Top 10 Mac Apps For Artists And Designers

The Mac App Store has some great apps for all you budding artists and designers out there. Whether you’re already established and just need a solid good app to help market your work, or whether you’re a beginner that wants to create some professional looking art and design projects for your business, look no further than our top 10 list to help you get started fast.

SketchBook Express

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Autodesk SketchBook® Express for Mac is a fun and intuitive drawing application. Get a taste of the SketchBook Pro experience with SketchBook Express. Use professional-grade tools and brushes to create and save flattened images to your Mac.

Features:
✓ Streamlined UI
• Gesture-based marking menus for ultra-fast access to tools and commands with a flick of the wrist
• Optimized for pen and tablet-based interaction for a natural drawing experience
• Space Bar invokes a ‘Puck’ to quickly navigate the canvas

✓ High Quality Preset Brushes
• Familiar preset tools, including pencils markers, airbrushes, erasers, flood fill tools, blur, and sharpen brushes
• Draw modes to quickly create circles, lines, rectangles

✓Basic layers
• Use 6 layers to build up drawings before you save (Saving of layers requires SketchBook Pro)

✓Import Your Own Images
• Drag and drop or import images into a layer

✓Quick cropping tool

Free/Download

Art Directors Toolkit

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Includes licensed data of your favorite color libraries, many with CMYK info:

PANTONE® solid coated, PANTONE® solid uncoated, PANTONE® Goe™ coated and PANTONE® Goe™ uncoated.

Art Directors Toolkit (ADT) is the "Designer’s On-screen Toolset" for Artists and Designers working with digital media. Always a one-click-away companion dedicated to speeding up the design process, ADT works almost by stealth whether using Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, QuarkXpress, Dreamweaver or any tool to create digital media and websites. No more cluttering your desk or desktop with stickies, swatch books, calculators and searches. ADT provides all of the obscure calculations and information designers need on a daily basis.

$19.99/Download

Artboard

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Artboard, the simple and direct vector drawing software, has everything to create your own graphics and illustrations.

Artboard delivers with hundreds of awesome styles and fully editable clip art, including speech bubbles, shiny buttons, maps and flags, people factory, and home planning. Artboard stands apart with powerful stacked styles that go way beyond simple fill and stroke, providing a wide range of spectacular effects.

Design logos, posters, floor plans, technical drawings, fun fashions, Web graphics, and more.

Simple. Powerful. Fun.
 
$19.99/Download

SketchMee

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SketchMee is most advanced automatic pencil sketch generator in the world, but very easy to use.

The successful SketchMee apps for iPhone and iPad have redefined what’s possible to achieve in computer generated art with just a few taps, leaving even desktop computer software behind. Until now, that is.

SketchMee on a Mac brings the technology to a whole new level. The extra processing power enables the algorithms to shift into higher gears and generate new and incredible results. What’s become possible has surprised ourselves during development!

The SketchMee apps are only available for Mac, iPad and iPhone, and only on the App Store.

$7.99/Download

TexToPix

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, it doesn’t have to be one or the other any more. TexToPix enables you to convert your pictures into images made from the words of your choice. How about an image of your one true love made from the words of the Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…”? Or an image of your personal hero made from the words of that hero that have inspired you?

TexToPix lets you create color, halftone or black-and-white images composed from the text of your choice. The images appear like the original picture when viewed from afar, but up close the words making up the picture can be clearly read. The application is highly interactive and easy to use, with immediate preview updates of the images possible with each setting change. There are lots of presets to provide all the settings for a particular type of image in one click. The images created from TexToPix projects can be saved as raster JPEG images or as vector-based PDF files.

$24.99/Download

Sketch

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Sketch is a true vector editing application and has many powerful tools to manipulate those vectors.

Sketch has boolean operations that fully preserve your carefully constructed vectors down the individual curves. For optimal flexibility we have something unique; dynamic boolean on groups of vectors. But there is more; Sketch has distortion tools as well as transformations, scissors and your truly innovative Smart Rotate which makes consecutive rotations truly easy and intuitive.

