3 Best Mobile Apps for Photos and Typography
3 Mobile Apps To Create Graphics For Social Media On The Go
I’ve been a web designer for a while now and love Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, but sometimes it’s just easier and faster to create graphics with mobile apps.
Most of us, whether we’re entrepreneurs or working for a small or medium sized business, are more likely to be on our mobile phones than on our desktops. Especially when we’re taking photos!
I’ve downloaded and tried out lots of apps over the years but I’ve narrowed them down to just a few and tossed the rest.
iOS – Free download, $2.99 to unlock all the features
The killer feature for me, as a social media manager, are the social media friendly sizes you can work with. There’s the ubiquitous square for Instagram (which now works great on Twitter), sizes for Facebook cover photos and posts, and Twitter posts. It would be nice if they included a Twitter cover photo size though.
They also include standard sizes like 3×2, 4×3 and 16×9, as well as Apple iPhone 4, 5 & 6 wallpaper sizes.
Once you pick a photo and size/ratio, you then get to add your text, and there are lots of nifty styles to choose from. Add your own text or select a quote at random and it will automatically fit into the style of your choice.
The fun part about this mobile app, is that each style has multiple layouts you can cycle through by tapping repeatedly until you find one you like. It’s also easy to switch text colors, but the really cool part is that you can have one, two or three colors of text.
It’s all done automatically too. Just keep tapping the multi-color swatches and your text will change colors.
You also get some basic adjustments for things like contrast, vibrancy and saturation.
If you pay, you can add your own watermark, either an image from your photo gallery or one you create with your own combination of text, available fonts and colors. Then you can adjust its transparency, shadow, size and position.
Overall, it’s a pretty cool app when you want to add some text to an image and get a professional result.
iOS – Free
Adobe Post just came out but looks promising. It’s great for those of us with little time because it’s template driven. You start with a design and edit the text and photo to fit your needs. It gets the job done quickly.
Right now there’s only one size, square. I got an email from the dev team saying that they are going to be adding more. They sent me an example of a tall image that would be good for Pinterest so I’m hoping they don’t stop there and add sizes for other social media platforms.
First you select a template from one of the 36 default options, more if you give them a shout-out on Twitter. They are split into categories for food, lifestyle, travel, business, craft and seasonal.
Then you “remix” it. From there you edit the design, which is basically how the text is styled and laid out. After that you can adjust the color palette, and the last option is to adjust the filter on the photo.
If you want, you can also change the photo itself. There are many options too. Choose one from your library, camera, Lightroom, Creative Cloud or do a search for free photos. I’m not exactly sure where they come from, but a quick search for “bicycle” brought up a lot of different options.
You can even add additional text, which is something you can’t do with Typorama. You can select the font, sizing, shape, alignment, opacity and spacing, but if you switch back to the design tool, your custom style will be overridden.
The killer feature: Save and Duplicate
The one thing I don’t like about the other apps is that when you’re done with a design and save or share it, it’s all over. Like that design or want to change it? Good luck remembering all the steps it took to create it.
With Adobe Post, you just tap the My Posts button and it will save your current setup. You can then select it again, create a duplicate and modify it some more.
This is a great tool for creating branded graphics and memes!
I also like all the overlay options, which you can combine to create more complex designs. There are borders and shapes, light fx, textures and patterns.
You also get photo editing tools like brightness, contrast, blur and exposure.
I noticed, after using the app for a while that it’s not intuitive to use. The tool bar at the bottom is just icons and no text. That would be fine if the icons made sense. They use a paint brush for the stickers menu and a magic wand for the filters. I keep getting mixed up, forgetting where I am and where the options I’m looking for are.
I wish the collage feature worked differently. Once you select your photos and the thickness of your frame, all the filters and patterns and overlays get applied to the entire collage. It would be nicer if you could style each frame separately but it’s better than Instagram’s Layout app, which is pretty basic.
This app is more advanced than the others but also requires more of your time. PicLab also has the potential to cost you more than the others since unlocking “all” the features doesn’t include the sticker packs that go for $1.99 each.
Those are my picks. There are so many mobile apps to choose from that I wanted to mention a couple others.
So, what are your go-to apps?
Michael Currey is an experienced web designer, front-end developer and social media consultant with 15 years of experience and an education from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Owner of Ripple Effect Studio & founder of inlineVision, based in Las Vegas, NV.
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