From colourimeters to finger-painting, there’s a design app for every mobile creative need. Here are five of the best
One of the most impressive things about the iPhone is the vast array of apps available for it, some of which might just make your creative job that little bit easier. From colour pickers to light meters, app designers are targeting creatives with their releases, while the likes of Joshua Davis, Michael Paul Young, Fffound.com and an array of others are producing specifically art-inspired offerings.
Here we pick out five of the most practical, useable and entertaining examples for you to poke your digits at.
01 Mill Colour
Oscar award-winning post-production studio The Mill knows a thing or two about colour grading, and so its team of colourists has produced this excellent application.
Mill Colour effectively mocks up an image's colour grading - either from a preset such as Golden, Cross-Processed and Noir, or manually - and gives a rough grading profile that can be circulated for reference. And while it's aimed at professional colourists and filmmakers, it offers an effective testing tool for any type of creative image making.
You've got to love Pantone for making colour selection and experimentation both fun and easy, which is precisely what this app manages.
You can access Pantone colour libraries via the app, create, save and share colour schemes and palettes, and generate harmonious colour palettes from a single reference colour.
The sharing and export uses are particularly impressive, with the ability to email an image of your palette to clients or colleagues, and export into Adobe's Creative Suite as an .ase file.
03 Layers for iPhone
There are a handful of natural painting and drawing apps available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but Layers is, as the title suggests, the only one to offer multi-layered imaging.
Layers is surprisingly effective to use, being both responsive in Painting mode (via a range of resizable brushes and opacity settings) and having a true Undo function, Eye-dropper tool and easy-to-use colour selection. You can also re-order up to five layers, which, although basic, is by far the best iPhone app example we've seen on the touch screen.
04 Mouth Off
Price: Free/59p for signature series
Flippant, functionless, but also terrific fun, Mouth Off takes a your vocal input and, by holding your iPhone over your mouth, reacts to your spoken words through a variety of joke mouths.
There's a brilliant range of YouTube videos of some of the funniest mouths, but best of all is the signature series, featuring mouths from the likes of Jon Burgerman, Jeffrey Bowman and Pete Fowler, meaning you can annoy/entertain your work colleagues via one of Fowler's Monsterism characters or Burgerman's doodle creations.
05 What the Font
What the Font is a hugely useful online resource that My Fonts has now ported to the iPhone.
The app works identically to the site, identifying typefaces within web graphics and imagery; just hold a finger on the relevant part of the screen and What the Font will snap it, identify it and return a list of identical and near-identical options.
You can then find out more about the font and find where to buy it, or email the results to yourself or colleagues.