24+ Best Apps for Graphic Design Freelancers

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One of the best ways to improve your workflow and time management as a graphic design freelancer is to use apps. Not just any app will do, however. You need ones that won’t waste your time by crashing and that help you both on the go and when around your computer. Our collection of the best apps for graphic design freelancers below are divided into design and photography apps and business management apps. As a graphic designer, you never know when inspiration might hit, which is why you want something in place to record your idea before you lose it. And we all hate the annoying business tasks, especially when they take too much time away from designing. The apps below should help solve both of these problems that can occur for graphic design freelancers.

In the list below, iOS, Android, and desktop apps are all included. Some of the apps are surprisingly free, others come with a small one-time fee, others come with a monthly or yearly subscription. I have tried to include lots of variety so that designers can find the perfect fit for their budgets and needs. Enjoy!

Design and Photography Apps

FX Photo Studio by MacPhun LLC

£1.99; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This incredible photo editing app comes with over 190 filters that allow anyone to create stunning or stylistic photos. It comes with standard editing tools, text labels, textures, and sharing features to make showing off your work easy.

Layers by Gotow.net

$4.99/£2.99; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This media painting app is completely compatible with Photoshop so that you can finish and touch up your designs on your computer. It comes with plenty of tools, such as brushes, full color, paint, erase, smudge tools, and more. It even allows up to five layers!

Filmic Pro by Cinegenix, LLC

$4.99/£2.99; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This mobile HD video camera allows you to set the focus and exposure individually, unlike Apple’s default camera app, allowing you to take stunning videos while on the go. You can also lock focus, exposure, and white balance individually. With different frame rates, motion FX, audio support, and professional grade 50 mbps image quality setting, Filmic Pro comes with a lot of features for such a low price!

Adobe Kuler by Adobe

Free; iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Adobe Kuler actually has a free app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. See a color you like while out and about? Take a picture and use the Kuler app to extract the colors. Save your color themes for future use.

Adobe Ideas by Adobe

Free; iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Another amazing app made completely free by Adobe, this is the iPhone companion to Illustrator. If you have a Creative Cloud membership with Adobe, you can sync your ideas with your Illustrator program for further refinement. You can even sync with Kuler and use your saved color themes. This app includes multiple brushes, color sliders, and up to 10 layers, along with the ability to move or resize each layer.

Design Duet by Forging Destiny Studios LLC

$1.99/£1.69; iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Using Photoshop Remote Connections, this app allows you to see how your Photoshop designs will appear on an actual iPhone. Once you enable the remote connection in Photoshop, you simply enter your password and changes you make in the software automatically are updated in the app. You can save the preview to your camera roll or share a flattened version of the image.

Adobe Photoshop Touch by Adobe

$4.99/£2.99; for iPhone and iPod Touch

The Photoshop app is finally available for iPhone and comes with core features found in the desktop version, such as layers, adjustments, selection tools, filters, graphical text, and even some extras like the ability to combine photos and use Refine Edge. Plus, Camera Fill works with your phone camera! Your free membership with Creative Cloud stores up to 2GB data, has automatic syncing between devices, and comes with the ability to share designs. More features are available on the iPad and Android versions for $9.99 each.

Marksta by Marksta

$1.99; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Marksta is a handy little app that helps you add watermarks to photos before uploading to the web. It comes with lots of features for customizing your watermarks, including adding multiple lines of text, including your logo, customizing the borders, adding effects to layers, adding or removing GPS geo tags, and much more. Even multiple typefaces are available.

Cinamatic by Hipstamatic

Free; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This app allows you to record lots of short clips to make a short 3 to 15 second film. You can even add filters for a unique look and share your film on Instagram, Vine, or Facebook. And if you find yourself wanting more, upgrade to Pro for soundtracks, clip merging, segment rearranging, and other advanced controls.

You may also want to try the Classic Hipstamatic app, $1.99, a camera app for iOS that allows you to switch lenses, flashes, and films for giving photographs an analog look. Check out Hipstamatic for more awesome apps they’ve created for iOS.

Photo Editor by Avery

Free; for Android

Just so Android users don’t think I’ve forgotten them, I’ve included a photo editor for Android. It comes with all the basic photo editing abilities, including sharpen, blur, and adjustments for brightness/ saturation/ contrast/ color temperature. Plus, it also comes with stickers, the ability to draw and add text, photo effects, and frames. If you want more, just pay for the extra effects and frame packs you need.

Vector Snap by Andreas Borg

Free; iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This app could save a lot of time for designers working with vectors. Need a specific vector shaped like, say, that plant in the corner of your office? Simply snap a photo and use Vector Snap to quickly turn the photo into a nice, unique vector image, instantly! This app works by tracing images to SVG, which you can then save as SVG or PNG. Modify the design using the app’s pixel and vector filters, text tool, or advanced color lab, or save it and fine tune it on your desktop.

Typecast by Monotype Limited

Try Free; plans start at $13.25/mo

This app helps you create designs with beautiful, consistent fonts by giving you access to over 23,000 web fonts from places like fonts.com, Google, MyFonts, Adobe TypeKit, and more. Easily test HTML/CSS across devices so that you can see exactly how a font will look, no matter how users access a website. Visual controls help with line spacing, letter spacing, and line height. You can create a style guide and so much more that it’s really unbelievable this app is so cheap.

Business Management Apps

My Price by MD Interaktiv

$1.99; for iPhone, iPad

This app is great for new freelancers because it calculates estimates for your projects. My Price figures out how much you should charge a client based on a number of calculations such as if you are charging by hour or by project, your professional background, the kind of client, total cost of the project, industry standards, etc.

