It’s a little like the boy who cried wolf when you hear that the iPad is a professional creative tool. But fellow creatives, times have changed thanks to the efforts of companies like Fiftythree with it’s software tool Paper and a hardware tool they’ve dubbed Pencil. These two innovations are a clear indication that the iPad is genuinely becoming a force in digital drawing and painting and finally ready for prime time. From quick sketches to colour renderings it gives designer’s a way capture visual ideations or to do full presentation ready layouts on the fly.

So let’s do a quick review. Recent editions of the iPad have bristled with hardware capabilities but to really make it a creative powerhouse it is today it has always lacked the necessary professional level software tools required to leverage that horsepower. The promise of releasing that potential has been a bit of a waiting game as professionals rightfully stood on the side lines happily using they’re more powerful desktop based software and hardware tools.


The suggestion that they should or would revise their workflow to include the iPad was mostly a marketers dream. But that has definitely changed. In fact with the latest iOS update from Apple the Paper app will now be able to sense the difference in diameter of the touch device in use including the Pencil tool as well as fingers. That means these tools can deliver a much more life like and natural drawing and painting experience and workflow.

It’s no longer early days for the iPad and it’s great to finally see the arrival of real professional grade tools. As practical evidence that iPad is finally living up to it’s creative potential being joined at the party by professional grade digital drawing and painting tools. I for one can’t wait to get hands on Paper and Pencil and experience the creative flexibility of portable tablet based sketching and painting.





Follow Ted Blanchard on Twitter. Ted Blanchard is a Senior Creative Producer, Art Director and Design Practitioner.