A true artist is never sure just where inspiration will strike. A regular walk through the park or trip to the grocery store could cause you to conjure up images of your next website layout or graphic art, and unless you are prepared to capture that inspiration as it hits, you might lose it forever.
Thankfully, for those graphic designers who use smartphones, there are many different graphic design applications ready to tackle your moments of clarity the second they hit. Never again will you woefully sit at the computer, sweating mental bullets over the creation of an idea that struck you hours ago. With these useful applications, you’ll be creating your next masterpiece in the palm of your hand.
Sketches allows you to use the iPhone’s touch screen to sketch out drawings and create concepts on the go. Using your finger as the paint brush, you can select from a broad array of vivid colors to create art work, memos, diagrams, and more. Zoom, pan, add text, and make use of all the standard features of a graphic design application, all in the palm of your hand. Sketches 2 even allows the user the draw on top of photos taken with the iPhone, useful for planning design work or just joking around with friends.
Colors is an application for creating color palettes for use in graphic and web design. Using Colors, a designer can create and save different pallets for different projects, and convert them between the various commonly used formats such as RGB, HSB, and CMYK. Designers often take concepts from the world around them, which is why colors also allows users to take a picture with the iPhone’s camera and extract color specifications from the photograph itself.
Remember sketching out design concepts and small artwork in MS Paint? Well ZeptoPad for the iPhone is like taking that capability keeping it right in your pocket, ready to use whenever inspiration hits. ZeptoPad is a virtual sketchpad complete with wide color selection, variable brush patterns, zoom and more. Furthermore, ZeptoPad can sync directly with your computer to display your worksheets on screen so that you can save them to your hard disk for later use.
Palettes is a powerful tool that allows designers to create and manage many different color palettes with ease. These palettes can be themed for different projects, such as an Autumn collection of colors, or a Christmas theme. Palettes makes it simple to create your own colors, manipulate them to perfection, and store the exact color code needed to replicate it during your design work. Additionally, Palettes can grab colors from photos taken with the iPhone camera, or from websites and graphics loaded directly on the phone.
Of course, no website or infographic would be complete with colors and shapes alone - you need text to accent the design. Sometimes we come across the perfect fonts in magazines, on coasters, or on fliers, with no way to determine exactly which one it is. With WhatTheFont, you can simply snap a photograph of the font as it exists in front of you, and within seconds the application will find the exact font for you. Armed with this ability, you can extract the greatest fonts from the world around you and put them into your work.
iBlueSky is an idea planning tool that lets users visually map out the steps necessary to complete a project. It can be difficult to motivate yourself to get started on that new client’s website, or begin your next graphic design work if you don’t have a clear place to begin and end. With iBlueSky, you can plan the entire work step by step, and then go about completing it with confidence and effectiveness.
Color Expert is another color manipulation tool that allows designers to create custom palettes based on their favorite colors. In Color Expert, users can make use of swatch books - pages of color manipulation based on a central color (such as all the variations of green). Users can also pull specific colors from photos stored on the phone, allowing designers to grab their inspiration and convert it into a color code the moment it hits.
Many designers use their own photography in their work - as opposed to buying stock images from other photographers - but the basic iPhone camera can get boring and generic. CameraBag allows users to emulate various special camera lenses to achieve different moods and visual effects. From old faded images to the classic fish-eye lens, CameraBag comes with them all. Best of all, they’re interchangeable, so you can swap different effects onto the same shot and see which ones look best for the photo you took. When you’re ready to work, CameraBag makes it easy to share your photos with your computer or social media outlets.