sketchbook no more

SketchBook to spin-out of Autodesk as independent company

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Much beloved sketching app, SketchBook, has left the Autodesk stable and has taken up life as a standalone company.

Thomas Heermann, Autodesk VP of Automotive, Concept Design and XR, who has overseen the product since its launch in 2008, and previously during development as part of Alias, announced the news via a LinkedIn post, saying that it was “with a mixture of sadness, pride and excitement”.

“I’m sharing that we are spinning out SketchBook from Autodesk into the trusted hands of a newly launched independent company called Sketchbook, Inc.

“While we value SketchBook and feel an obligation to the community and users that have grown with us over the past decade, we also recognize that much has changed at Autodesk.

“It is, of course, a bittersweet yet prideful moment, as we have so many great memories to reflect on. We worked with amazingly creative and technical partners and have seen our SketchBook community and fan base grow and inspire each other over the years.”

The standalone Sketchbook – which has dropped the capital B from the name – will be headed by new CEO LeeAnn Manon and CPO Chris Cheung (who you might remember from that Apple Keynote, and his time onstage at DEVELOP3D LIVE), who are both former Autodesk employees with great admiration for the product and its community.

“First we want to make sure this transition is smooth for the millions already using Sketchbook on Android, iOS, Mac and Windows. The apps will move from Autodesk to Sketchbook in the platform stores over the upcoming days,” read a statement.

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“As Sketchbook starts this new chapter, we want to thank the team at Autodesk for their incredible support throughout the acquisition process.”

SketchBook Pro became a firm favourite among designers as part of Autodesk’s growing mobile device portfolio as a free App, even making an appearance on stage for the Apple keynote as part of the iPad launch in April 2010, and as a pre loaded app on Samsung’s Galaxy Note tablets and phones.

The move comes at a time where there has been a resurgence in professional design tools being made for use on mobile devices, including 3D tools Gravity Sketch and Shapr3D.

With fresh backing as a standalone company it will be interesting to see where Sketchbook Inc takes the product.


For the sake of nostalgia, below is our first mention of the tool (which has kept many of us here occupied on long flights and in the back of cabs) from 2010:

Autodesk releases Alias Sketch for AutoCAD on Labs + Quick Tablet Buyers Guide