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When the iPad first hit the streets, both critics and fans were skeptical of its ability to ever become a practical computing solution. Now, years after its release, the device has changed the mobile computing landscape and generated some sophisticated applications in business and everyday use. Some uses are more natural than others, and from the outset it wasn’t much of a stretch to consider the device’s impact on the graphic design and artist community. Due to the touch-based nature of the iPad’s screen, art was clearly meant to intersect with the digital realm in the iOS environment. Graphic designers can now perform complex photo editing, and create intricate compositions on the fly with iPad new mobile-based apps like Photoshop Express and Adobe Creative Cloud.
Why the Cloud Matters to Designers
Graphic and Web designers traditionally had to spend thousands of dollars on high-powered computer systems, as well as industry-standard design software to stay ahead of the curve. As with any computer-based profession, state-of-the-art software requires lots of processing power. Processing is expensive, especially as computing trends and technology changes so quickly. Cloud-based design applications take the processing ball out of the designer’s court by providing processing resources over several shared servers in a cloud-computing environment. Basically, this means that designers can use powerful design applications seamlessly on the Web.
Adobe to the Cloud
Adobe, the premier name in industry-standard design and photo editing software saw the cloud coming and responded in kind. They recently introduced Adobe Creative Cloud. Essentially, you subscribe to this cloud service and you have access to all desktop applications without having to download them all onto one hard drive. Designers can even sync all their design files within the cloud environment and download them on any desktop, laptop or tablet PC (yes, that includes the world’s iPad population).
Cloud Computing, Web Designers and Collaboration
Web design has always been a trade of collaboration. Both major and minor Web development projects require several pairs of eyes to ensure each Web page is functioning at the highest level possible. It’s not uncommon to send big files back and forth, share them through shared network drives or through a specialized email client. Using cloud-based resources allows web designers to quickly and easily share files between devices across multiple platforms and even to open a file simultaneously to collaborate in real time as you might on a Google Doc.
Bridging the Gap: Computer Design and Art
The latest iPad processing technology mixed with the latest in iOS applications re-invents the iPad as a virtual sketchpad for artists. For instance, Nomad Brush is a living, breathing paintbrush designed specifically for the iPad, which essentially transforms the tablet PC into a mobile easel. More and more creative-minded hardware makers are taking the stylus concept a step further to make it something that artists can easily integrate with their design efforts.
Mobile is Always Better
As the world became more mobile, it was evident the designers behind that mobile technology would need like-minded tools. Now designers don’t have to separate their art from the computers they create on. Sophisticated hardware makes the artistic process more fluid than ever. Additionally, artists and designers will no longer have to keep up to date with computer systems sporting inflated hard drives and server-level processing chips. Through a combination of mobile integration and cloud-based application solutions, the Web will shoulder the workload.