16 (mostly free) Art Director iPhone apps for font-nerds & doodlers.

So, I have finally caved and become an iPhone-owner. I must admit I don't like it much, yet, swearing every two seconds that it's a jävla karluppfinning (don't make me translate that), due to the fact I have long nails at all times and must develop a rather uncomfortable way of touching the phone with my knuckles to get anything done. Why Mac makeup hasn't come out with a Mac-nailpolish that mimics whatever warmth/skinfeel the screen needs from my fingertips in nifty iMaccy colors (haha, pun!) is beyond me. Do it guys, I know I'll buy that stuff, unless I beat you to it and make it first. I know my nailpolish collection will include the Dabitch-french manicure which involves coagulated blood red nails and oil-slick black colored tips. It looks a lot sexier than it sounds. Have your people call my people.

In effort to make better friends with my pretty phone, I'm filling it with Art Director apps. Here's my list of useful apps you need - if you're anything like me.

Easywriter gives you a big keyboard, because typing with your knuckles is hard on that tiny default keyboard. It's free, so get it! There's a pro version as well which includes "the most advanced mobile spell checker available". Yeah, that's an art director must have, and quite a few copywriters best friend, amirite?
WhatDaFont is, like the website that spawned it, hella useful during moments of font-name-block. Just photograph the nameless font and have it return with suggestions that may jog your memory, or even the exact font you just photographed. Just don't let anyone know you have this in your phone, pretend you can name any font, any time, anywhere for that mythical art director allure.
Polarize - because if you are anything like me, you truly miss polaroids, and must make everything look like they were taken with a polaroid camera anno 1979. Why Polaroid didn't make teeny-portable printers that attached to cellular phones and spat out little white-framed print outs of cellphone images in an instant is beyond me. Really now. Free app!
Evernote the ultimate way of taking notes! Audio notes, photo notes, text notes all notes remember where exactly you made said note - with a map attached - and all notes organize nicely. You need this because you never know when the next great idea will hit, or how. Autosync your notes to your computer and rejoice. Free.
Typedrawing - only because making images with type is fun. Doodle this, doodle that, doodle only using Arial when you have a headache. Start by typing a sentence, perhaps "my client is a doofus" and then turn it into a portrait of said client. Not free but it's cheap for hours of entertainment.
FontShuffle 650 fonts and five languages (Even speaks Norwegian! How quaint!) to browse away on while mulling over what you need. Released by Fontshop this app is having their whole library in your pocket. Mucho useful, and free.
Palettes and Palettes Lite lets you grab colors from a photograph and start making palettes based on that one. Import&export palettes via email, whip up a website palette in a few minutes while sitting on the bus, import palettes from ColourLOVERS.com and more. Try the lite version and you'll soon find yourself hooked enough to buy the full app.
Cliqcliq Colors - extract colors from photos again, quickly convert between RGB, HSB, CMYK and Grayscale, save palettes you've created, email your palettes to yourself and open them in illustrator or photoshop or even Microsft Office (as IF). Have fun.
Fontbrowser - a unicode font browser, hex color browser and keyboard keystroke browser. In short - this is very useful, and free.
SimpleDraw - egad, you are stuck in a meeting without pen and paper! Never fear, simple draw is here. Doodle away as much as you want, and we love the etch-a-scetch feeling of shaking the phone to clear the paper. Doodlers unite! Free.
Randompose - real art directors still doodle on paper, and when all the people that have been your unknowing models clear out you can fetch a random pose here instead. Plus side - they never move, they don't have bulky clothes and they never stare at you funny for drawing them. Minus sides, they don't have any skin so forget facial portraits unless you're in horror-doodle mode, and they don't have any interesting clothes.
Freshbooks - you are either freelancing or at an agency that bitches at you about time sheets every week. Sort yourself out by tracking time spent on clients, and for what project with Freshbooks. Now with online invoicing built straight into the app. Now, if we could only get the clients to actually pay the invoices we'd be sorted. Can we request a kneecap-crushing dude as an extra feature?
MiniBooks lite for Freshbooks - you can manage your clients, send invoices, run timers and records payments with this lite version of MiniBooks. If you use Freshbooks this is a must have.
Ruler by Dava - you need this because you're an Art Director for crying out loud, and you need to measure stuff. So measure. Free! Ruler also saves your last measurement so that you can check back at it anytime, which is great for featherbrains like myself.
Calipher another must-have in your measuring arsenal, Calipher has adjustable jaws so that you can make pixel-precise measurements. Cheap!
RulerPlus from Bananas Design is yet-another-ruler, but like your old fashioned steel ruler this one looks like one. And you know how important it is for your Art Director well being that things look right. You can extend the ruler by pressing some keys, but other than that it doesn't do much. Anyone seen a pica ruler app because I have a feeling I'll be needing one of them next.
AnonymousCoward's picture
AlphaSquirrel's picture

Not that I know about such things, not having an iPhone … or a cell phone, really … but did you check out the New Yorker cover that artist Jorge Colombo did with Brushes on his iPhone?

Dabitch's picture

Yeah, that was awesome - I should have remembered that when doing this list, thanks for adding it. Good app I must get that!

Forgot to mention, it might be easier to use Evernote if you create an account on the web first. I tried creating an account from within the app and it just never gave me anything but a blank page.

I want more apps! so if you have a favorite please suggest! *runs off to download Brushes*