14 Free iPhone and iPad Apps for Designers

14 Free iPhone and iPad Apps for Designers

Creative professionals, including designers, artists, and musicians, often embrace touchscreen technology early on. iPhones and iPads, therefore, hold particular appeal for this demographic, who pioneer innovative ways to utilize such devices beyond mere media consumption. Consequently, developers have swiftly responded to this market demand by crafting a plethora of creativity-oriented apps. For designers seeking to streamline and enhance their creative processes, here are several iOS apps worth exploring:

Ideas and Inspirations

Ideas form the core of a designer’s essence. Yet, these sparks of brilliance seldom emerge ex nihilo. Instead, they often stem from preexisting concepts. This penchant for seeking inspiration explains why designers frequently peruse the works of others.

Today, sourcing, organizing, and cataloging ideas has become more accessible than ever, courtesy of the internet, social media, and society’s newfound penchant for ubiquitous sharing. With a simple search, you can unearth a plethora of references to fuel your creative process. Alternatively, platforms like YouTube or your designer acquaintances’ Facebook profiles offer ample inspiration. However, one platform stands out for its focus on idea curation: Pinterest (free).

Pinterest, a visual bookmarking tool, aids in discovering and saving creative ideas. It’s utilized for project planning, creative inspiration, hobby exploration, travel aspirations, and style discovery.

A distinguishing aspect of Pinterest is its forward-looking nature compared to other social media platforms that primarily focus on memory preservation.

Alternative sources for idea generation include artists’ portfolio sites. Despite the abundance of irrelevant content, Instagram (free) harbors potential as an idea repository, contingent on adept hashtag usage. Below are Instagram tips to optimize your search.


Living a designer’s life involves building a portfolio to showcase talent to clients and satisfy ego. Portfolio sites are essential, and there are websites with iOS apps.

One example is Behance (free), designed for professional artists. It has strict rules and high standards, ensuring top-notch showcases.

For general art enthusiasts and artists, deviantART (free) is valuable. This large online art community, one of the oldest, serves as a great entry point for beginners, though some find it overcrowded.

Design Tools and Templates

Apple has shown that crafting beauty swiftly is achievable with ready-made templates. Quality templates serve as ideal starting points for achieving excellent outcomes rapidly. However, occasions arise when original creation is necessary. The essence lies in discovering suitable creation tools, coupled with a designer’s ingenuity, leading to boundless possibilities. The app store hosts numerous design tools and templates, among which:

1. Logo Foundry

This app facilitates swift logo creation. You can add, edit, and customize shapes, images, and text. Adjust fonts, colors, rotation, size, and other basic editing features. Ideal for spontaneous logo design needs. While not primary for professional logo designers, it serves well for quick logo sketches or capturing ideas.

14 Free iPhone and iPad Apps for Designers

2. ColorSchemer

A designer understands the significance of a color palette. Beyond finding matching colors, it serves as a rich source of inspiration and exploration. ColorSchemer aggregates millions of palettes from the COLORlovers community, enabling you to contribute, appreciate, and critique. Notably, the app allows for the creation of palettes directly from the camera or photo library.

3. Adobe Post

The tagline for Adobe Post is “a fun and fast way for anyone to create beautiful social graphics.” Adobe means anything from inspirational quotes to promotional banners to images for blog articles. Adobe Post provides users with editable templates to start quickly. Users can also start from scratch, insert an image, and add words and shapes. Adobe Post ensures that words and shapes are aligned and presented beautifully.

4. Canva

This iPad-only graphic designing app offers over one million layouts, stock photographs, and illustrations for creating your final design. Starting from a blank canvas is also an option. Canva shares similarities with Adobe Post but includes additional photo editing features. Focusing exclusively on iPad usage places this app within the realm of more professional design tools, although it currently lacks the capabilities to fully rival its desktop counterpart.

5. Other Drawing Tools

Digital graphic design inevitably involves drawing tools, a topic we’ve explored previously. For more details, refer to our earlier article.

Fontbook (US$ 4.99) is another notable app for designers working extensively with fonts. Unfortunately, it is not available for free.

Discover More

Learning spans a lifetime, offering perpetual discovery. Each day presents fresh opportunities for growth. This pursuit also serves as an investment, guiding us toward enriched careers and commensurate compensation. Fortunately, we reside in an era defined by information accessibility. The internet serves as an unparalleled repository of knowledge, facilitating limitless exploration. YouTube stands as a primary conduit for online education, boasting a vast array of instructional videos covering virtually every conceivable subject, all freely accessible.

For those seeking direct engagement with subject matter experts, TED offers an invaluable platform. This global forum provides luminaries with a stage to impart their wisdom, recount experiences, and share insights on subjects within their purview. Though concise, each presentation proves profoundly impactful, stirring inspiration within its viewers.

Explore learning resources like Udemy and Lynda, both offering free downloads. While the apps are free, courses come at a cost. Udemy occasionally provides free limited-time courses, while Lynda offers a 2-week trial. Courses are curated by knowledgeable contributors.


Countless other designer apps exist, catering directly to design or simplifying a designer’s life. For instance, consider personal finance management apps such as PayPal and Wally.

Are you a designer using iOS apps for career support? Share your preferred apps in the comments.