Design Guide: 4 Apps for Design Success

Discussion-Blog-Graphics

I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how I do my blog graphics and which program I use. In reality, I use a happy marriage of Photoshop CS5 + Freepik + Creative Market. However, I am well aware that not many people have access to Photoshop. Today, I’m listing out a few apps I’ve used in the past to create graphics, for these, all you need is a smart phone or tablet! They are great because:

  • They’re easy to use, no more reading tutorials on Photoshop for hours!
  • You’re able to work on your blog anywhere, you don’t have to be limited by lack of laptop or computer, this will appeal to all your dedicated bloggers!
  • They’re (mostly) free!

Click On The Heading To Be Linked To The App Store!
Blog-Graphics-Wordswag

Typography is one of my great weaknesses and I am trying to improve. With Word Swag, I can quickly whip up Tumblr worthy edits with time to spare.

PROS: Legible but aesthetically pleasing fonts, plenty of variety in terms of style, very user friendly. You can use both your own images or from a bank of photos with free royalty.

CONS: Some in=app purchases required, however there’s plenty of free content. Can’t add shadows or gradients to the text itself, limiting the variety of looks and sacrificing legibility at times. Limited to square crops.

EXAMPLES:12048409_1063936390297115_1460403415_n 12165797_1063936380297116_406257407_n 12067244_1063936376963783_1533196893_n
Blog-Graphics-Typogram

This is a slightly superior version of Word Swag, it has more functions but this also means it’s harder to use.

PROS: Same as Wordswag. Plus the ability to add shadows, gradients, and erase part of the text – opening up more design possibilities. Variety of crops available e.g. Twitter size, Instagram size, and adjustable aspect ratio. You can also add overlays and filters.

CONS: Some in-app purchases required. I feel that Wordswag has a cleaner look.

EXAMPLES:

12166483_1063936373630450_184494334_n 12025441_1063936396963781_322188955_n

Blog-Graphics-Vanillabean

I discovered this recently and think it has potential. Originally developed for poster designs, there are a lot of different looks you could create with this app. There is a wide selection of premade designs, but you could always incorporate your own.

PROS: Ease of use. Slick and professional appearance. Wide variety of fonts and designs available so there’s a lot of possibilities in terms of looks.

CONS: A lot of in-app purchases. An distracting ‘Vanilla Pen’ watermark on the corner of every image.

EXAMPLES:

12167422_1063936400297114_994478096_n12167359_1063936403630447_1532186709_n

Blog-Graphics-MarthaStewart

I initially purchased this app originally for my mum as she was going through a fierce digital scrapbooking phase. The app is incredibly slick, with intricate and feminine designs that would appeal to many of my fellow bloggers.
PROS: High quality of available resources, with many tools such as stamp, cut outs, die cut and text.

CONS: Will need to recrop the images after the export to get rid of those huge ugly white borders. While it has plenty of great free content, the majority of the app is hidden behind in-app purchases.

EXAMPLES:  Sorry for the lower quality of these previews, I could only send the images to myself via facebook for this batch and it ate up the pixels D:

12071699_1063941483629939_1542253346_n12166349_1063941486963272_1109310586_n


Hope you found that helpful!  There will be another design guide coming in the future for the Photoshop users out there!

I also hope that these apps are available on the Android app stores, I only have iPhone and iPad so I can’t check D:

74 thoughts on “Design Guide: 4 Apps for Design Success

    1. Thank you Aila, I hope you had a good experience with Wordswag even if it’s just using their freebie option, it’s a fantastic app!

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  1. OH MY GOSH PLEASE DO MORE DESIGN GUIDES. I didn’t discover Creative Market until last week which was kind of fail of me. I’m struggling between Wordswag and Typorama — I won’t make a decision until Typorama comes out on Google Play, since I’m leaning towards that one, but we’ll see. Thanks for the introduction!

    PS: I don’t really know how Photoshop works, but I use a free graphic making application called GIMP? It should have some PS features and might be worth a shout out for any interested readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Typorama is working on a web app so hopefully it will be available in more forms soon! I will definitely try and do more design guides!

