3 Graphic Design Mobile Apps for visual content (in your pocket)

Looking for easy graphic design mobile apps for visual content creation? In this post I share 3 apps for visual design to put content creation in your back pocket – and a couple of bonus tools to have you creating stunning visuals in no time.

BY DONNA MORITZ | 28 SEPTEMBER, 2017 | UPDATED POST

Just a few years ago we were reliant on high-end programs like photoshop (or paying a designer) to create beautiful visual content to post across social media channels.

Times have changed.

These days you, your team (and your clients!) can get smart with visual content creation by using intuitive graphic design mobile apps, including amazing typography and image creation tools…all on your mobile phone.

So let’s take a look at some of (in my opinion) some of the best graphic design mobile apps for creating images on a phone. Bear in mind they won’t be the cheapest and these are paid tools, but they are definitely the best option if you want a great set of features and apps that are designed to use on a phone.

Or put it another way… if you are one of those people that is always asking “is there an app for that?” or saying “I do everything on the phone”, then you might consider paying for one of these apps.

I have posted about great graphic design mobile apps before, and this very post has now been revised twice! But apps change, new technology brings new functionality so it was time for a review.

And HOT TIP: One of the best places to go for inspiration and to see what is capable with these graphic design mobile apps… Instagram. The smart visual content app companies know that an engaged instagram presence is a great way to showcase what their tool can do. So check them out below (and their Instagram accounts). Here they are:

3 Killer Graphic Design Mobile Apps for Visuals

1. Canva Mobile App

Canva’s mobile app is definitely now a front runner when it comes to graphic design mobile apps. If you are a Canva user, this is a super helpful app to carry on your creations on mobile – it’s easy to use and is a perfect companion for the desktop tool.

Here are a few things I love about the Canva Mobile App. Firstly, you can see your “dashboard” in a very similar way to the desktop app. This includes seeing a range of templates to choose from:

You can also easily open any of your existing designs and continue working on them via mobile:

I love that it’s super easy to find elements, photos and videos, just like on the desktop app:

And you can do all the usual things with all the usual features, like folders and searching for images or videos or graphic elements. Even your brand kit:

You can even create and edit detailed designs like Infographics. Thought personally, I prefer to create more intricate designs on a desktop computer. But it’s nice to know you can easily jump in and fix an icon or some text on an infographic if you need to:

You can even use features like animations on mobile. It’s VERY much like using the desktop … but on a phone!

And here are a few more features to love about Canva’s Graphic Design Mobile app. I highly recommend that you upgrade to Canva Pro (get 45 days free trial on Canva Pro with my affiliate link). Here’s what you can access in the app:

  • you can start from scratch in the app or edit an existing design.
  • Thousands of templates across dozens of categories to choose from. Including my templates in the Canva Marketplace. Check them out here (follow to get notified for new ones).
  • unlimited access to millions of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations with Canva Pro.
  • Resize your images in one click.
  • Save your brand colors, logos and fonts with Brand Kit
  • add animations to your designs (animate elements or text
  • Collaborate as a team to share and edit designs with friends or your team.
  • jump back into your design from anywhere – desktop, mobile or ipad.
  • share to social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or more.
  • and so much more!

With everything in the Canva app, it’s super easy to design, element and create your visual content. With access to thousands of videos, elements, photos and templates from a whole range of designers on the Canva Marketplace, it’s now my #no 1 pick for an all-rounder mobile app, because it keeps getting better and better.

But it’s still worth checking out these apps, as they have been long-quality apps that you should consider as part of your toolkit to see which one is the best fit for you:

2.  Over

Over app remains one of my favourite graphic design mobile apps. I have always loved Over’s layers and funky fonts.  They also keep on top of fun trends like Instagram Story Stickers (scroll through the carousel): 

Pretty cool, hey?  There are loads of features I could go on about with Over, but one I like is that the app includes video footage or you can upload your own:

And if you love cool typography and effects, you’ll love Over:

And there are literally thousands of graphic elements, images, designer-quality templates and more in Over.

Follow Over on Instagram to learn more about their app.  Many graphic design mobile apps have come and gone but Over has stayed the distance and I think it’s worth checking out to have in your “pocket” design arsenal.

A few features of the mobile app to love are:

  • new video feature to integrate video with your designs – layer videos with images, graphics and text, adjust brightness/saturation/contrast of video and use blending with typography.
  • add text and graphics to photos and videos.
  • choose from thousands of professionally designed custom templates
  • customize templates with colours, captions, graphics and fonts.
  • choose from Story templates, Facebook posts, banners, logos and more.
  • Post directly to Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels.
  • Pricing is on a subscription basis – monthly or annual payments with varying levels of data storage based on subscription.
  • There’s also a “Teams” subscription that allows you to collaborate with other team members on designs.

