A picture is worth a thousand words, sure. But what about the tools to help you create such pictures? And is it even possible to make informative graphics and illustrations right on your smartphone? Well, you absolutely can. And in this article, we’ll show you some of the best graphic design apps for iPhone and iPad.
Thanks to a few well-made apps, making illustrations on the go is easier than ever. With minimal skill and practice, one can get a quick basic graphic ready on iPhone with these apps. Some apps might also appeal to seasoned graphic designers. So go ahead, and take a look at this list.
1. Canva – Best Overall Graphic Design App
We can unanimously agree that Canva has revolutionized graphic design. Creating a user interface for a task like graphic design is quite a challenge. However, Canva has done a tremendous job in building an intuitive user interface, which is by far the best we have ever come across, in free online software.
Canva has a tonne of free elements and templates for creating graphics. To begin with, you can quickly choose a category, say presentation, poster, logos, or Instagram post (or any other social platform like Facebook). Moreover, you can also create quick animations and videos using ready-made templates too.
Having been Canva users for the last few years, we love the amount of control we have over the elements of a graphic. You can even change the details of existing templates and elements so that you can fine-tune them to blend with the elements that you add.
However, some elements have a watermark in the free version, and purchasing the pro version unlocks that. Additionally, removing the background from the image or resizing the image is also restricted to the pro version. Fortunately, there are no advertisements at all in the free version.
However, one thing that bugged us was the app shows a project collaborator editing long after they have exited the draft, which might interrupt your experience of modifying or creating the graphic.
Overall, we can recommend Canva to anyone and everyone, and we are massive fans ourselves. Besides, the free version is sufficient for most users who want to access basic tools. Hence, you don’t necessarily have to purchase Canva Pro, but it offers good value for money as it is comparatively cheaper than all other apps out there.
Price: Free, Pro Version: $1.99 onwards and $119/year
2. Adobe Express – Powerful Design App From Adobe
Adobe has been a pioneer in developing apps in the field of design. Obviously, they were quick enough to develop a free-to-use direct competitor to Canva called Adobe Spark initially, now renamed Adobe Express. Fortunately, this app also does a pretty good job of making graphic designing easy, and hence, makes it to our list of the best graphic design apps for iPhone and iPad.
Just like Canva, Adobe Express also offers a range of beautiful templates to help you get started with your design. They have templates for social media posts, posters and flyers, logos, and infographics. It also has tools that guide you to perform functions like removing backgrounds, resizing images, and modifying elements on existing templates. Pretty cool, right?
What we really like is that it also comes with effects, filters, and textures that are present in Photoshop. Further, you also get various tools to edit and modify videos too. However, people who already used Adobe Spark might face difficulty as the user interface has been changed, which is a little disappointing because it was simple, user-friendly, and perfect.
There is also a pro version that unlocks all templates, fonts, and stock photo collection and also lets you access Adobe Express on the web too. Given that it’s a trusted brand, we’d recommend buying its premium subscription if your job heavily relies on designing tools.
Price: Free, Pro version: $9.99/month onwards.
3. Pixelcut – Graphic Design App With AI Generator
Pixelcut is one such graphic design app for iPhone which adds an AI art generation tool along with traditional graphic design tools. The design tools are similar to what Canva and Adobe Express have to offer, hence all the basic functions are available along with pre-designed templates and elements for posters, social media posts, and presentations.
However, the AI graphic generation tool needs quite some polishing but gets the job done. Like all AI generators, you need to enter a prompt and wait for your artwork to be generated.
Apart from AI generation, another feature that makes Pixelcut stand out is the background remover and the magic eraser, which worked quite well in our experience, but it seemed to reduce the quality of the image. You also get an animation tool on Pixelcut that’ll help you easily create motion pictures and GIFs of your illustrations.
Pixelcut also allows you to make a website to showcase your work that can be added as a ‘link in bio’ on social media apps. While the free version will suffice for most users, Pixelcut also has a pro version that unlocks all templates, cutouts, and other elements to enhance your graphic design experience.
While the user interface was mostly smooth, a lot of users reported issues related to signing in to the app. Having said that, Pixelcut is mostly stable, and hence is an easy recommendation from our end.
Price: Free, Pro version: $9.99 onwards
4. Design Lab: Graphic Templates – Designing App With Great Editing Tools
Design Lab is another feature-rich graphic design app for iPhone and iPad. While it might not come with a lot of features that stand out, we’re quite impressed by how smoothly this app performed, and how it gets the basics right.
Apart from templates to kickstart your design, this app also gives you a good collection of filters and adjustments to fine-tune your photograph. Further, you also get a powerful text editor that lets you control size, position, and opacity and even curve it and create 3D transformations.
Like Canva, Design Lab also has layer-based editing to help you easily control all the elements of your graphic. However, a few users complained about issues with templates not loading on the mobile network, and the app randomly crashing. So be wary of it!
The free version of the app packs in a good number of templates and features, but purchasing the pro version allows you to unlock full access to the app.
Price: Free, Pro Version: $9.99/month onwards
5. CREATE: Graphic Design + Fonts – Minimal User Interface
All the other graphic design apps for iPhone that feature on this list primarily work on pre-existing templates and elements. However, Create is an app that focuses on giving you full control of your illustrations, as it lets you create graphics from scratch without any templates.
When you start on a blank canvas, you can add shapes and text to begin your illustration. To elaborate further, you can add images from your gallery onto the canvas. Moreover, there are good customization options too when it comes to fonts and the colors of the graphic. Create also offers vector design, which we felt is a good addition.
Keep in mind that this app is targeted mostly at people who’d want to create something of their own rather than using a template, so it might not be very appealing if you consider it as an alternative to apps like Canva.
There is also a pro version of this app, and it lets you save unlimited projects, share editable project files, custom canvas sizes, and also other export options like ‘.pdf’ and ‘.svg’.
Price: Free, Pro Version: $3.99/month onwards
There you have it! This is our list of 5 great graphic design apps for iPhone and iPad that we highly recommend. However, if you have any questions related to the same, you can take a look at our FAQ section below.
FAQs on Graphic Design Apps for iPhone and iPad
The Photos app offers a few tools to annotate, but it is not possible to create illustrations and graphics of high-level detail using the Photos app.
Yes, you can import captured photos in your gallery to Canva.
PNG is a high-quality image format that is the most recommended file extension for an illustration.
Turn Your Ideas Into Graphics With These Apps
Now, go ahead and visualize your ideas with colorful illustrations using these graphic design apps for iPhone and iPad. While there are other popular apps like Paper by WeTransfer and even Autodesk Sketchbook, they focus mainly on sketching rather than designing illustrations, so we were careful enough to pick relevant apps for this list. We hope this helped you make the right choice!
Last updated on 10 November, 2022
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