9 Free iPhone Apps for Productive Designers

Gabrielle Gosha
Gabrielle Gosha

Gone are the days where you had wrestle with a real map on a road trip, visit your local pizzeria or actually talk to a real human to find a date because – as we all know – there’s an app for that!.

While there are certainly plenty of apps leaning towards the ridiculous – I mean, there is a dating app for dogs – there are also plenty of apps that are seriously helpful for those in the design world.

And while the best things in life aren’t always free, designers who own an iPhone can rejoice. I’ve got 10 free iOS apps that I’m certain will help you become a better and more productive you.

1. Asian Paints Colour Scheme Pro

Asian Color Schemer Pro

If there were a top ten list of what a good designer needs in their arsenal, generating attractive color palettes would be on the list. Luckily Asian Paints is there to help with this resourceful app so that you can create color schemes on the fly. Already fitted with three special features available and more to come, Colour Scheme Pro may just be the tool for you.

With 1800 shades at your fingertips, you can create your perfect scheme no matter if you are looking for a monochromatic, analogous or complementary palette. You can even take their special effects for a ride and get feedback from friends, family and clients by sharing through Facebook.

  • Category: Color Management
  • Price: Free

2. Repix


Every designer needs a good photo editor on hand – even if you just want to share some quick shots with your friends. Enter Repix, the photo editor that turns your photos into masterpieces. With 28+ handcrafted brush effects, you can edit in real-time in a matter of a few seconds and upload your beautiful creations for the world to see.

You know you’ve hit app gold when Mashable is praising this Apple device friendly app. With studio grade quality, multiple frames, and filters plus the ability to direct share to several social media platforms, Repix definitely deserves a spot on your phone.

  • Category: Photography
  • Price: Free

3. Font Candy

Font Candy

Easy Tiger, the creators of Font Candy may have this app listed in the Photo & Video Category in the App Store but it’s more than a photo editor. Font Candy’s number one appeal is the (yep you guessed it) text treatments. This app allows you to montage your photos with beautiful type for some beautiful results.

The optimized sharing to Tumblr and Instagram makes it super easy to show your creative side with their selection of handpicked fonts. If you’re feeling extra creative you can also create intricate designs with their available symbols or simply add eye-catching captions to your work.

  • Category: Font/Typography
  • Price: Free

4. Paper

Paper app

Sometimes you just need to put your thoughts to paper but often you might only have a phone on them instead of a notebook. Luckily there is Paper, the app that allows you to capture each new design idea as it emerges. Paper works on the triple C’s – capture, connect and communicate – to keep you productive no matter what.

You can do a lot with this app including creating a host of lists, highlight important information like details in a photo a team member has sent you and you can even sketch out your ideas. PDF, Keynote, and Powerpoint presentations are also available making this both a novice’s and professional’s pocket secretary

  • Category: Productivity Management
  • Price: Free

5. Harvest Time and Expense Tracker

Harvest app

Time is money and if you’re a freelance designer you might not have the luxury of having a dedicated finance team to track and bill all your hard work. Happily Harvest is a free app that you can easily get your hands on to keep everything you do well-managed.

You do need to have an account with Harvest in order to use this app but it may be worth it if you really want to track your time, snap receipts and log expenses and manage invoices while on the go.

  • Category: Business Management
  • Price: Free

6. Monogram


If you are familiar with Moo then you probably know they have some great products and services but now they have an app that has made showing the world what you do a lot easier. Monogram is basically an in-pocket portfolio for the designer in you.

A card based design app, you can customize the way you want your photos, texts and links to appear and present them without a Wi-Fi signal. Need to pitch your business, brag to your friends on your next creative endeavor or just keep your mom in the loop of why you haven’t emerged from your office for the last ten days? Monogram might just be the right app for you.

  • Category: Business/Portfolio
  • Price: Free

7. Create


To be able to create on the go is a designer’s dream especially when they can create without limit (other than screen size of course). ‘Create‘ is like having a full creative suite all in one small tiny place that fits right in your pocket.

With a full-screen canvas you can easily design with shapes and icons, utilize typography, put down lines, add photos or layers and much more to make your designs come to life. Create is perfect for designing logos or anything else for that matter. It’s also kid-friendly.

Are you likely to actually complete a finished design in Create? Probably not, but if you’re a visual thinker, Create can provide a great starting place for your raw ideas.

  • Category: Design and Color
  • Price: Free

8. My Price

My Price

One of the trickiest questions most aspiring freelancers have when they start out is “how much should I charge for my work?”. With My Price you no longer have to worry about how much you are going to charge which will allow you to focus your time on what you do best.

My Price allows you to calculate the final price you will charge your clients for a project or how much you will charge by the hour based on the criteria you input. If you have needed to get an idea how much you should charge then My Price is the app you should definitely look into.

  • Category: Business Management
  • Price: Free

9. Assembly


Ever wanted a free design app for iOS that lets you create crisp vector illustrations and designs? Well, want no more because Assembly does just that. This free app packs some of the power of a professional design suite but offers it in a simple and accessible form that almost anyone can use.

With a vast library of shapes and symbols at your fingertips, you can design in a snap with the help of smart guides and access professionally selected color palettes. When you’re all done you can even save to JPG, PNG, SVG or PDF.

As with Create app above, Assembly is all about giving you a digital ‘napkin’ to start blocking out your first concepts – perhaps with a coffee. When you get back to your desk, you can expand on those SVGs or PDFs.

  • Category: Design and Color
  • Price: Free

Do you currently use any of these apps to keep you productive? Any that I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.