Ask any graphic designer, professional or amateur, which computer platform he or she prefers and the answer is likely to be “Apple” – not only because some of the industry’s most widely used software programs are developed for Apple computers, but also because Apple has always prided itself on offering the best graphics programs available, starting with the original MacPaint.
With the company increasingly relying on mobile platforms, from the iPhone 6 to the new iPad Air 2, it should come as no surprise that programs for graphic designers are starting to become available on the small screen too. And with carriers like T-Mobile offering free 4G LTE, the incentive to switch over from desktops to mobile devices is greater than ever. For graphic designers, these apps are far more than mere novelties – they are tools. Here are some of the best, all of which can be had for free.
With Fuzel Collage, smartphone and tablet users can create photo collages using pictures from their image library – be it photos they took themselves or photos that they found scouring the Internet. The simple app is intuitive and powerful, and produces beautiful collages.
FX Photo Studio
Similar to Adobe Photoshop, FX Photo Studio allows for the quick, easy, and intuitive manipulation of photos, allowing individuals to accomplish everything from basic touchups to fully customized imagery, utilizing filters and effects.
Adobe Color CC
Formerly Adobe Kuler, the Adobe Color CC application is no less appealing with its new name. Individuals can capture and create an infinite range of color combinations, and save these color combinations for later reference. Everything from a beautiful sunset to a store front can serve as inspiration.
As one of the most recognized names in graphic design software, it should come as no surprise that Adobe has much to offer when it comes to apps. The Adobe Ideas app allows individuals to free-hand vector illustrations anywhere, using a range of touch screen-specific tools. Though available for smartphones, the new iPad Air 2, with its larger display, may just be the perfect device to run this application.
If you’re not a graphic designer yourself, you may not be familiar with Behance, but this social platform has a massive following within the industry, and is one of the premier portfolio sites online. The Behance application brings this experience onto your smartphone with seamless results.
It stands to reason that not every app that benefits a graphic designer has to be one that’s used for graphic design. The MyPrice app is one such example; this application allows freelancers to accurately and fairly determine appropriate billing for projects, making it an invaluable tool for professionals and amateurs looking to grow their business.
Think of Evernote as the most robust note-taking tool that you could imagine. With the ability to take notes, view articles, attach imagery to notes, and do so much more, it’s clear from the minute you open it that Evernote is so much more than Apple’s own “Notes” program.
At this point, does Instagram even need an introduction? If you’re a graphic designer with a smartphone, the odds are good that you’re using that smartphone to take photos of friends, family and food. Post it to Instagram, show off your work, and gain a following in the process.
If you do graphic design for anything more than a hobby, that means you will have responsibilities and due dates. The Reminder app can help you keep track of everything so that you deliver a product on time. Never be late.
With over 1 million color palettes to browse through, ColorSchemer will never leave you bored or without options. If your client simply must have taupe somewhere within their new logo, well, then this is the app for you.
The Webr app promises to let you do the impossible: design, create, publish, and edit dynamic websites right from your smartphone or tablet. With a number of themes to choose from and an intuitive interface, it might just be the perfect tool for those looking to create a website on their new iPad Air 2.
Where Instagram lets you apply filters to your photos for a cool and unique look, Cinegram lets you go one further – it allows you to add movement. The result is half-photo, half-movie, and 100 percent compelling. Try it yourself; you’ll be hooked.
Running a business, whether you’re an agency or a freelancer, means keeping track of time and expenses, and measuring those against revenue. Do you come out on top or are you working for a pitiful hourly wage? Harvest allows you to find the answers to these questions.
If you want an app that lets you create and manage color palettes, you have multiple choices, but Palettes is arguably one of the best. This free app lets you grab colors from nearly anywhere – photos, websites, logos and more – and create color palettes around them which can be referenced later.
What The Font
Have you ever come across a font in an article, logo, web graphic or elsewhere that you fell in love with but couldn’t identify? That’s the premise behind What the Font, an app that lets you identify fonts from a range of sources, so that you can use them in future work. It’s simple, intuitive, and amazingly effective.