For those ‘Paper Junkies’ out there, your world just got a whole lot more colorful. FiftyThree has released a much-anticipated color upgrade to their Paper app, as well as a new touch sensitive feature for your iPad masterpieces.

The Paper App

For those who are unfamiliar with this amazing app, FiftyThree has done an unbelievable job developing a beautiful sketching experience for the iPad presented with an extremely simple and intuitive interface. As a user of both the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro app for iPad as well as the Paper app, I find myself pulling out the Paper app 80% of the time. While the Sketchbook Pro app is extremely powerful and highly recommended, I strongly prefer the ‘look and feel’ of my final sketches coming out of Paper. With multiple media options (and now color), this app takes everything that I like about Sketchbook and puts it into a very easy to use package.

Still skeptical about sketching on the iPad? Take a look at what some people have done in the Paper app:

The Color Update

While Paper has already been an extremely beautiful and effective tool in my toolbox, I am wholeheartedly welcoming this update. While the app was flexible prior to the update, the limited range of colors really put a damper on things on occasion, especially with the watercolor brush and trying to define values for highlights and shadows. The intuitive ‘color mixer’ allows you to layer multiple colors as you work, with the ability to keep your colors in a set range so you don’t get lost. The mixer is also true-to-life, so what makes sense in reality makes sense virtually (yellow+red=orange). Additionally, FiftyThree hired professional color designers to create multiple palettes in the case that you want to stick with specific colors that look great together—almost like Adobe’s Kuler.

While the color update alone is worth the $1.99 upgrade from the already free app, it’s important to note that FiftyThree has also expanded the ability to use the Pogo Connect with it’s new Expressive Ink Engine. Could this finally replace the Wacom Cintiq? Probably not, but it sure is fun as heck.

Verdict: Buy it.


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.