Harvest by

Free; or plans start at $12/mo

This awesome accounting app provides plans individuals or business teams, with even a free option that allows for limited clients and projects. The payment plans allow varying numbers of users but all give unlimited clients, projects, and invoices. Just a few of the tasks you can accomplish with Harvest include tracking your time on tasks, reports, invoicing, acceptance of payments, excellent tracking of expenses, lots of add-ons for accounting, project management, and much more.

Invoice by Wave Accounting Inc.

Free; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

This app works amazingly well, according to reviews on iTunes. It makes accounting for your business fast and easy. Create invoices, accept credit card payments (with a small, flat fee), track invoices and when they are paid, overdue, or even viewed by your client. Pretty much, it can do everything an expense accounting app can do, minus all the extra bells and whistles that most freelancers don’t need.

Wunderlist by Wunderlist

Free; for iPhone, Android, Windows phone, Mac, Web, Windows 8, and more

This is a killer app for keeping your graphic design business organized. Create lists, share with others, and have conversations about lists using the Comments feature. You can even set reminders, due dates, and receive push notifications so you don’t miss a deadline. Just like Google lists, you can send emails to Wunderlist to create a task. Plus, it comes with real-time sync for keeping up with your list between devices.

Easy Books by Geode Software

Free limited use; for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac

This incredible bookkeeping app also includes invoicing and time-tracking with lots of excellent features. The free use allows you to see 120 transactions or you can upgrade for unlimited transactions or to also add other features, which means you only pay for the features you want. It’s easy to use and works great, and you can even add bank and credit card accounts, customers, suppliers, expenses, and earnings. Transactions are easy to add and you can even set recurring transactions, such as for monthly expenses. It even comes with backup, online syncing, and much more.

OmniFocus by The Omni Group

iPad $29.99; iPhone $19.99; Mac – $39.99 Standard, $79.99 Pro

The OmniFocus app is another task organizer, but much beefier than many out there. This one allows you to use features such as Perspectives, Contexts, and Focus to keep tasks organized and help you accomplish the most important tasks first. Much more comes with this app, making the one-time fee highly worth it. Plus, check out more apps from Omni Group, including OmniGraffle (an app for creating prototypes, mind maps, and other awesome graphics), OmniOutliner (a powerful note taker app), and much more.

Asana by Asana

Free; for iOS and Android

Asana provides great project management for teams, allowing your design team to send tasks instead of emails for easier collaboration on projects. Set team goals and keep track with different features, including notification updates to help you finish tasks on time. free for unlimited teams of up to 15 members and unlimited projects and tasks

Mailstrom by 410Labs

Free limited use; for Gmail, Google Apps Email, Apple, AOL, Exchange IMAP, Outlook, any email supporting IMAP

Emails are one of my least favorite tasks during the work day, but Mailstrom is the perfect app for getting rid of thousands of emails at once! I about turned cartwheels when I found this app. It bundles similar emails together so that you can organize or delete easily, has a tight privacy policy, and it even helps you unsubscribe from emails quickly and easily. For the free trial, Mailstrom takes a snapshot of your latest 5,000 emails, and you can eliminate 25%. If you find you really like all the time you just saved, then you can sign up for a plan to finish the rest for either $4.95/month or $49.95/year.

Bidsketch by Bidsketch

Free 14 Day Trial; plans start at $29/mo

With Bidsketch, you can put together client proposals that look incredible and professional very quickly. Plus, it comes with the ability to accept electronic signatures, embed images and videos, and even additional services that clients can choose to accept when viewing the proposal. Try this awesome app free for 14 days. The freelancer price is $29/month, and more users and team collaboration features are available for higher priced plans.

Dashlane

Free; for iOS, Android

With this password manager plus digital wallet app, you only have to remember your one password for Dashlane. Don’t lose this one, however, because Dashlane makes sure your information is highly secure by never storing your password in their database. This is why it is so safe to include even your credit card information, receipts, and every password for every account you ever have. Dashlane will ask you for your password and then autofill for you. Accessing websites via Safari on your iOS devices allows for fingerprint sign in. Plus, it even comes with a tool for helping you generate extremely secure passwords, automatic alerts when Dashlane believes any of your passwords are breached, and a security dashboard shows weak passwords that you may want to update. The free version only allows use of Dashlane on one device; or sign up for $39.99/year for unlimited devices and automatic backup of data. This app also provides flexible pricing for teams.

CX Cloud Solution

Custom packages; for Android, iOS

This white label cloud solution was created specifically for businesses needing a cloud storage, for backing up data, providing products to customers, etc. In fact, customers can access data through mobile apps or on their desktop, and the white label allows you to customize the look with your logo and brand colors. CX is great for graphic designers to back up and share portfolios, or for sharing projects with customers. It also comes with automatic uploading and file syncing and even allows customers to easily share and chat with you or each other. CX is constantly testing for quality control, making it very reliable and highly secure. Even better, you can pick and choose features if you don’t need everything in the full package.

What About You?

There are simply way too many awesome apps to list in a single post, so the list above is quite limited in comparison to what is available. This is why it would be great to hear from you on your favorite apps. What do you use to help you improve your work flow as a graphic designer, or even in your personal life? Do you use any of the apps listed above? Feel free to share in the comments below!

(dpe)

Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor loves writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and photography. She is a Senior Editor for Creative Content Experts, a copywriting company that she owns with her husband. Connect with @TaraHornor for more design inspiration and marketing help.

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Teelah
Guest

I love these! So great, thanks for the share. My price seems like its going to be a good fit for my life. I also want to try wonderlist. Again, thanks! I am a huge fan of keeping everything organized.

Alicia
Guest

Great apps! As an artist, I am always looking to enhance the quality of my designs. For a professional look, graphic design printing is the way to go. Thanks for sharing this post!

Harry
Guest

Good collection for design enthusiasts. Thanks for sharing

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