$39.99/Download

Canvastic

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Canvastic is the fantastic student-focused graphics and text publishing tool for K-8. It features easy to understand tools and options with a clear, clean interface. There are no "toy" features that waste the child’s time. It is a powerful productivity tool for children. Canvastic can present the perfect interface for any user by adjusting settings for different levels of use.

$19.99/Download

OmniGraffle Pro for Mac

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Need a diagram, process chart, quick page-layout, website wireframe or graphic design? OmniGraffle can help you make eye-popping graphic documents quickly by keeping lines connected to shapes even when they’re moved, providing powerful styling tools, and magically organizing diagrams with just one click. Whether you need a quick sketch or an epic technical figure, OmniGraffle keeps it gorgeously understandable.

OmniGraffle Pro for Mac is the professional edition of OmniGraffle; a standard edition is also available for half the price. (See below for a list of the features in this Pro edition.) OmniGraffle is also available for iPad.

$199.99/Download

Posterino

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Posterino is the ideal app for creating beautiful poster-size photo collages whether you are a casual user or photography professional. The only limit is your imagination.

Posterino’s enhanced customization and flexibility also includes a variety of new stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd sized image boxes. Users can customize the size and shape of these boxes at any time. And with a single click, the application will automatically fill those boxes with random images drawn from the uploaded photos. If users prefer to manually select images, they can simply drag and drop images into the template.

Sharing photos is quick and simple as well. Users can directly upload their completed collages to their Flickr accounts from inside the app and export photos to iPhoto and e-mail. Posterino also allows one to create and send custom e-cards with uniquely tailored stamps and postmarks.

Posterino lets you:
* Easily customize the layout of your images: grid, irregular, random
* Easily change the number of images in a document
* Alter the frame you use for your images
* Tailor the image filter (black & white, sepia, sharpening etc.) to your needs
* Enjoy various gorgeous templates
* Integrate Posterino with the latest versions of iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom
* Export to disk, as an e-mail, to iPhoto, to Flickr and as your desktop background
* More easily customize your printing
* Gain more fine grained control of your document with a new inspector
* View your document in full-screen mode

$29.99/Download

Acorn

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Add text and shapes to your digital pictures. Combine images together to create your own. Work with layers to touch up your favorites or make something new from scratch. Do all this and more with Acorn.

Palette: All of the tools condense into one easy to use palette to keep your screen uncluttered and inviting. Easily move the palette around if it gets in your way, or press the tab key to make it hide.

Layers: Use layers and blending modes to make the most of photo editing by allowing easy placement of text and other objects without destroying the picture underneath. Layers allow you to try things out, and change your mind later on.

Tutorials and Documentation: Acorn comes with online documentation and tutorials, so you don’t have to learn by yourself.

$49.99/Download

Fractal Architect

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Fractal Architect allows you to create awesome flame fractal images with little effort. You can use it to create your own Desktop background images.
Flame fractal images are beautiful and can be easily modified to create an infinity of different images. Flame fractals have been used for special effects in recent movies and animated YouTube music videos.

Fractal images, unlike photographs, can be made to any size without loss of image quality (but rendering times can be much longer for big images than for small ones). and images created by Fractal Architect can be imported by other applications and incorporated into other graphic designs.

Fractal Architect creates a large percentage of high quality random fractals. Fractal Architect produces many fractals which can stand alone without further editing effort, and also includes an easy-to-use complete fractal editor, that allows you to modify any fractal you select for more artistic challenge.

$19.99/Download

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About Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter is the Founder and Editorial Director of TheAppWhisperer.com. A Professional Photographer and Associate of the British Industry of Professional Photographers, BIPP, as well as a Professional Journalist, specializing in Technology. A contributor to National and International publications, including DPreview.com, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Professional Photographer, NikonPro, Graphix, Digital Arts, Readers Digest, Popular Photography & Imaging and Which? consumer magazine and ePhotozine.com. Joanne was also a Lead and Group overall Judge for the Mobile Photo Awards - http://www.mobilephotoawards.com/categories/transportation.php