Stealth Startup FiftyThree Launches Suddenly Out of the Dark

Drawing on the iPad, for free! Startup launches to thunderous Internet applause.


It was back in January when we first heard rumblings of hype around a new startup called FiftyThree coming out of New York. The startup, a five-man product shop in the West Village, makes “tools for the creative space—the 53 centimeters that magically link head, heart and hand.” The first product is Paper, a powerful drawing app that reminds us of the artist David Hockney, who has drawn at least three cover illustrations for the New Yorker using an iPhone, an iPad, and the $8 app Brushes.

Paper hit the Internet today hard as the Apple blogs salivated over its versatility. The app lets you keep discrete digital sketchbooks and create paintings, notes and drawing in a remarkable approximation of pen, paint, paintbrushes, calligraphy pens, charcoal and so on. The basic app is free, with individual features available as in-app purchases including additional brushes for $1.99 each.

The Verge has a deep dive on the product and an interview with the team, some of whom worked on a Microsoft product called Courier, a creative tablet computer that never saw the market.

The company is filmmaker Andrew Allen, designer Jon Harris, developer Julian Walker, hardware inventor John Ikeda and CEO Georg Petschnigg.

Check out FiftyThree’s promotional video, filmed on the streets of New York City:

Paper for the iPad from FiftyThree on Vimeo.

Stealth Startup FiftyThree Launches Suddenly Out of the Dark