Over mobile app is available on iOS, and Android too which means everyone can try it and add it to their toolkit of graphic design mobile apps.

3.  Picmonkey App

PicMonkey app is the baby of the awesome photo editing tool Picmonkey that has been around for years! They’ve consistently maintained their place as one of the best desktop visual design tools and also an easy-to-use graphic design mobile apps. Hence, it’s staying on this list.

Picmonkey was probably the first tool to start the “DIY Design” trend, allowing us to move away from Photoshop to creating our own visual content that didn’t look like it was made with Clip Art.

Picmonkey has a lot of Photoshop-type options and cool effects to incorporate into your images and the app has carried over some of those features.  It’s great for enhancing photos quickly and easily.

What I like about what PicMonkey did when they launched their mobile app, is that they choose the super fun elements of their main desktop app and added them in a “tappable” way to the app.

This means that they didn’t try to add the whole kitchen sink but instead aimed to streamline it and add just a few of the key functions, rather than trying to include everything.

The picmonkey app is really all about beautiful photo editing.  It’s a perfect accompaniment for Instagram when you want to give your photos a lift.

Take for example this image. I used one of the many fun features – layers – to create the final effect. You start by uploading an image:

Choose from a number of filters

I can then choose to add a black and white layer:

It’s easy to add a separate layer!

Then you can use the erase tool to peel back the layer:

Use your finger to rub back the layers!

and then you have the finished effect:

Did I tell you that Picmonkey also does curved text, layers, has a drawing tool and many more cool features? Some features  It’s not on the app but it’s on their web-based desktop tool which is pretty cool).  You’ll find loads of ideas for typography and photo editing on their Instagram account:

Here are just a few of the features to love in the Picmonkey mobile app: 

  • photo editing
  • templates and designs – add text and graphics to photo and video
  • sticker maker
  • touch-up tool
  • background eraser
  • draw, erase and adjust transparency on everything
  • add overlays
  • tons of graphics and fonts to choose from
  • export posts directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.
  • Pricing is on a subscription basis – monthly or annual payments with varying levels of data storage based on subscription.

Picmonkey app is available on Android and iOS too, which means everyone can try it and add it to their toolkit of graphic design mobile apps.

I know that this post is about 3 graphic design mobile apps, but I couldn’t resist keeping at least a couple more tools, including one that was originally on this post:

WordSwag

WordSwag.  Many people still use this tool as a major graphic design mobile app in their mobile visual content arsenal.

Wordswag literally lets you take any tip, text or quote, add a source and boom – you have a savvy-designed, shareable piece of visual content.

WordSwag is pre-populated with awesome templates that literally let you create image + text images that look like a designer has played a part in their creation – when all along, it was just you, an iPhone and an app!

But I wanted to mention it here because WordSwag is now available on Android too!  So if you haven’t revisited WordSwag for a while, you can check it out here.

#3  Adobe Spark Post

I wrote about Adobe Spark Post in this post for Social Media Examiner.  Adobe Spark Post  is a wonderful template tool for creating images and short animations on mobile pone.  Created by the team at Adobe, they are constantly growing and adding to the features of the app.

It’s available on iOS but not Android at this stage. Rumour has it that Android is coming.

Like PicMonkey, Adobe Spark Post is available via the web and as an app, with Spark Post being part of a broader suite of features including Adobe Spark on desktop (including Adobe Spark Voice and Adobe Spark Video).

With the Adobe Spark Post App, your visual content creations sync between your desktop and mobile device. You can work on your visuals in either place.

Click through to check out their posts on Instagram:

 

#mindset

A post shared by Adobe Spark (@adobespark) on May 28, 2017 at 12:22pm PDT

Some of Spark’s awesome features include:

  • Remix feature. Start with a template and then alter your images for different social media platforms.
  • Magic text – the text automagically resizes to fit any size text box as you try on some different size combinations
  • Animation tool – you can easily convert any image created in Spark to a short, animated video snippet, which is very cool!

Adobe Spark Post also recently upgraded their tool wiht a new, paid Pro level of membership. With that you can now:

  • add your logo so it is applied across the graphics you create in the tool and across other spark products.
  • add your brand colours and fonts
  • use personalised templates and themes set up with your logo, colours and selected fonts. Here’s an overview:
  • apply one change and have it reflected across your assets.
  • manage your brand assets in a brand dashboard

Over to You

Now you have no excuse to not start creating your own original, shareable images with these graphic design mobile apps, right?  Tell me in the comments below – what App is your favourite for creating images on the go?  

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Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a “Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019”. Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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