Can You Do Graphic Design on an iPad?

Many designers are loyal followers of apple products. We see many graphic designers use macs for reasons I explained in this post. So, the next sensible question to ask might be, do graphic designers use iPads?

Graphic designing refers to communicating ideas and messages visually using attractive graphics, images, text, and layout techniques. We know that computers and smartphones do a good job by providing us tools to do exactly that.

But, is it possible to do graphic design on an iPad? The answer is yes it is definitely possible to do graphic design on an iPad as you have a number of graphic design apps to work with on the App Store. However, it does depend on the kind of niche you specialize in as the iPad is not a one-size-fits-all and can be difficult for some graphic designers to utilize based on what they are using it for.

Should You Get an iPad for Graphic Designing?

Since we know that it is possible to use an iPad for graphic designing the next thing to ask yourself is should you? Because iPads can be a costly investment, especially for design students on a tight budget. For some graphic designers, the iPad is an essential part of their overall workflow as it allows them to do multiple tasks by hand which they would rather do with a mouse or keyboard.

What you specialize in also has a great impact on your decision to using an iPad as there are some niches where an iPad would benefit you greatly and some where it might just not be a worthwhile investment.

Who Should Use an iPad for Graphic Design

Graphic design is a broad term for a variety of fields so below I’ve highlighted some niches where an iPad would be beneficial:

  • Illustration – The most popular choice for illustration is an iPad Pro and many illustrators can’t imagine working without one. It’s much better to illustrate with hand using the Apple pencil combined with the iPad than drawing a picture, taking a photo, sending it your laptop, and tracing over it in Illustrator.
  • Animation – Animators need to have a good grip on drawing pictures consistently accurate and having an iPad helps them do just that. Working on a computer with a mouse and keyboard can be a nightmare as you would just tail behind the competition due to being inconsistent.
  • Logo designing – Apps such as Vectornator and Affinity Designer have added great functionality for logo designers making it possible to create stunning logos with your Apple pencil and iPad.

Including these three primary niches where the iPad dominates it is also possible to use the iPad for tasks such as lettering, marking, and typography – all which are essential to graphic design.

Disadvantages of using an iPad for Graphic Designing

The iPad can prove to be a great tool for graphic designing if you use it in the right way but there are some downsides to using it for professional graphic design work.

Firstly, it’s not as strong as a laptop or desktop computer. The iPad can cost a lot no matter which version you choose and getting a powerful laptop might be a much better investment as it would provide you with a faster RAM, processor, and more space in the same price.

Even though I think the iPad is irreplaceable for high-quality illustration and animation work the iPad isn’t as important as you might think for basic graphic design tasks such as, sketching, note taking, and making layout/compositions.

These things can be done even with a pad of paper and might be better when creating rough concepts for your ideas as you can jot them down faster on a piece of paper than an iPad. However, if most of your sketches need to be well-crafted and are much more complex than simple shapes an iPad might be great for you.


It is possible to do graphic design on an iPad as there are many graphic design apps on the app store that provide you with the necessary tools. The most popular iPad amongst designers is the 12.9 inch iPad Pro which is the industry-standard due to its sharp colorful display and support for the second-gen Apple pencil.

Whether or not you should get an iPad for graphic design comes down to personal preference and budget. If you have the budget to buy a powerful computer and don’t do a lot of illustration work the iPad might not be a worthwhile iinvestemtn but for the most part the iPad will treat you good.

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