12 creative free iPhone apps for designers

Whether you're into 3D, illustration or animation, these free apps will only aid your creativity.

There are a ton of iPhone apps out there for every type of designer. Whether you're into 3D, illustration, graphic design, animation or photography you're bound to stumble upon a few addictive apps to aid your creativity. If you're looking for the best photo apps for iPhone and Android we have a separate post but here we pick 12 of the best free iPhone apps to download today!

01. Typecast

Typecast gives you access to thousands of web fonts

Typecast is a browser-based web fonts app that enables you to experiment with over 23,000 web fonts from Typekit, Fontdeck, Fonts.com and Google Fonts – even if you don't have an account with those services.

02. Doodle Buddy

Doodle Buddy is described as 'the most fun you can have with your finger'
  • Developer: Pinger, Inc

Described as 'the most fun you can have with your finger', Doodle Buddy is a free doodling app, which comes complete with various playful backgrounds and stamps. The app has 44,000 colours to choose from, which can be applied in the form of a paintbrush, glitter pen, chalk and text. There's also the option to switch between freehand drawing and using a stencil. A no-frills, fun drawing app.

03. 3DMark

best free iphone apps

The real fun lies in running the benchmarking tests

3DMark's a benchmarking tool that's been putting PCs through their paces since the 1990s, and now there's an iOS version that'll give your iPhone (or your iPad or iPod) a proper 3D workout and award it a no-nonsense score.

The real fun lies in running the benchmarking tests, which are beautiful mock-ups of a detailed and action-packed 3D game. They're a delight to watch, and once they're done you can find out how many frames per second your device can manage and just how good it is at simulating 3D physics.

04. Instagram

Instagram is a great source of inspiration

Instagram is a photo-sharing app that enables its community to take pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services. It's a great source of inspiration: if you don't believe us check out these 10 amazing Instagram accounts.

05. Fontli

best free iphone apps

Use Fontli to discover inspirational photography of type throughout the world

Fontli is a social network of type lovers, enabling the community to collect and share inspiring examples of typography from everyday life. Using integration with MyFonts database, its iPhone app also features type tagging on pictures. There's a Windows version too.

06. Adobe Kuler

best free iPhone apps

Kuler from Adobe is one of the best iPhone apps for colour picking
  • Developer: Adobe

Originally annouced in October 2011, Adobe recently released an iPhone version of its Kuler tool – and it's one of the best iPhone apps for colour picking around.

Its headline feature is that you can use it to generate colour themes using your iPhone camera. Kuler captures five points of colour in any scene, creating a swatch that you can then tweak, save and send to other Adobe tools such as Illustrator. Alternatively, you can extract colour from images in your own photo stream, Flickr, or the web.

The app offers a number of useful options to tweak swatches after a palette has been created, including a colour wheel, preset colour modes and RGB sliders. And, if you don't have an iPhone, colour palettes can also be uploaded to a new Kuler web-based interface, which launched alongside the app.

07. Adobe Ideas

best free iphone apps

The cool vector illustration app has been made free to download!
  • Developer: Adobe

Adobe's iOS companion to Illustrator is one of the best iPhone apps we've come across – and the best news is, Adobe has made it free to download.

The features in version 2.6 include the ability to customize your toolbar with your favourite brushes, draw more accurately, share your designs on Facebook and Twitter, and sync your colour themes with the Kuler website. If you have Creative Cloud membership you can also sync the app between your iPad, your iPhone and your desktop.

08. Repix

best free iphone apps

Repix allows you to 'paint' filter effects onto images to create brilliant effects
  • Developer: Sumoing Ltd

The problem with filters in many photo editors is that you're required to apply it to the whole image, or spend an age creating precise selections. Repix attempts to overcome this by letting you 'paint' filter effects onto your images to create brilliant effects.

A choice of nine brushes run along the bottom of the screen; they range from artistic effects such as Posterize and Charcoal to more creative effects such as Halftone patterns and Ink splats. There's also an eraser and an 'undoer' brush.

09. Behance

best free iphone apps

Big improvements have been made to the WIP feature
  • Developer: Behance

We're huge fans of online portfolio platform Behance at Creative Bloq, especially its super-slick iPhone app. So we were keen to check out the improvements made for the latest version, 2.25.

The main tweaks have been made to the 'Work in Progress' (WIP) feature, including new Flash controls added for the WIP Camera and image editing apps like Adobe Photoshop Touch can now push images into the Behance app as WIPs. Developers have also added a Pin functionality to the app, so you will now see a Pinterest button in the share menu.

10. Trovi London

best free iphone apps

Discover the hidden gems of London with Trovi

When visiting a new city, it's natural to want to know about the best places to discover. However, as a creative, you'll want to know the hidden gems, the design classics and a nice place to have an afternoon drink.

The perfect accompaniment to our Designer's Guide to London, Creative design agency Fiasco Design crafted Trovi London, which harnesses the power of geolocation to offer users exclusive deals, events and promotions based on their current location.

11. Sum05

Created by Austrian software artist Lia, this pattern creating iPhone/iPad app is perfect for any illustrators, designers and procrastinators. Sum05 invites the user to interact with the chosen device and requires no training to be used; you simply need to tilt, shake and tap to produce random colours, reposition curves, and more.

12. dotdotdot

Best iphone apps dotdotdot

Archive your digital reading with this new app

Dotdotdot enables you to manage and organise all of your eBooks, snippets of text and RSS feeds in one place, tag and locate your favourite passages quickly and easily, and share what you're reading with Twitter, Facebook and fellow dotdotdot users - including specific quotes and your comments on them.

Have you got a favourite free app? Let us know in the comments box below!


A founder member of the Creative Bloq team, Sammy Maine is now a freelance journalist. She also thinks that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably the best television series ever created.