps for graphic design and drawing on iOS. Any suggestions out there?


Procreate for pixel based drawing is highly recommended by anyone that does drawing on the iPad, for vector drawing affinity designer is supposed to be good, there’s also Vectornator which is free.

@kreestuh may have some recommendations for apps she’s tested.

Before I recommend any apps, I would recommend finding a matte screen protector that is designed to make the glass less glassy as this is usually the biggest issue for people drawing on iPads (aside from easily moving content from iPad to Desktop).

Apps (in no particular order):

  • Affinity Designer
  • Pixelmator
  • Procreate
  • Animation Desk
  • Pigment
  • Concepts
  • Paper
  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch
  • Zen Brush 2

Only thing to keep in mind is those screen protectors will diminish the colour and brightness of the screen. It does depend on what you prefer.

One thing I suppose to consider is the age and skill level of the individual. The reason I mentioned the screen protector was most of the artists I follow and listen to on podcasts say they are necessary (if using an iPad, opposed to something like a Wacom Cintiq), though most either love or hate the iPad depending on the type of art they do.

I use Affinity Designer on Windows in Vector and Pixel mode.
Works for all the ideas I wanted to try out.

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For drawing, I have nothing but good things to say about Procreate. I came from using a Wacom tablet on PC with Krita, though honestly, outside of the price, Procreate is probably better. It’s about 10 bucks on the app store though, so still pretty cheap.

I haven’t found any great design programs yet, mainly because of the lack of text tools. Afaik you can’t install a custom font on the iPad without using a third party app (which is ridiculous), but there may be some options out there I’m not aware of yet.


I believe some of the apps do, affinity designer and vectornator for example allow you to import fonts. but there’s no central font management on iOS i don’t think.

Another vouch for procreate.