The iPhone isn’t yet an indispensable part of the font designer’s tool kit, but it really does make a nifty little font toy, if you find the correct apps for it. You can now use the iPhone to record and ID fonts on the run, sharpen your font skills, and enjoy a few minutes’ diversion. Here are a few apps that will help you turn your idle time into fontastic fun time.
The Best iPhone Apps That Exist
This font identification tool has proven its worth millions of times on your desktop and laptop; now you can use on the run, directly from your phone. Simply use your phone to take a photo of the font in question, upload it, and the savant gnome who powers MyFont’s identification engine will tell you the font’s name. Easy and helpful!
For brainstorming on the bus, FontShop’s Fontshuffle is a godsend. It is an extensive catalog of typefaces divided by font taxonomy and letter feature. It can help you identify the perfect font for your design idea, or take you on an inspirational odyssey through others’ lettering masterworks.
So you think you can do What The Font’s job? Prove it with the font identification game. Play against other typophiles, and sharpen your eye for typeface in the process.
The Best iPhone Apps That Do Not Exist
It’s great to see font culture and iPhone culture merge, but why stop at copying Internet tools? The iPhone’s true strengths are its mobility and its amelioration of downtime boredom. In that vein, here are a few apps that might serve the font community well.
Font and sketch training game
For those who sketch their fonts, drawing appealing symmetric freehand curves is a holy grail. The truly great practice as dutifully as a tennis pro. A simple iPhone game could help them all to hone their letterform talent during the daily commute. An alternate mode for the practice of the eight basic brushstrokes of Chinese writing would give this little app an even broader appeal.
The New ASCII Art
Letterform-based patterns and art has become a mini-trend within the design community. Stripped of their symbolic meaning, letters and numbers become the building blocks of tiled patterns or even intricate drawings. Wouldn’t you try your hand at updated ASCII art while waiting for your dentist appointment? At worst, it would be like playing with a letter-based Etch-a-Sketch; at best, it would increase one’s appreciation of letterform, and even jog some design ideas out of the idle moments.
This “app” is not software, but it would make the font lover’s iPhone significantly more useful. Consider a tiny facedown tripod for the iPhone. It holds the iPhone camera about three inches away from the text while you snap a photo. The resulting image is square, sharp, and perfect for What The Font’s iPhone app.
Typophile iPhone users unite! What do you think the best apps would be for type-related fun?