Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter
Assembly is an iOS app that makes graphic design accessible, regardless of your experience or lack there of.
Ok, so it’s not going to be winning you any prizes since the designs are pretty basic (or minimalist, if you prefer) but it is sufficient for quick and impressive design on-the-go.
While I’ve no formal graphic design training, I dabble every now and then and always admire good logos, icons and typography whenever I see some. It’s actually the more simplistic styles that I seem to be drawn to the most, so when I spotted Assembly, I knew I had to give it a go.
At $2.99, Assembly lives up to its price.
The first thing I noticed was the design of the app itself; it’s very clean and the Avenir typeface fits the layout perfectly.
When you open the app for the first time, it asks your level of design experience. I chose beginner, as that’s what I am, and it took me through an introduction, before I could start working on some original projects. There are still tutorials to go through for the Intermediate and Advanced levels as well.
After the tutorials, you can complete set tasks to get your feet wet if you’re still not fully sure of your capability or just want to get some more practice.
Once you start your own projects, you’ll notice they are all divided into three areas – Artboard, Shapes and Styles. Artboard is your canvas, which you can draw on, fill with a solid color or paste a photo on and it will act as your base.
Shapes is self explanatory. Here, you’ll find the nearly 200 shapes that will build your design. You can rotate, resize, layer, group and rearrange any of these shapes to incorporate them into your design. You can buy additional shapes in packs for $0.99 or $5.99 for a Forever Unlock pack, which gets you access to all additional shapes as they are added.
In the Styles section, you get to tweak all of your shapes; from the opacity to the thickness of lines, level of shadows and the colors, you can alter it to suit your taste. None of your decisions are final so you can try everything out and just use the undo button to start over if you’re not feeling it.
When you are finally happy with what you’ve created, you can save it as a JPG,PNG or SVG file. You can also share it via SMS or email and to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well.
While I still wouldn’t class myself as a skilled graphic designer (yet), Assembly has definitely boosted my confidence and I’ll definitely be keeping it on my home screen. It’s straightforward to use and perfect to give anyone who’s interested in design a basic level of knowledge on how to build a good design. And if you’re already a pro, Assembly is a good mobile solution for working or planning on-the-go.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.