Procreate: Pros and Cons

The technology I will be focusing on for my capstone project is the app called Procreate. This software is essential to any graphic designer because of the advanced options and ease of use for those who prefer to design with a pen on an iPad. The most recent version of Procreate which I have downloaded and will continue to use is Procreate 5.2 which came out in November of 2021. The app requires the newer iPad software which is iOS 14.4 or higher. The newer features of Procreate are designed to be even more useful for digital creators or animators. Features like 3D model panting, customized color palette cards, and enhanced accessibility gives designers more opportunity to customize their illustrations with ease. This particular model is helpful for myself as a designer because the accessibility options make it extremely user friendly and easy to navigate. I personally love the motion stabilization option that this update offers because it allows me to draw smooth lines when my hand is shaky or unsteady. Although I am not the best at drawing, the new version of Procreate makes it easy for any designer to excel at illustrations because of how flexible the pen options are. If I want to hand draw a title to make it look like caligraphy, it would be extremely hard for me to perfect that on a piece of paper; however, the multiple options for a calligraphy brush and the stabilization settings for the pen make it look like its own font. Procreate is the perfect software for a designer to become skillful in so many different areas of graphic design without actually being an expert.

Procreate: How is it social?

This technology is social because its purpose is to create content to share with other people. Whether a designer is creating an illustration for pleasure or designing a logo, Procreate is intended to showcase work to other people. The designs people create on Procreate are shared throughout several networks, for example posting their artwork on Instagram, Twitter, or even creating a tutorial on YouTube. I personally love when designers share their tutorials for projects on YouTube to gain inspiration for my own projects or simply to admire their creative process.

Another feature of Procreate that is social is the ability to create your own tools. A designer can create their own brushes which another artist can then download for their own personal project. Art With Flo on YouTube is one of my favorite Procreate designers and she creates many different brush styles that people can download. When I watch one of her tutorials, for example illustrating a self portrait, I can download the specific brush she created to emulate hair. This feature makes Procreate really interactive and collaborative.


Procreate: The social values

Procreate reflects several culture values, one that comes to mind is growth. This app is intended for designers to perfect their artwork and create something unique to their personal identity. I think the more someone practices and develops their art skills on Procreate, the more improvement and change they will see in their work. When I first started using Procreate, I had no idea how to navigate the software and began by fooling around with brushes, colors, and shapes. Eventually I was able to see personal growth when I finally mastered the tools.

Another value that Procreate reflects is individuality. Artists have the freedom to express themselves through their designs. No two artists will create the same work which is why it is so fascinating to see how different designers use the different functions of the app.

One last cultural value that Procreate reflects is the power of efficiency. We value our time and the ability to do as much as possible within a certain time restraint. What is great about Procreate is how efficient the tools are to effortlessly create a design. The user-friendly features of the app make the learning process much easier compared to other design softwares.


Procreate: Affordances

Procreate will truly make my illustrations and designs look professional. The app is designed with thousands of tools to make any idea come to life Рwith different brush strokes, manipulating options, and advanced color adjustments. Procreate affords a really smooth workflow which makes it so much easier to use than other softwares like Adobe Illustrator. The iPad makes designing so much easier because an artist can draw how they are intended to draw: with a pen. The touch screen offers so much flexibility that the computer does not. The pinching of the screen to zoom in and out or physically rotating the devices is an affordability that designing on a computer does not allow. Similarly, Procreate allows me to design anywhere where I can bring my iPad. Being able to easily transport my iPad with me to design is a benefit that I prefer over any other technology that I own. I love the opportunity to design anywhere with Procreate as long as I have my pen and a few ideas. The last thing Procreate affords me for my project is the extensive brush options that make illustrations so versatile. Adobe Illustrator also has hundreds of brushes, but I much prefer Procreate because I can download other people’s brushes, import them from Adobe, or even create my own. The settings to customize your own brushes are so unique and versatile compared to other illustrating softwares. Overall, Procreate is my favorite app as a beginner graphic designer because of how user friendly the features are.

Procreate: Constraints 

Procreate definitely poses constraints compared to the other Adobe softwares I previously mentioned. Many professional graphic designers prefer Adobe Illustrator because it is more useful for branding projects, for example creating logos or brand sheets. With Procreate, you cannot create vectors like you can in Illustrator. Vectors allow a design to be scaled up or down or resized without losing quality. For graphics that need to be used for different purposes or mediums, Procreate is probably not the best option for a designer. Another constraint for Procreate is that a designer would need an iPad and a stylus – it is not an app that can be used on other platforms. If a designer prefers to use a desktop or computer, whether it is a Mac or PC, then Procreate would not be suitable. Lastly, Procreate is pretty much entirely hand drawing designs. It is up to user preference if using a pen is a setback rather than creating and resizing images on a computer. Using a pen can be very limiting for the types of designs that can be made, whereas Illustrator allows for more complex designs, vector curves, and shapes.