Our Favorite Apps for Design

LunaGraphica staff share their favorite free design apps

Most of the time when talking to designers about the tools they use for their jobs you get a list of expensive and complicated software, computers, and graphic tablets. To those not in the industry this list, and the passion with which design folk talk about the tools of their trade is often bewildering. Knowing this, you might be surprised to learn some of the tools we use most here at LunaGraphica are our favorite design apps (most of which are free and available to anyone with a Smartphone or computer).

Our staff recently revealed the apps they most often use for design work and explained how they make their jobs and other creative endeavors easier. Though there were many apps shared, some stood out as clear favorites. While discussing these applications we realized they might be helpful to you as well, so we decided to share the three apps that repeatedly came out on top.

What The Font

It’s difficult to count how many clients have come to us wanting a specific font used in a design, but have no idea what that font is. Locating a font, or one similar to it, without the name can be a time consuming and tedious process that often adds a lot of frustration to the design process on both sides of the table. Luckily the folks at MyFonts Inc. solved this problem for us all by creating our favorite font-identifying app!

We can only assume this app was conjured by wizards because it is truly a ”magical font identifier”. Available for iPhone and Android phones, as well as on the web, What The Font does exactly what it claims to do… magically identifies fonts. Though its accuracy in finding the exact font you are looking for isn’t 100%, you will be given numerous options for fonts that are so similar it is difficult to see the difference.

The control panel on the phone apps is so user-friendly even beginners will find it easy to understand. You can gather your text sample from a photo already on file in your library or by taking a photo of it with your phone, all through the app/website. Once you have selected the image the application takes a moment to identify text in the image. From there you simply click on the text you want to use as a sample and then hit next. In seconds you will be presented with a list of fonts and links to where you will find them. See? Magic!

Google Image Search

Yes, we all know about searching for images on Google… so what makes this special enough to be in our top three? The answer to that question is… our favorite reverse image search app, and this feature can be invaluable in more ways than one.

When clients hire us to do a design for them, be it web or print, they sometimes come to us with images they have found and would like to use. Occasionally those images are not high enough resolution to produce a quality end product. If the client has taken the photos themselves we will simply ask them provide a higher resolution version, but if they found it online and don’t know where the image originated we can utilize reverse image search to find it. This works shockingly well! Once we have found the original image we can get it in a higher resolution format to ensure our client is receiving the quality design they expect.

Copyright also comes into play for graphic design and it is something to be taken seriously. We can’t just use any image our clients bring to us… sometimes those images are someone else’s intellectual property and we must pay for the use through stock photo sites, or directly to the artist (or otherwise get permission). It is difficult to do that if you have no idea where the image came from. With reverse image search you can easily find the source of images you would like to use to ensure you are using them legally.

Creative people on the World Wide Web, or even people who share photos on social media sites, will undoubtedly be faced with copyright issues of their own at one point or another. Reverse image search can be used to find out if other people are using your art/images without your permission. This is important to know because the risk of someone stealing an image from your website and using it to profit is actually quite high. Most artists and designers I know who maintain a strong web presence do a monthly reverse image search to combat this issue.

Google has made this feature self explanatory to even the most inexperienced users and can be easily done from your Mac or PC using the Google Chrome browser.

Through the Chrome app for Smartphones has not yet integrated this feature there are apps available for both Android and Apple IOS that work with Google to do reverse image searches. Both function in the same way the reverse image search works on the browser, and are quite easy to figure out.


For Apple products you will use Reversee

Reversee app for apple logo - our favorite reverse image search app for Apple products









With Androids you will need Reverse Image Search (Google)

Reverse Image Search (Google) app logo for Google Play App Store - Our favorite reverse image search app for Andriod

Palette Generators

Last but certainly not least we have palette generators. There are many of them available for both Apple IOS and Android devices and they can be found by searching for “palette generator” in your app store. Because it is the app we are accustom to, and there are so many available, we are going to stick with our favorite such app, Color Viewfinder as our example.


Get Color Viewfinder in iTunes Store

Color Viewfinder logo for iTunes app - our favorite palette generator app for Apple

Have you ever looked out your window to see a beautiful sunset, or happened upon an otherwise gorgeous view and thought to yourself “Wow! I sure wish I could capture those colors and use them in my new logo/website/flyer design.” If you answered yes to that question in any way, then you are going to be thrilled with palette generators like Color Viewfinder.

Its beautiful user interface allows you to take a photo directly in the app, or use images already in your library to create fresh and exciting color palettes. Once your image is selected the app breaks down each color found in it. You can then choose which colors you would like to use in your palette, and how you want them displayed on the image. Saving and sharing images for reference is a snap, and Color Viewfinder also gives you hex codes for each color so you can easily find them in whatever design software you will be using to create your digital design.

As you can imagine, this app is immensely helpful to our designers when clients bring us photo examples of colors they would like included in their designs. This is especially useful when clients bring logos or design elements created by other companies and would like colors matched exactly, but can only provide us with the image files.

In this world of ever-changing technology it is easy to feel a bit lost when it comes to which applications to use, and how you can be better prepared for your design projects by using them. Weather you are using these apps for personal projects, or to do research for projects you have hired a designer to create for you, you can rest assured the LunaGraphica team has tested them time and again.