If you’re a designer, I guess you never stop working – even in public transport or when cooking you continue thinking over some design ideas and new projects. And it’s great if you have something useful at hand to be able to make sketches on the go whenever you feel inspired. Several years ago we all used notebooks or pieces of paper for this, but now, as the technologies have evolved, we can use our phones and tablets, too.
If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner, with your device and a couple of useful apps you can make sketches, design fonts, play with the colors and even create websites even if you’re miles away from your PC. And here are the best designer apps for the iPhone and the iPad I’ve seen so far. I use most of them from time to time, and I guess they can be useful for you, too.
1. Adobe Ideas
Adobe offers a number of useful programs for PCs, and not so long ago they created a great iOS app for designers, too. With the help of Adobe Ideas you can jot down any ideas that appear in your head and make sketches no matter where you are. The app runs on any iOS device, but the big screens of the iPads provide far better experience than the small iPhones, especially when it comes to drawing.
2. Sketchbook Mobile
This app has some features similar to Adobe Ideas, plus it offers a number of useful tools that can help create not just a sketch, but a true piece of artwork. And the best thing is – you can save your drawings and import them directly to your PC’s Photoshop to continue editing it.
The age of notebooks and “back-of-envelope” strategies is left behind, and now time has come for apps like Penultimate that can be used for making hand-written notes and sketches – easy and fast. It’s a shame, however, that this app is compatible with the iPad only, and we hope an iPhone version will soon be released, too.
Fonts are a big passion for many designers. If you’re one of them, the WhatTheFont app is what you need to find or create new fonts. It also offers quite a nice feature – if you’ve seen a great font in a book or on a road sign or somewhere else and want to use it in your future works, you can just take a photo of it, and the app will tell you its name or, if it’s impossible for some reason, find another similar-looking font.
With Palettes you can create and maintain different color palettes and schemes on the go. You can also use it to select colors from photos and websites and store them in the library for later use. Very useful and easy to use.
Instagram is a great app that can be used not only by designers, but by everyone else, too – with the help of its filters you can enhance your photos and add incredible effects to them. With apps like this one can turn an ordinary photo into a piece of artwork or tasteless garbage – depends on skills and taste only…
By the way, this app has already been downloaded by more than 15 million people, which seems to be a good number.
7. TiltShift Generator
Just like the app above, TiltShift Generator can add interesting effects to your photos. By changing the pics’ resolution settings, contrast and saturation and playing with the other tools on your Apple iPhone or iPad, you can get a really nice image that’ll look professionally “photoshopped.” Just have a look at the screenshots below!
This app is great for everyone, but designers can especially benefit from it if they need to make good group photos to use them in their projects. If you’ve ever tried to make, say, 10 people stand still and not move while taking a photo, you probably know how difficult it is. With the GroupShot app you can shoot a series of photos and then swap out faces and get a final image where everyone looks great.
If you have a lot of photos, drawings and sketches in your iPhone, you can of course use the good-old folders to store them, or you can try an album app like iAlbum, which will make everything easier, more elegant and more stylish. You can create photo albums in the app, with customized covers for each… Not that it’s a necessity for a designer, but it’s still pleasing to the eye and rather useful.
And finally, if you’re a website or app designer, the last app from our list, iMockups, is a must-have program for you. Simple and easy to use, it can help you design or sketch a website or an app on the go.
“If you weren’t planning to buy an iPad, this app alone could very well change your mind,” said Chris Pirillo from CNN.com, and I totally agree with him.