Phoster App Review – One Step Closer for Designers

The biggest complaint I have about the iPad/iPhone is that there still isn't a streamlined solution for designers to make something from nothing. For these devices to supplement laptops and desktops there needs to be a one/two app solution that allows users to create 100% start to finish. Phoster, an App by Bucket Labs, is a step in that direction. Phoster's purpose is pretty simple: Make a poster using your iphone or iPad. With the iPhone you can use the camera or a photo from your photo library. Naturally with the iPads lacking camera one can only use the photo library. Pretty basic concept, which falls in line with most effective iOS applications - basic and useful. As someone who makes posters for a concert promoter at least three times a week I certainly can feel the strain of a creative block. After nearly designing one hundred concert flyers, it can be very easy to get into a habit of using the same elements or similar design techniques to simply get the job done. I'm always trying to keep things fresh with my designs and since I've been using the Phoster app I can admit that it has been an invaluable tool in prepping my designs. Right out of the gate, Phoster comes with some pretty useful and trendy templates for you to manipulate. These templates are pretty spectacular, especially for an app that is only $1.99. The templates range from very commercial (such as the I heart NY template) to very elegant and 'indie' looking - if I can steal an industry term. While many may think that thirty plus templates can be limiting but my challenge to that would be that the possibilities are even wider with that many templates. I know there is a community of users growing for this app whom regularly share their phosters on Flickr and other sites. However, I believe the potential for working designers to use this is extraordinary. Everyone's use of this app will vary. The common user will think this is a cool way to make a trendy and stylish poster from their iphones to share between friends or on a social network. For more serious designers, specifically those using iPad, Phoster is a great tool for layout out basic design elements and quickly producing a layout. One of the promoters I work with usually sends me everything he wants to see in the flyer, the band photo that agents want to see and the copy mandatory for the flyer. Recently I've been whipping up quick proofs for him to glance over so he has an idea what the end result is going to look like. I think, with a few enhancements, this app will be incorporated into my daily workflow for specific design projects and can easily see the app gaining popularity in the mobile design community. I can't speak highly enough about this app. I think the simplicity of the interface combined with the ability to incorporate text and photos with very elegant and original design templates makes this app a grand-slam out of Fenway. I wouldn't change anything about the app, I think the interface is very intuitive and suits the needs of the app. From this point I would only add features. The big feature I would add is the ability for designers to submit custom templates - both free and premium for users to download. I think the ability for user sumbitted content further establishes a community based app and everyone involved feel part of the development process. The second option I would incorporate would be an export resolution option. I think it's great that users can easily share content between the big social networks (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter) but I think designers would find this even more useful if they could select their export resolution - whether that be pixel or inches. Overall I think Phoster is a superb app for the budding mobile design community. I'm very excited to see the potential of the app and how far it will go in the coming months. Kudos to the crew over at Bucket Labs, they have a hit on their hands and with continued development they will have a superior lead in the mobile design market with the Phoster app.

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