If you use Adobe Creative Suite daily, and use very app in the package, fine. The monthly price is about the same as upgrading every year or so. If you use only one or two apps, the annual cost of enriching Adobe’s executives went through the roof. Depending on your needs, there is a better way.
Power Is Relative
Right up front let me define ‘powerful’ apps. Adobe’s Creative Cloud (the package of Adobe’s professional apps for rent by the month) are powerful programs, best of breed, award winning, blah blah, expensive.
If you’re a graphic designer who lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps with Adobe’s apps, your idea of designing power is different than mine.
Enter iDraw, a vector-based drawing and illustration app for the Mac that will cost you little more to own than renting Adobe’s Illustrator or Fireworks for a month.
How does iDraw stack up against Illustrator or Fireworks?
It doesn’t. Nothing tops the feature set in Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps, but that’s not the point of iDraw. It’s a competent, powerful drawing and illustration app with familiar tools that does what most of use who are not full time designers need.
Take a look. Familiar looking, no?
What you expect to be in iDraw is there, plus a few unexpected extras. Designs are surrounded by familiar tools, but palettes give you even more options.
Seemingly everything you need is a click away. Shape and style library. Canvas scale in multiple units with rulers. Import SVG, PDF, and EPS files, and export SVG, PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF and TIFF.
iDraws works with layers, too, so you can layout images, gradients, text, and anything else.
Other features are standard for the genre including brushes and pencils, shape creation tools, pen tools, gradients editor, text styles, snap to grid, lock aspect ratio, and much more.
iDraw has been around a few years so it’s a mature product that works well for creating illustrations and designs for Pages, Keynote, iBooks Author or any popular Mac app that accepts graphics.
While iDraw has plenty of tools and options, the learning curve is substantially less than pretty much anything published by Adobe. By my count, about 85-percent of all the iDraw reviews on the Mac App Store are four and five stars.
And that brings up the only real issue I have with iDraw. There’s no trial or try-before-you-buy version.