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As one of the most useful suites of creative applications for designers on the iPad, the Morpholio collection of apps –– which range from digital sketching to portfolio management –– is indispensable for today’s on-the-go tablet creators.

With the recent “Stencil” update to their Trace app last week, users can now create reusable digital “stencils” from any analog photograph or sketch while generating ideas on the iPad.

Similar to Photoshop brushes, this new patent-pending feature lets a designer create an infinitely reusable digital stamp of literally any object –– meaning, creating a reusable background template or any other asset that can be used to speed up your digital workflow is as easy as a couple of taps.

Says Co-Creator Mark Collins of Morpholio:

“Creating stencils sits perfectly between the architect’s sketch and the quick photo. You’re trying to capture something – a texture, pattern, or detail that you want to use. Sketching is great but slow. Taking a photo buries it in the photo album. Generating a stencil automatically creates an incredible tool that you can utilize in various ways. The stencil is the quickest path to distill an image into an actionable idea.”

Already a powerful digital design tool modeled after the analog tracing paper idea generation user experience, the free Trace app is certainly one to keep handy in your toolkit.


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.