One of the ways I get my inspiration is by seeing the brilliant work of others. I also learn every time I see one of my colleagues present. I’ve been with Adobe for almost 17 years and I can remember the days of the printed “Adobe Magazine”. The Adobe Magazine stopped being published years ago when the web was all the rage. Now we’re in the era of digital publications on tablets and with that said there’s a NEW Adobe Magazine called Adobe Inspire. Adobe Inspire Magazine is a free publication on the iPad. It’s created using Adobe InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite. The content is geared toward informing, enlightening, and inspiring creative professionals and hobbyists. Documenting the best of web and interaction design practices for over 10 years, each bimonthly issue features articles, tutorials, and videos by experts about new and emerging technologies as well as best practices to help you excel at your job. Learn about Adobe Creative Suite tools and services as well as web standards, design styles, and prominent artists who create compelling projects. The iPad edition of Inspire Magazine contains bonus features not found on the companion website. Best of all Adobe Inspire is FREE!
Twitter is all about short messages of 140 characters or less. Sure you can now easily tweet a picture along with your text, but then you’ll have less than 140 characters because the link to your pic is going to take up some of the text. GraphicTweets aims to combine your tweet with the picture you want to send. This isn’t the first app we’ve seen that allows you to add text to a picture and share it, but most of the other Apps are aimed at Facebook and Instagram. This is one of the few Apps aimed at Twitter first and of course it allows you to share via Facebook and Instagram too. Once you launch the App it starts you off with the ability to key in your text. You can choose font color and background color as well as size. Next you can add a photo. It can be one of your photos or one from Flickr or Facebook. Lastly, just hit the Share button and choose to share your GraphicTweet on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I’m impressed by the large variety of font choices. It actually has more fonts than any other mobile App that I’ve seen. You can use multi-touch gestures to rotate the text or move it to where it looks best on the photo. It works as advertised, however, I’d like to see a couple of additions. First off I’d like to see this as a Universal App supporting iPad. Next, I’d like to see the ability to have word wrap in the text. Right now it seems to be limited to one line of text per GraphicTweet.
We pickup our friends and family from the airport all the time. These are generally meetings with kisses and hugs. However, there are times when we may need to pickup someone that we hadn’t met yet. Perhaps it’s a colleague or maybe a new roommate. We all have seen those signs as we leave the baggage claim being held by various courier services. However, in recent months I’ve noticed that more and more companies are using tablets to display these signs electronically. It’s certainly more professional looking than a magic marker and of course you can brand it.
I actually started doing this when meeting friends just for the fun of it/laughs. Of course you can create these with any number of applications on your desktop and then send it to your iPad or iPhone as a PDF. While that works, it’s not convenient to create one on the fly. I could also build them in Photoshop Touch using photos and text right on my iOS device. That got me wondering if there was an App on the App Store that would let you do it directly. I found one. At first glance I really wasn’t impressed. The screenshots on the App Store were really “basic” looking. Sort of like 90′s clipart. Since it was free I downloaded it and gave it a shot. I was happy to see that I could put my own logo in and that the clipart look that I saw on the screen shots was just a bad looking logo. You can put in up to two lines of text. The App is an Universal App and therefore works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It also works in both portrait and landscape. You can choose from 4 different skins to change the background color and that’s pretty much it.
It works, but could be better!
While the Pick-Up Sign App does exactly what it says the first thing that I didn’t like was the ads being displayed on the sign. You can do an in-app purchase of 0.99¢ to turn the ads off. That’s the 1st thing I did. While I could easily import my logo as a .PNG file, the app didn’t seem to recognize the transparency. I ended up making a white version on a black background in Photoshop Touch. That’s when I realized that the black background in the dark skin wasn’t 100% black. I could go back and match it in Photoshop, but it would be nice to be able to choose a custom color background or better yet let me import a photo from my Photos/Camera Roll. The other issue is that you don’t get to choose fonts or font size. There is only one font and it scales based on the display orientation. I’d love it if it had a few font choices. It will be nice to have this App for those times when I need a quick sign, but if I really want it to look nice I’ll probably continue to build them in Photoshop Touch and display them as photos.