We talk a lot about Procreate for the iPad and it’s our go-to tool for digital lettering. But maybe you don’t have an iPad, or you’re looking for alternatives to Procreate.
There are a number of other options out there that have varying levels of abilities and features. Of course, Procreate will always be our go-to choice, but we wanted to give you some other apps that can be used for digital art.
Note that the information you’ll find here in this article is based on research and gathered from others’ reviews; we haven’t used these apps unless we’ve specifically noted it.
Lettering and Drawing
Adobe Sketch – You have a lot of drawing options when it comes to this app, along with loads of brush customizations. It also integrates with Illustrator and Photoshop so you can do some of the actions Procreate offers within its system. Sketch also has built-in 3D options and the option to get feedback from other users. This is a good option if you’re used to Photoshop. (iOS and Android)
Autodesk SketchBook – This free app allows you to draw from scratch or scan paper-and-pencil sketches into a file ready to tweak and finish. The user interface is very clean so you can push it out of the way when you’re in design mode. It also allows you to export your work in a number of different file types, including layered PSDs. (iOS and Android)
Adobe Fresco – Adobe Fresco is another viable alternative to Procreate. projects automatically sync to the cloud so you can take your project anywhere, even to your desktop computer. You have access to a huge range of brush styles and drawing experiences. (iOS and Android)
Flow by Moleskine – Built for creatives, this app offers the ability of creating on different “paper” types. Users can create drawings, colorful doodles and notes with unlimited document width. There’s also an option to make your own drawing tools so you can really make projects your own. (iOS only)
Adobe Illustrator – Illustrator used to only be available on the computer, but coming in 2020 is an app that you can take with you everywhere. Drop shadows to blurs and freeform gradients, you’ll be able to use Illustrator for some digital lettering projects and a host of drawing and vector-based art. You can use Illustrator on your iPad or on an Android device like the Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet (paired with the Surface Pen).
Adobe Capture – With Capture, you can easily turn your drawing or lettering project into a vector image. From there, you’ll want to import it into Illustrator to clean it up, resize it or use any of the other Illustrator features to finalize the project. (iOS and Android)
Inkpad – If you’re looking for a good vector art illustrator alternative to Procreate, this app has all the essentials needed to create drawings and text on the iPad–either freehand or on preexisting files. (iOS and Android)
Photo Layers – This Android-enabled app doesn’t allow you to create digital letters, however you can take a lettering project you’ve created, load it into the app, remove the background and then overlay it on top of an image. Same effect, different process. In watching a tutorial on this, we noticed there are many opportunities for leaving some background behind so this isn’t ideal for really high-quality projects. (iOS only)
Again, we stand by our conviction that Procreate is the best option out there for creatives who want to learn digital lettering. Find out why in these articles:
When you’re ready to make the switch, we recommend taking our free intro to iPad lettering workshop.