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The Best Mobile Graphic Design Apps (2020)

20 February 2020 (updated) - By August van de Ven

Why Use Mobile Graphic Design Apps

When you are on the go and you want to quickly draw something out and create a quick design that came up in your head, it’s always good to have some mobile apps that can take care of that. Mobile apps made for graphic design have become way better over to years and can even be used as a substitute to desktop software in some cases.

Most professional designers these days, work, primarily, on a desktop computer or laptop. The software that designers have used over the years has remained unchanged for a long time. Most designers would just use the suite of Adobe programs to do all of their work in. In the past few years, however, a lot of new software has appeared on the market is very much competing with the software of Adobe and sometimes is even found to be better than Adobe’s products. Examples of this are the interface design app called ‘Sketch’ and all the ‘Affinity’ apps for Mac. Besides desktop apps, mobile apps seem to have been developing even faster. Before, it was only possible to make a few simple sketches or drawings on your mobile devices. Now, however, some artists are completely relying on mobile apps like ProCreate. Apps that deliver something which isn’t possible to do on a desktop computer or a laptop. Here is a list of some of these apps that you can use to design on your smartphone or tablet or just practice while you’re on the go.

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Canva

Canva is already well known to many amateur designers with its destop web application. For professionals, however, it's very basic. You choose your designs from a template after which you can edit text and add or remove select elements. If you want to quickly create a prototype or if you want to quickly share something on social media, this app works great and this is probably the use case it was mostly made for.

Sign up for Canva: Canva.com

Infinite Design

This app is one of the earliest apps that focused primarily on design and is arguably one of the best. You can use this app to create vector images and it has an incredibly wide selection of tools you can use. The app has its own version of the pen tool like Photoshop and Illustrator and has an infinite canvas and even supports layers. It’s an intuitive layout and they even let you work on files like SVGs by importing them.

Adobe Illustrator Draw

Illustrator draw is a great option for you if you are looking for an app to draw vector illustrations. It’s quite simple compared to apps like Infinite Design but as a mobile alternative to illustrator, it’s great if you want to do some drawing on the go. If you have Illustrator on your computer, you can even send it directly from the mobile app to illustrator on your computer which is quite a useful feature if you use illustrator a lot. I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than illustrations though, such as interface or logo design. It’s not really made for those use cases.

Sketchbook

Sketchbook is one of the best apps for drawing and painting. It has an incredible amount of features, brushes, and pencils. It supports very detailed illustrations and drawing but also works great for quick sketches. The app was made by Autodesk who make various other software for and is a well-respected publisher just like Adobe, in the creative world.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

Just like illustrator draw, this app by Adobe is a simple way to draw on your mobile phone or tablet. The benefit is however that because it is made by Adobe, it integrates seamlessly with the other Adobe products which means that you can send it to Photoshop and post it on Behance with just one tap.

Infinite Painter

Made by the same people that made Infinite Design, this app is just like Infinite Design but has a little more focus on the painting side. This means more Brushes and a few more options that are helpful to painters and people who like to draw.

Adobe Spark Post

This design app is much like canva in the way you create designs from templates and how it’s focused on the ability to share them quickly and easily. Spark Post even allows you to create simple animations for them to be shared on social media. They also have features to crop it to the perfect dimensions for every social network, which is a great addition.

Adobe Comp CC

This Adobe app is also fairly simple. It’s less focused on the masses however and more towards designers that want to quickly prototype a design with simple functions like text, shapes, and images. Not much more. Again, the benefit of it being an Adobe product is that it works great with other Adobe products.

Adobe Photoshop Mix

Adobe Photoshop Mix is an easy and simple way to quickly cut out, combine and edit pictures for your designs. Don’t expect it to be anything like to amount of functionality the desktop version of Photoshop has but if you quickly need to put together to images on your phone, this is a good solution.

Adobe Capture CC

Adobe Capture CC isn’t a full design studio app like some of the apps in this list, but it can be very useful if you are looking to create some vector graphics easily. The app lets you turn photos that you captured on your phone, into vector graphics that you can use in Illustrator or Photoshop for example. This can be very useful if you are drawing your sketches on paper and want to quickly turn them into a vector graphic so you can finish your work on your computer or continue working on it.

Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches is a very user and beginner-friendly app that is made for sketching, illustrating and drawing. The prides itself on being able to let you create ultra-realistic drawings and illustrations. While the app is made for sketching and drawing, it can still be very useful for graphic designers. Graphic design does involve a lot of sketching after all.