Today, Quark released the free Quark DesignPad iPad app that lets any iPad owner create a project that can then be continued in QuarkXPress or shared via email or Twitter.
What’s it good for? I’m imagining a couple of possible uses: because the layouts in Quark DesignPad are grid-based, a design student could use it to learn about using page grids in layouts. Or, a professional designer could explore layout options, mock up a layout and then complete it back at her studio in QuarkXPress.
You begin a project by choosing from among a bunch of pre-defined layouts, such as brochure, poster, flyer, postcard, display ad, business card, letterhead, or newsletter. You can then customize its size, number of columns, number of pictures, and so forth. It even has a fun “randomizer” button that rearranges your layout each time you click on the dice. That, in itself, is useful for exploring other layout options and tickling your creative brain cells.
Images can be imported from your iPad’s photo library or from a selection of free stock images included with DesignPad. Because of the iPad’s touchscreen, you can resize, crop, and reposition images by pinching and swiping with your finger.
Text can be typed into your iPad, or pasted in from another source on your iPad.
All the controls are slider-based, letting you adjust the color, size, opacity, position, text insets and all the other usual attributes.
When you’re done, you can email the layout to yourself for further work in QuarkXPress, or provide a link to it via Twitter.
Some examples are below — click any of the screenshots below to see a larger version:
For a clear overview of how Quark DesignPad works, I recommend reading Jackie Dove’s “Hands on with Quark DesignPad” at Macworld.
And Quark’s press release is below:
Quark Releases Preview of iPad App for Grid-based Design
DesignPad Now Available for Free on the App Store for Designers to Experiment and Provide Feedback
DENVER, CO – August 22, 2012 – Quark announced today the preview release of Quark DesignPadTM, a new app for aspiring designers that helps them explore the fundamentals of grid-based design and create professional-looking artwork from a mobile device. Using simple multi-touch gestures, Quark DesignPad allows design neophytes to experiment with different layouts. Users start with pre-defined grid-based designs for standard document types such as ads, posters, newsletters, and brochures and can then interactively customize the layouts. Quark DesignPad enables design students and long-time professionals alike to start a design on-the-go, share it on Twitter, by email, or further develop it in QuarkXPress® 9.
The Quark DesignPad Preview app is free to download from the App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quark-designpad/id551786067?ls=1&mt=8. Users are encouraged to share their feedback on forums.quark.com.
Gavin Drake, Vice President of Marketing at Quark, said, “At Quark we are always looking at innovative ways to make graphic design accessible to the whole spectrum of creative professionals – be it a long-time print designer looking to break through in the digital arena without having to learn to code, or a student approaching desktop publishing for the first time. Now with Quark DesignPad everyone can get real hands-on experience creating grid-based designs to create a variety of document types, making it a valuable teaching aid for the education sector. At the same time, Quark DesignPad is a useful tool for experienced creative professionals to start a design on the go and finalize it on their computer using QuarkXPress 9.
“We are looking forward to hearing from the design community on this new approach to grid-based design and we invite designers, students and teachers to send us their feedback to make Quark DesignPad the essential iPad app for creative professionals.”
Quark DesignPad Preview’s features include:
- Pre-defined grid-based layout types such as ads, posters, newsletters, and brochures
- Slider controls to adjust the layout including columns, rows, text, and picture areas
- ‘Randomize layouts’ option
- Text control including fonts, color, and inset position
- Color and opacity control on boxes and frames
- Copy and paste functionality for inputting text directly into the layout
- Choice between pictures on the iPad or an online selection of free stock photos
- Supports both US and international document sizes with selectable units of measure
- Guides switch (on/off)
- Customizable number of columns and rows, text and picture areas, caption positions and more
- Option to save custom layouts for future reuse
- Swipe-and-pinch functionality to position, crop, and resize pictures
- Option to add background images as well as floating text and image boxes
- Email and Tweet functionality to send designs to colleagues and friends directly from the iPad
- Ability to create a QuarkXPress 9 version of the layout for even greater control to complete the design
For more information on Quark DesignPad please visit www.quark.com/en/products/designpad
DesignPad can be downloaded for free from http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quark-designpad/id551786067?ls=1&mt=8.
To download DesignPad’s User Guide, please visit http://www.quark.com/pdfs/QuarkDesignPad_Guide_US_Web.pdf.
To provide feedback, ask questions and converse with other users, users can visit forums.quark.com and enter the new DesignPad forum.
Founded in Denver in 1981, Quark’s vision was to create software that would lay the foundation for modern publishing. For 30 years, Quark has delivered on that promise. Quark’s dynamic publishing solutions are setting new standards in automated cross-media publishing by combining the power of XML with flexible layout and design to automate the delivery of customised, intelligent communications across print, the Web, and digital media.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.