Macs are just for graphic designers and multimedia projects, right? Wrong. While Adobe’s Photoshop is the graphic design tool of choice for Mac and Windows PC users, there are plenty of reasons to look for competing options.
Photoshop and Illustrator are enormously expensive design apps. And their complexity is legendary. For Mac users on a budget and for those who prefer a less intimidating incline on the learning curve, there are apps like Artboard.
Simple. Powerful. Fun. Affordable.
The number one selling non-smartphone computing device these days is Apple’s iPad. Why? Simple. Powerful. Fun. And affordable.
Those are the words to describe Artboard for the Mac. It’s an entry level vector drawing app with plenty of professional level capabilities.
If you’re new to graphic design, Artboard gives you 20 different drawing tools for circles, lines, rectangles, stars, text and plenty of pre-designed templates for designs.
Graphics are crisp anti-alias with smooth Bezier curves, just like the expensive tools. Artboard can use Mac-based pen tablets for more traditional designing, but features standards like masks, layers, and drag and drop elements.
Artboard looks familiar and comfortable. And typical. Floating palettes feature traditional design and layout tools.
Even without a degree in new media design, Artboard makes it easy to create professional designs by using the built-in templates.
The Toolbar is customizable and self explanatory. The palette tools? Not so much, though most tools have granular controls, too.
Graphic elements and designs can be copied and pasted into Mac apps (including Pages, Numbers, and Keynote). Artboard imports and exports standard graphic formats.
As good as Artboard appears to be, it’s not Illustrator, but it doesn’t need to be. This is an entry level vector design tool that can produce attractive, professional results that depend more upon the designer than the tool.
What does seem a little crazy is the inability to open non-Artboard vector graphic files. At least the developer has a trial-before-you-buy version and a Mac App Store option and it’s priced about right (functionality vs. Illustrator).