iDesign in Review – Illustrator, baby – baby illustrator!

This magical device that is for consumption only writes all of my reviews, edits my work, and even submits assignments for me. Now, thanks to iDesign, it even offloads some of my dependence on a computer for vector-based design. I say some because, while iDesign is a great app, it won’t replace Illustrator – yet.

Essentially, iDesign works with lines. You can add points, ellipses, colours, fills, and transparencies to end up with end products that look like pictures, but at base, all you ate seeing is a jumble of lines. Thank you, iDesign.

Now, what we get for five hundred pennies is nothing short of a revolution.

There are still some missing items. Gradients are one and polygons and stars, among others, are simplified to a very few options. But I’ll trade those slight oversights anyday for the excellent navigation and compatibility with Adobe Illustrator that we have today.

Thanks to the recent addition of layers, iDesign makes thumbing out simple, but effective designs easy. And for those who use wacom drawing pads to design, the iPad is an easy step. Direct manipulation of design options is intuitive. Of course, without a mouse or stylus to select, some items seem backward – at first. To select an object you’ve created, you must tap and hold. Then you can move, stretch, copy, group, ungroup, delete, and adjust it to the extent of iDesign’s constraints.

The iPad itself, could be considered one of iDesign’s constraints. It does have a wonderful screen, a lot of finger estate, and a speedy enough processor. But, its measly 256MB of memory reminds me of 1998. Still, iDesign runs fine, cramping up only when zooming way out of hosting vey complicated designs. For the icon maker, the outline drawer, and the smiley face lover, the iPad and iDesign are wonderful bedfellows.

The lack of real gradients, shadows, complex reflections and a host of other heavy design elements don’t ruin iDesign. No, this app stands on its own much as a poet’s notepad does. The muse, you see, can be struck whilst on the train, or even at work. iDesign is more than capable as a draft design app, and even stands alone for drawings that don’t need complex graphical elements. Design, export to Illustrator, and finish on another computer. Or, do it all on iDesign – you’ll find either option works.

Perhaps the best part, however, is unrelated to actual design. Rather than adopting throwaway economical thinking, iDesign works for both the iPhone or iPad on the same purchase. That is hats off to universal binaries!

In its present state, there is just nothing major to complain about that isn’t Apple’s fault. iDesign is an easy GRAB.


App Summary
Title: iDesignDeveloper: Samson Lopez
Reviewed Ver:1.3Min OS Req:
Price:$4.99App Size:2.79MB
  • Intuitive elements
  • Great line options
  • Great performance
  • Universal binary
  • No real gradients
  • No masking
  • Panning and selecting is irksome


iDesign Features:

– An unobtrusive icon based visual and context driven user interface
– User interface elements are easy to turn on or off for a full screen board view
– True multitouch, move resize, rotate different shapes side by side
– Unlimited fast and smooth multitouch zoom with sharp and clear images
– Support for custom and unlimited board sizes (upto 1 million units)
– Group and ungroup shapes hierarchically to create complex designs
– Multiple layers to separate designs components – preview, raise, lower, hide
– Design gallery with preview thumbnails to save and store designs
– Shapes – square, rectangle, circle, ellipse, line, polyline, polygons, stars, curve & path tools
– Edit points, convert shapes to path, close shapes, add and remove points
– Advanced path editing options for corner, smooth and symmetric control point movement
– Text insertion with fonts, styles, sizes, paragraph alignments, multilingual, rotate/resize
– Other tools – zoom, rotate, flip, raise, lower, top, bottom
– Grid, Snap to grid and adjustable grid sizes
– Measurement readouts for X, Y, width & height during insert, move & resize
– Property page on double tap for setting all the shape attributes with keyboard input options
– Set a drawing scale of upto 1000 times screen size with four decimal place precision
– Set background image from photo library for tracing/marking
– Copy and paste
– Fill color and pen color swatches with opacity controls, custom RGB mixer
– Stroke width, line style, line caps and corner join styles
– Multiple board sizes, iPhone & iPad screen sizes
– Multilevel Undo/Redo for all edit operations and layer changes
– Undo/Redo individual points and move previous points even while creating multisegment lines and paths
– Incremental autosave for all operations to ensure work is saved at all times
– Export deisgn to photo library
– Export and email design in Hi-Res JPEG/PNG, PDF & SVG directly from the app
– Available as one universal app for iPad, iPhone / iPod Touch
– Share your designs between you iPad, iPhone/iPod and other iDesign users via Email

  • Makoe

    This is amazing app, but number one app for me is Artrage

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