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The 43 best typography apps

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Boost your skills and knowledge, create typefaces and play font-related games with these brilliant typography apps for iOS, Android and the web. From iOS or Android, Windows to web apps, the app world is brimming with ways to improve your typography skills and make working with fonts quicker and easier. So typographers, this one's for you - our pick of the most essential typography apps that can make your font-oriented life a little easier and in some cases a lot more fun.


01. Font Candy

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPhone Touch)

Mask your photos with words using custom captions, symbols and gorgeous fonts with iOS app Font Candy. Developed byEasy Tiger Apps, this cool tool allows users to transform their images by adding shapes and gradients, layering images and applying different blend modes.

02. PicLab

Use the photo editor to quickly create trendy typographic images with this app

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android

PicLab makes it easy to add typography to your photos, offering lots of fonts and full control over size, positioning, opacity, rotation, and colour. You can also do other things like layer illustrations, ornamentation and other design elements on top of your image.

03. A Beautiful Mess

typography appsCreate beautiful, font inspired photos with A Beautiful Mess

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

A Beautiful Mess is another brilliant typography app that allows you to spruce up your photos with a touch of type. With an array of fonts to choose from, as well as a variety of borders and effects, A Beautiful Mess can help you create beautiful matching of text and imagery in no time at all

04. MyFontbook

Top typography appsWith MyFontbook, you can organise and view installed fonts easily

  • Platform: Web

With MyFontbook, you can organise and view installed fonts easily. Providing a number of tools to manage your fonts, MyFontbook is platform independent and can be used across any web browser.

05. Typography Live Wallpaper

typography appsAdobe Kuler is built into this wallpaper app

  • Platform: Android

Create your own text based wallpapers for your Android devices with this editing app. With Adobe Kuler built into the Typography Live Wallpaper app, colour-lovers will no doubt adore it. Great for font experimentation and typography play time.

06. Fontroid

typography appsA typography app for those that love to network

  • Platform: Android

Looking for Japanese handwriting fonts? Fontroid is a social font service that allows people to create and share their handwriting fonts with others all over the world.

07. Typography

Typography appsTypography is a type-based messenger

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Send your own, unique typography message to friends and loved ones with this cool app. Developed by Patrick Goor, the unique app uses a random set of letters published on Flickr to display the message you input, which can then be emailed to a recipient. Each image is linked to the respective Flickr page, with photo credits visible when rolling over the image.

08. Typecast

Typography appsTypecast is a browser-based web fonts app

  • Platform: Web

Typecast is a browser-based web fonts app that enables you to experiment with over 23,000 web fonts from Typekit, Fontdeck, and Google Fonts - even if you don't have an account with those services.

09. Typecast (Google Fonts version)

See above - but accessible through Google Fonts

  • Platform: Web

Monotype recently teamed up with Google to release a new, free public version of Typecast which can be accessed throughGoogle Fonts. It enables you to select any font on the Google Fonts website and then follow the link to the Typecast app.

From there, you can work with that font on text of any length and use a wide range of type controls to build clear, readable type systems through adjustments such as font size, weight and line spacing. Your work can be exported as production-ready HTML and CSS, or PNG files, to share with others or merge with comps.

10. Fonts

Typography appsFonts is a useful iPhone typography app

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Despite its incredibly unimaginitive name, free app Fonts helpfully displays all of the iPhone's system fonts. The initial list is the font families, then each font (normal, bold, oblique) within the family and finally, details about each.

11. Fount

Fount helps you identify typography

  • Platform: Web

As web fonts have become common online, the range of typography options available has increased dramatically. If you spot a font you'd like to use while browsing the web, it can be a bit of a headache to dig down into the website's code in order to work out which font you're looking at. Fount solves this problem by using a bookmarklet to allow you to instantly identify fonts.

12. Typekit

Typekit is integral to Adobe's Creative Cloud

  • Platform: Web

Font service Typekit was founded in 2008 by some of the web industries most experienced designers and developers, bought by Adobe in 2011 and now forms an integral part of the Creative Cloud, allowing you to access thousands of fonts from within all the various Adobe tools. Find out more about how to embed fonts into your web designs using Typekit here.

13. A+ Signature

Typography appsBroader than a mere typography app, this annotation tool allows you to add type

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Make your mark on your photos with multi-usage photo annotation app A+ Signature. With an impressive selection of fonts to choose from, this app can do various things, ranging from creating nifty photocards to send to friends and family, to putting your signature on a photo.

14. Tiff

Tiff is a typography app that allows you to compare fonts

  • Platform: Web

This nifty little web app enables you to compare how letters look in different typefaces. Tiff is described as "a typeface diff tool that visually contrasts the differences between two fonts". When you first open the page, the letters R, g, h and e are being displayed in Helvetica ('Font A'). To change the font, click the blue 'Hide' button (which changes to 'Display') and start typing in the field. A drop-down menu of fonts will appear. Make a selection and the letters below will change accordingly.

