10 apps for endless design inspiration

These apps (including some left-field choices) will help give your inspiration a jump-start.

Inspiration is like water or air for every creative person. If you are in the right mood, it can come from almost anywhere. However, when you feel tired or distracted, your imagination may need additional sources to get inspiration from.

Having scoured the App Store back and forth, we've collected a selection of what we think are the best inspiration apps for your iPad or iPhone. So, all those who feel a serious lack of positive emotions and don't know how where to get new ideas just download these amazing apps and you'll for sure find something outstanding.

01. Windy

If you're having trouble concentrating, here's a great way to clear your mind. Designed to help you sleep, relax, meditate and focus better, Windy masks unwanted noise with high-quality wind sounds recorded in psychoacoustic 3D, accompanied by parallax 3D illustrations that'll inspire you. Featuring natural wind recordings in partnership with Emmy-award winning nature sound recordist Gordon Hempton, it's a cool alternative to a white noise generator.

02. Frax HD

It's hard to beat the sight of a lovely rendered fractal image, and all the more so when it's animated, allowing you to dive down into it and reveal ever more details. Frax HD does exactly that and more; you can choose different fractals, adjust the texturing, lighting and colour settings, and best of all you can set everything in motion and steer your way through the fractal landscape by tilting your device. Best viewed on a recent iPhone or iPad Air, it's a psychedelic delight that'll get your inspiration glands firing.

03. Waterlogue

Give any photo a lovely watercolour look with this app

If you try to catch every moment of your life from morning selfie to the last cup of coffee, why not adding some new filters? Waterlogue offers you marvelous effects that will turn your photos into vivid watercolors. 


Control pics wetness and colors, add pen contours. When you are done with editing, save your masterpiece and upload it to your social accounts.

04. Bicolor

Bicolor is a perfect choice for minimalism lovers. As follows from its name, Bicolor features only two colors in the interface. However, the design is so elegant and stylish, that you can barely take your eyes off it. Enjoy over 240 puzzles to kickstart your cranial activity. If you have a client who wants to have something unusual, install this app and let the ideas flow into your mind.

05. Monument Valley

Monument Valley's Escher-esque world is hard to resist

A winner of Apple Design Award and Game of the Year 2014, Monument Valley won't leave you cold. Explore surreal environments together with Princess Ida and help her get through impossible geometry full of secret paths and optical illusions. Outstanding graphics and impossible architecture will help you create new projects right away.

06. Paper by FiftyThree

Paper is a must-have for sketch tool for designers. Its plain but at the same time gorgeous interface won't distract you from bringing your ideas into life. Paper is really intuitive; you just need a couple of seconds to understand what gestures to use to create new pieces of art or move between sketchbooks.

07. Path On

The easy way to turn any image into an inspirational poster

Whether you are addicted to typography or wish to add a smart quotation to your drawings, you can't move further without Path On. It's a completely different type of typography app. Path On allows you to add text in a creative way almost anywhere in the pic. The app comes with over 300 fonts that you can use without any limits. So if you want to loosely mock up a type treatment, why not try it out with this app.

08. Inkflow Visual Notebook

One more great app to help you arrange your thoughts and generate a mind-blowing project. Inkflow Visual Notebook offers you a variety of visual thinkers that you can use to transform your ideas into a set of cute little pictures. You can also add texts and change notebook background to express your mood. You could use this app for inspiration if you need to create a project for kids.

09. Yahoo News Digest

Keep up to date with Yahoo's news app

A truly creative person can get inspiration from nearly everything. However, in case you need some help, download Yahoo News Digest , Apple Design Award Winner of 2014. Read the latest world news and enjoy marvelous app design. The app boasts of air-light design for a small gadget. Plus, there's a version for Apple Watch.

10. Yummly

Yummly will get you cooking delicious new recipes

You can barely work and create hard when you are hungry. Yummly will save you! The app displays photos of amazing dishes together with delicious recipes. As soon as you choose what you want to cook, the app will generate a shopping list with the ingredients, shows the number of calories and the amount of time you'll spend on cooking. Yummly is great source of inspiration for all those who prefer colourful and cosy design style.

Contributions: Terry Smith

Related articles:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.