Graphic Design Apps. My top 5 & Why you should use them

/ November 5, 2017/ Advice, Apps, digital, free stuff, lists, Mobile/ 0 comments

My five top graphic design apps on my mobile device help me with my design workflows and digital content creation. In the age of mobility I find myself working off my iPhone more and more, and less on my laptop. Don’t get me wrong, big jobs like illustrations and layouts still are created using physical keyboard, display and mouse but I use my mobile device and my iPad exclusively to check the status of this website, blog responses and Social Media activity. When I’m out and about and I see something that inspires me I instinctively whip out the mobile device and take a shot. As an artist you see the world differently and I see patterns, colors, shapes and textures. So any help that I can get to make that process faster and with less steps, hey, I’ll take it. So here are my five top graphic designs apps that I can’t do without.

Five Top Graphic Design Apps on my mobile device.

What The Font

Available for Android and iPhone. This app has just been updated and is extremely powerful. Better yet, its FREE! Yep. Can’t go wrong with this in your arsenal. So picture this: you’re trying to explain to your graphic artist what kind of font you prefer and not sure how to do it, or you’re an artist who knows what the font is the client is sending, but for the life of you you can’t remember it, it drives you nuts. Avoid the pain and launch this app (or visit the website) and snap a pic of the type that exists in the real world or even a screenshot from a website, and the app magically shows you what it thinks is the closest match. I’ve done a little vid demoing it.


So don’t hesitate, go download it now. There’s just ONE catch, most of the fonts it looks for come from the MyFonts database, so if the font doesn’t exist there you’re out of luck. You can submit the font to the community and hope someone can identify it, so all is not lost.


When this little app launched in 2015 it caused a stir. Traditional artists were horrified that a computer can execute what seems to be organic looking textures to existing photos. Prisma uses a quite simple algorithm to do its magic, but it’s very powerful. There are many competitors but I like the interface and the names of the styles are quite creative. Here are some samples. That I snapped just today.

If you are like me and you like adding these kind of special effects to video as well, then Aristo is the video version of Prisma, not as well designed, but the effects are pretty awesome. Download here for iPhone and for Android.

BONUS: There’s a little app that I like to play with since I love epic sci fi looking photos, Its called Alien Sky it’s not free, costing US$2.99, but it’s full of epicness. Check it out.


The #old and the #fantastic #scifi #photo #alienskyapp

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On Beach in a Galaxy Far Far away #alienskyapp #galaxies #scifi #stars

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Google Keep

I used to use Evernote and swore by it until it no longer became free to use on multiple devices. So I switched to Google’s own version called “Keep”, while not as powerful as Evernote, it does what I need it to do. If there’s a link to an online resource that I’d like to keep (get it?) I fire up this app on any device and its there in a searchable index. Unfortunately it doesn’t play very well with PDF’s and images, which is a shame. Also the interface is a little confusing and the tagging capabilities are not as powerful as Evernote. But its FREE, so you can’t go wrong. Here’s the Android version. There’s also a Chrome extension.




This is a free app that does one thing, but does it well. If you want to animate text in a myriad of ways (not a lot but some pretty cool ways) to put up on your social media channels, then Legend is the perfect tool. It’s easy to use and it can do animated gifs as well. I’ve used this primarily to quickly create an animation thanking people for buying one of my pieces on my store. Have a look. Here’s the Android version.

Thank you for the sale! Get yours on sale. Link in the bio #calvinandhobbes #gross #getridofslimygirls #teepublic

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Adobe Capture

Finally the best app I use constantly is Adobe’s Capture App. (Android version) This free app does some pretty amazing things. I can snap a photo and pull some of the colors from it and create a color pallette, for example, this is automatically shared with my library at home via the cloud. Once I have that I can access it from any app to add to my projects.

Adobe Capture’s also very good at creating brushes for Photoshop by snapping images and creating them on the fly. Also you can create patterns and textures from those same photos that you snap.

You can create vector shapes from items you snap. This is great for creating interesting vector shapes using Adobe’s tracing algorithm. Again you can save it to your cloud library.

You can do the same thing as WhatTheFont (I prefer whatthefont) by snapping a photo of type and getting the best match. You can save the font selection to your library which is cool, again you have to pay for these fonts and if you have an Adobe CC subscription you get access to the Adobe typekit library.

Lastly is the “Materials” section. I’ve not used this much as this works with the Adobe Dimensions App, of which I have no experience. But you can read more about the Adobe Dimensions app here.

That’s it! Five of my favorite graphic design apps on my mobile device. There are other mobile apps that I use regularly, including Adobe Preview which shows you what your Photoshop mobile mockups will look like on your own device. The WordPress app, of course, and Pinterest.

I hope you’ve found something you can use and let me know in the comments what apps you like to use on your devices and I will take a look and try them out.

Ian Reid is a Graphic Artist who loves doing things online. Get in contact today to see how he can help you get the most of navigating the “murky waters” of the digital domain.


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