To compare with another font, do the same in the 'Font B' field and the two fonts will appear next to each other. You can also change the selection of letters at the bottom of the page. And you can see the fonts close up by clicking on the square. At this point, Google Web Fonts is the only source of external fonts for Tiff, but Yu is working on including more font sources.

15. Fontest

Fontest developer tool allows you to check fonts on Android

  • Platform: Android

Fontest is a developer and typography tool that helps you quickly preview how your favorite fonts are rendered on Android. Includes six high quality free fonts.

16. Path On

 Path OnAdd text to your images with Path On

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Path lets you add funky text to photos in unique ways. You draw the path you'd like the words to take, then type in your message - the text then flows along the path. The custom options are the real killer feature here, with you being able to adjust the font, the letter space, and the alignment. The photo filters are best avoided, though.

17. Over

Over is another typography app for adding type to images

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

While a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes you need some words as well to let people know what they're looking at. The iPhone app Over is the perfect choice for any Instagram addict, enabling you to add typography to your images quickly and easily.

18. Overgram

Just an example of what you can do with Overgram

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Overgram is a free version of Over (see above) from the same developers. Giving you access to 10 fonts and text alignment, it doesn't have as many fonts to choose from as the original paid-for version but there's still plenty of fun to be had. It offers a great user experience too.

19. iFontMaker

As the name suggests, this app is for creating typography of your own

  • Platform: iOS (iPad)

Actually creating typefaces and fonts on an iPad might seem like an odd thing to do, but iFontMaker by Eiji Nishidai provides a straightforward interface for hand-drawn efforts that can subsequently be emailed or converted into a TTF file. In getting you away from standard tools and on to your iPad, there's also scope for 'thinking different', so to speak.

20. LetterMpress

This typography app is for learning about letterpress

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), OS X

Typefaces and fonts only entered the digital space relatively recently, but an iPad provides a link to the past with LetterMpress; this charming, somewhat addictive app enables you to work with and learn about vintage wood type and hand-driven printing presses, without making a mess. High-res output also ensures this is more than just a toy.

21. TypeDrawing

This fun typography app is for drawing with type

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Web

OK, so this app, developed by Hansol Huh, is actually a bit of a toy, but it's a very nice one. You type some text, pick a font and then finger-paint on the screen, adjusting type size, spacing, rotation and colour as you go. An image can be used as a foundation, also making this an app for rapidly adding text to photos.


22. Convertr

Very useful for type pros, this app allows you to convert font measurements

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone)

There are loads of conversion tools on the App Store, but Convertr has one of the cleanest and most straightforward interfaces we've seen. Also, along with typical distance conversion options (such as inches to centimetres), it has a bespoke typography section, for when you need to convert points to picas, or between various resolutions.

23. WhatTheFont

Discover fonts or very close approximations with this typography app

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone), Web app

Everyone who works with typefaces and fonts at some point sees a piece of lettering and wonders what font is being used. WhatTheFont enables you to take a photo and - with a little luck - identify the font you’re looking at. Does it always work? No. But when it does, it's a little slice of fried tech gold.

24. Paper by FiftyThree

Paper is a useful tool for type designers

  • Platform: iOS (iPad)

"Ideas begin on paper", is the slogan for this app, and that certainly used to be the case, but the move to digital's scuppered that. Paper's the closest thing on iOS to actual paper, offering a tactile experience via a bunch of bolt-on modules for sketching and colouring, which are useful for getting down font-design notes and ideas, especially if you’ve an iOS-compatible stylus handy.

25. Typefaces

Typefaces is another tool for discovering Apple's fonts

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Although web fonts have come on a long way, it's still useful to know the typefaces and fonts installed on a device. For whatever reason, Apple doesn’t provide a native viewing tool. But free app Typefaces, developed by kanotomo, ably comes to the rescue, listing iOS device fonts and also displaying available characters.

26. FontBook

Fontbook is a great typography app for researching and comparing typefaces

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

On its release, FontBook was already a fantastic resource for researching and comparing typefaces and fonts, documenting the work of over a hundred type foundries. And then they went and updated it for the new iPad's Retina display, resulting in the closest thing to font porn you'll get on your device.

27. Byword

Byword is an extremely handy typography app

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), OS X

Although typographers have to deal with how typefaces and fonts look, they must often edit and write, too. On the iPad, plenty of heavily focused text-editing apps exist, but Byword gets our vote, primarily because it offers a live on-screen word-and-character count - handy for when you need to smash copy into a set space.

28. Typography Insight for iPad

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

A must-buy for anyone learning about or studying fonts, Typography Insight was created by Dong Yoon Park, an MFA design and technology student at Parsons The New School for Design. Essentially his thesis in interactive app form, it harnesses the iPad to help teach the subtleties of typography to help you to distinguish between fonts. The app lets you inspect the details of different typefaces, plus there are sections that teach how to measure typefaces and how to set type.

29. Fontula

Fontula is unusual but pleasing

  • Platform: iOS (iPad)

Despite some rather strange app design choices (no preview; no strip of already created characters; an 'old paper' background), Fontula's a pleasing app for experimenting with creating new letterforms. Beyond merely experimenting by dragging shapes about, you can also export your work to TTF.

