Apps for Stage and Performing Arts Designers

Top apps to help designers spark that creative impulse

Designer in studio studying data on digital tablet
Thomas Barwick/Iconica/Getty Images

When it comes to apps for Android and iPhone markets, designers require choices that satisfy exacting standards and meet technical demands, while also sparking the creative impulse. This is especially true in the performing arts, whose designers require mobility and functionality for ease of use even in the midst of the chaos of rehearsals, preparations, and planning.

There are some amazing apps out there now that are streamlined and smart, and that offer designers everything from inspiration and information to the technical tools to sketch, plan, and dream.

AutoCAD - DWG Viewer & Editor 

The mobile app from Autodesk enables users to easily view, edit, and share drawings with anyone, anywhere using their mobile devices. Use it to annotate and revise drawings in the office, in the field, or in a meeting. The app allows you to work on designs without an internet connection, and easily opens DWG, DWF, and DXF files directly from email. Simplify design creation, review, and approval using powerful, built-in social design collaboration tools, and unleash the power of AutoCAD design beyond the desktop.

AutoCAD is available as an (iOS 9 or later) or an . The app is free with premium services available for a fee.


is a full CAD software tool designed to help users create 2D and 3D technical drawings, and can be used for sketching designs as well. The app is designed for use by architects, engineers, designers, students, hobbyists, and others.

AutoQ3D is available as an  (iOS 9 or later) or an  (4.0 and later). A free ad-supported version is available.

Freeform - The Vector Drawing App

T he  from Stunt Software is a vector drawing tool for the iPad that is helpful for the creation of quick sketches, mockups, or diagrams. Drawings can be exported via email in JPG, PNG, or formats, or saved to the user’s photo library.

is available for iPads at the iTunes app store.


The  app from TouchAware Limited offers precision 2D vector drawing and design for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The app enables the creation of professional-quality designs, illustrations, and technical drawings on the move. The iDesign app has unique features and offset controls that allow users to draw accurately even in an app.

The iDesign app is available in the iTunes app store for iOS devices running iOS 8.4 or later.

Autodesk Graphic

(formerly iDraw) is a feature-packed and illustration app available on the iPad, with support for layers, text, images, multicolor gradients, brushes, a powerful bezier pen tool, fully customizable canvas styles, clipping, PDF export, and much more.

The is available for iPads running iOS 8.0 or later.


 from color-matching specialist Pantone offers access to a library and reference of over 13,000 PANTONE colors, including the PANTONE PLUS series and the Fashion, Home + Interiors colors. Users can easily create color palettes for inspiration and share them with friends, clients, and vendors. PANTONE Studio offers designers and color-conscious consumers a way to cross-reference libraries and take PANTONE colors with them wherever they go.

The is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad mobile digital devices running iOS 9.3 or later. The app is free to download and contains in-app subscription options.


The original, popular handwriting app for the iPad, gives users the swift, tactile gratification of writing on paper, with digital power and flexibility. Using Penultimate, users can take notes, draw sketches, or share breakthrough ideas in the office, on the go, or home on the sofa.

The is available for iPads running iOS 8.0 or later. The app is free to download with in-app purchases available.

ShowTool Swatch

 from Daniel Murfin brings the gel swatch book to life in the mobile environment and is an easy and beautiful way of viewing important information. Users can share ideas with friends and send orders straight to a local dealer.

The is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 10 or later. 

Autodesk SketchBook

Users get the chance to unleash their creativity with the mobile app, which is a professional-grade paint and drawing application offering a full set of sketching tools and a streamlined and intuitive user interface—perfect for individuals who sketch every day.

The Autodesk SketchBook app is available for (4.0.3 and up) and (10 and up) mobile devices. The app is free to download with in-app purchases.