Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate

Navigating the digital creativity landscape can be daunting, especially when caught between Adobe Illustrator’s precise vector capabilities and Procreate’s rich, textured environment.

Whether you’re deliberating which app will elevate your iPad to a digital art studio or simply exploring options, both Adobe Illustrator and Procreate stand as titans in the realm of digital artistry, each offering distinct advantages tailored to specific artistic endeavors.

With your stylus at the ready, and the vast array of Procreate brushes at your disposal, let’s delve into the nuances that set Adobe Illustrator and Procreate apart, guiding you to the tool that best aligns with your creative vision.

Purpose and Core Functionality

Adobe Illustrator: Designed primarily for vector art creation, Illustrator excels in producing clean, scalable graphics ideal for branding, illustration, and design work that requires precision and the ability to scale infinitely without losing quality.

Procreate: Focused more on raster-based digital painting and drawing, Procreate is favored by artists who want a natural drawing experience, offering an extensive set of brushes and tools that mimic traditional media.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate

User Interface and Experience

Adobe Illustrator: Offers a touch-optimized version of its desktop interface, with a focus on vector tools, paths, and anchor point adjustments. It’s designed to be intuitive for Illustrator users but can have a learning curve for those new to vector artwork.

Procreate: Known for its intuitive, user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate for both beginners and professionals. The focus is on a seamless drawing experience, with quick access to brushes, colors, and layers.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate


Adobe Illustrator: Features robust vector tools, including pen and shape tools for precise editing, advanced path options, and the ability to work with complex vector layers. It also integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud, allowing for easy file sharing and access to Adobe Fonts and assets.

Procreate: Boasts a vast brush library, customizable brushes, advanced layer management, and the ability to import and create brushes. It also offers features like animation assist, time-lapse recording, and an extensive color palette management system.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate

Compatibility and Integration

Adobe Illustrator: Seamless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud, making it easy to move projects between the iPad and desktop versions of Illustrator or other Adobe software. This is particularly beneficial for designers working in professional environments.

Procreate: Offers good file compatibility, allowing users to export in various formats like PSD, TIFF, PNG, PDF, and JPEG. However, it lacks the cloud-based integration of Adobe’s ecosystem, focusing instead on standalone capabilities.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate


Adobe Illustrator: Requires a subscription, either as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite or a standalone Illustrator subscription. This can be more expensive over time but offers access to a broad range of professional tools and services.

Procreate: Available for a one-time purchase price, making it more accessible for users who prefer a straightforward cost without ongoing fees. This can be particularly appealing for hobbyists or independent professionals.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate

Best Use Cases

Adobe Illustrator: Ideal for graphic designers, branding experts, and illustrators who need precision vector graphics that can be scaled for various uses, from business cards to billboards.

Procreate: Best suited for digital painters, illustrators, and artists who value a natural drawing experience and the ability to create detailed, textured artwork reminiscent of traditional media.

Adobe Illustrator vs Procreate


Choosing between Adobe Illustrator for iPad and Procreate depends on your specific needs as an artist or designer. 

If your work demands vector graphics and seamless integration with Adobe’s ecosystem, Illustrator is the way to go. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a rich, intuitive digital painting experience with a one-time cost, Procreate is an excellent choice. Both apps offer unique strengths, making them valuable tools in any digital artist’s toolkit.

Author Image
Sofija, born and raised in Belgrade, is an award-winning illustrator known for her bold and colorful expressionist style. For the past four to five years, she has been mastering her craft using Procreate, blending traditional techniques with digital innovation. Her work, characterized by vibrant hues and dynamic compositions, often reflects her love for plants and textures.

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