Before the iPad Pro, truly useful designer-friendly apps for iOS devices were a dime a dozen (arguably, they still are). Along the way, the Morpholio suite of apps proved to reinvent the creative processes for designers, engineers, architects artists, photographers and other creative individuals with their suite of cloud-based design utilities for multiple stages of the creative process.

Among others, these include Journal (a sketchbook and notetaking app for collecting ideas), Board (for creating quick mood boards), Morpholio (for creating digital portfolios and presentations) and Exhibit (a kiosk app for public demonstrations). More recently, however, the Morpholio team turned their attention to what just might be their most useful application yet: Trace.

Built for designers, engineers, architects and others who build up sketches, Trace is a sketch utility that lets users develop ideas in layers similar to using vellum to refine loose sketches into polished forms. The resulting sketches (and their layers) can be further communicated via an in-app markup interface and shared with team members and clients through the Morpholio cloud network.

For those sensitive to tablet sketching, the ScalePen feature allows you to keep track of your line weights – a feature that makes it surprisingly easy to build up from lighter lines to heavier ones in a digital interface. The result is a finished product with consistent line weights regardless of how much zooming and moving around is done during the sketch process – neat.


Of course, tools like this come at a price, but if you find yourself sketching on an iPad daily and don’t want to invest in the iPad Pro, it’s certainly worth the $7.99 annual subscription – otherwise, the basic version is free.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.