      I have heard of GIMP. I’ll see if I can download a copy and see what I can do on it when I have more time!

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  2. Aentee this is so lovely of you! It’s so wonderful that you made this post, because while I’m happy with the way I do graphics and such, now I have a whole new selection of sites to try out (because I love experimenting and will spend hours doing so). This is also so helpful to younger, newer bloggers who, like me, do not have any access to Photoshop *sob*
    💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the graphics on your own blog already Josie, but if the post is able to help you I would love to see some of the stuff you make with these apps ❤ They are definitely an easier and affordable option compared to Photoshop.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the ability to use the apps from your phone definitely makes them more appealing. Glad you found this useful!

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    1. Oh no, sorry to hear that, I forget that so many apps are exclusive. But you know how to use all the fancy stuff so I guess you don’t need these haha.

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    1. Try GIMP? I remember people using it back on LJ, and it’s free? It might work to import the freepik PNG files. I can’t personally access EPS and AI files either on photoshop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooooo! I totally forgot about GIMP! I have it but it just never occurred to me to use it to open their files! I think that’s what I’ll try 😀 Thanks for the heads up!

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  3. THANKS SO MUCH for telling us about your awesome websites you use! I too was one of those people that always wondered how you created such epic graphics! (Also, I’m a huge fan of Creative market an GIRL, YES I did subscribe to them!) teehee they give away free goodies every Monday and I just finished downloading them so THANK YOU for bringing me onto them! Keep up the great work boo! ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keionda, I am glad you found Creative Market, that place is the best, I spend hours drooling over pretties I can’t buy on it!

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  4. Thank you for this Aentee! I’m always looking for new ways to improve my editing. I’ve been using picmonkey for the most part and it’s been working really well but I love experimenting with different fonts so the first two will be really useful 🙂

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    1. I love canva! I was about to feature it on here as it’s also an apple app but it kept crashing so I could’t do it! The web app is excellent though!

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  5. THANK YOU AENTEE. This is such a helpful guide. I’ve always loved your graphics, so thank you for taking the time to show some of these wonderful programs. ❤ Off to go try them out now!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh these all look amazing – thanks for the post! 😀 I use Canva and Picmonkey to design things, they’re pretty good but it’s always lovely to try new things! 🙂

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  7. THIS! This is what makes me reconsider getting a phone!^^ I do not own one and I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon, but seeing all your pretty graphics and how easy those apps seem to use, well it gets me thinking that maybe I could use one!^^
    And now I understand how you manage to have pretty designs like that!:D
    Thanks for the resources Aentee!

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    1. Hahah I don’t so posts on my phone either. I just make the occasional picture. I think Canva is a really good web based app that people use!!

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      1. Thanks Aentee. I’m thrilled that I can now add some more colour to my blog and learn how to make graphics. We all have to start somewhere I guess but I am pretty happy with my first one. Its simple and colourful 🙂 Is it ok to have the typorama logo still on my image or does that look amateurish do you think? I had to pay to remove it but didn’t feel it was necessary. I wouldn’t mind your opinion though? 🙂 Thanks xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome post Aentee! I do have photoshop (from school yay), though sometimes I am too lazy to open it up to just edit one little thing. Maybe I will use it more for graphic purposes rather than using picmonkey.

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  9. I love this! These are so handy! I’m used to making graphics on photoshop CS2 because its available for free and I have a basic understanding of the program from a photography class (which I was actually not good at). I’ve also used GIMP and Pixlr which are also both free, except Pixlr is mainly online, and it has several versions for various uses and skill levels, so it’s pretty handy. Thanks for this list!

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  10. I know this post is fairly old, but I just wanted to say it was super helpful! 🙂 I have been looking everywhere lately for advice on how to customize your blog, as mine currently has lots of potential but not much to it as far as themes go. 🙂 Thanks again! I will definitely be trying these apps out.
    -Amy

    Liked by 1 person

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