30. The Font Game

A great game for type nerds!

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone)

Perhaps the perfect game for font geeks, The Font Game, created by Justin Stahl, pits you against 30 font samples and the clock. And once you've mastered the typefaces and fonts, it's time to tackle terminology. Don't know your open counter from your double dagger? Battling your chums in Game Center will sort that out soon enough.

31. FontBrowser

A curiously old-school typography app, but FontBrowser still appeals

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

This app appears to have been repeatedly beaten with an ugly stick, but it's a useful freebie for browsing Unicode fonts and keystrokes. Symbols can be searched by type, saving precious minutes if you're frantically looking for a particular arrow symbol.

32. Quark DesignPad

Not a typography app, but a useful tool for typographers

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Quark's free iPad app isn't a typography tool per se - it's instead a product for enabling you to rapidly wireframe grid-based designs. But given that many people who deal with typefaces and fonts on a daily basis also need to rapidly work up page layouts, we'd say DesignPad could become an indispensable part of your toolkit.

33. Palettes Pro

Another typographers tool rahter than typography app, but a very useful one

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Designers of all kinds need to have a tool for creating colour palettes, and that's true for typographers, not least to check contrasts between type and backgrounds. Developed by Rick Maddy, Palettes Pro is a great standalone tool for your device, and it can export palettes when you need to work with them in Photoshop or Illustrator.

34. Fontly

Fontly is like Instapaper for font fanatics

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android

Free app Fontly is a bit like Instapaper for type geeks, enabling you to "capture, map, and explore the world of vintage typography". You take a snap of some lettering, then title and tag it, whereupon it's geo-tagged and added to the website - useful if you just have to visit that slightly faded sign in London.

35. Helvetica vs Arial

A cheeky little game but fun for font freaks!

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

We could hardly have gone through an entire typography article without once mentioning the ongoing 'Helvetica versus Arial' battle. This free game is as simple as they come: look at the text, press the right button, and hope that you don't make the wrong choice, or you'll be forever ostracised by the typography community. (Harsh but fair.)

36. Fontli

Use Fontli to discover inspirational photography of type throughout the world

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Windows

Fontli is a social network of type lovers, enabling the community to collect and share inspiring examples of typography from everyday life. Using integration with MyFonts database, the free app also features type tagging on pictures. There's a Windows version too.

37. Swipe

Swipe is another app for adding type to your images

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Swipe allows you to add typography to your images with a quick (you guessed it) swipe. You can choose from over 100 fonts, then adjust text settings such as size, colour, transparency, rotation and alignment. There's plenty of sharing functionality and all edits are saved, allowing you to re-edit your photos as many times as you want.

38. Kern

Kern is a great way to learn about or practice the important art/science of kerning

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad)

Kern is a nifty little game that teaches kerning. A random word with a missing letter appears at a variable point size. As the leading begins to shrink, you navigate the missing letter to the proper space and release its handle to lock it in place. Your score is calculated based on the size of the type, the leading height, and the perfection of placement. It's a lot of fun and a great way to brush up on your skills.

39. Kern Type

Another kerning game, Kern Type is a useful typography app

  • Platform: Web

If you'd like a free alternative to Kern (see above), web app Kern Type, created by Mark MacKay, looks fab on Retina displays. Again, you drag letters into place and the site tells you how well you've done.

40. The Typography Manual

This typography app is a great resource

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone)

There are plenty of typefaces and fonts resources, but the most valuable is the one you always have with you. Created by Justin Stahl, The Typography Manual is a tiny iPhone app (just 12MB), which includes plenty of handy information about type, details on type anatomy, a glossary of type terminology, Mac and HTML key combos, an Em calculator, and a font-size ruler.

41. Wordcam!

typography appsTurn your images into typographic masterpieces

  • Platform: Android

Words + camera = art! Turn your images into amazing typographic art using text. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how about a picture made of a thousand words?

42. Typetester

Typetester helps you make informed choices about your font choices

  • Platform: Web

TypeTester is a nifty little web app that aims to help you make informed choices in your typography. Paste some text into the field at the top of the page, then set up your font options in the three columns below to visually compare the results.

You have full control over font size, alignment, leading, tracking and colour. By testing and comparing you can ensure you get the maximum impact from your type.

43. Ampergram

Typography appsAmpergram utilises photos of type taken in the wild

  • Platform: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android

Combining typography with popular photo editor Instagram led Phillip Pastore to create Ampergram, a cool app that enables you to create endless typographic compositions using cool photos of fonts. You can capture and tag your own letters, or use the app's already stellar offerings generated by the community.

The 43 best typography apps

The 43 best typography apps Posted on 26-03-2014  Boost your skills and knowledge, create typefaces and play font-related games with these brilliant typography apps for iOS, Android and the web. From iOS or Android, Windows to web apps, the app world is brimming with ways to improve your typography skills and make working with fonts quicker and easier. So typographers, this one's for you - our pick of the most essential typography apps that can make your font-oriented life a little easier and in some cases a lot more fun. 5/10 1218


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