Design on the Fly


Frame Magic, a free app for the iPhone and iPad makes designing on the fly a breeze. I discovered this when I had collected an assortment of photos on my iPad and needed a “layout” program to display the photos together.

There are plenty of apps that allow a user to make a collage of their photos to share with family and friends, but they don’t offer a grid system. Frame Magic does and has turned out to be a handy tool for any number of purposes.

The best part about it is that (other than it being free for the “lite” version) it is actually fun to use. Once the photos are selected, they can be imported into the template one by one. The grid offers a variety of layouts to choose from depending on what you need. The free version is limited, but so far I haven’t needed anymore.

It also comes with a variety of fun effects, useful for giving the photos a unified look. You can get artsy or playful. Plus, it has contrast, saturation, allows you to flip photos horizontally and vertically, set background/border color and more. There are just enough controls to make it more than the standard “fun” app. It’s practical for business purposes, as in displaying an identity system for a client. The more I use it the more I find even more uses for it.

As an avid fan of Pinterest, it has proven to be a crazy useful tool. Pinterest users are 70% women and we love to organize. The site is mainly used by women in their 20s and 30s, planning weddings, baby showers, cool outfits and the like.


They collect ideas that would work for an event or home project. The problem with Pinterest is that all the collectibles are in separate boxes within a “board”. With frame magic the images could be collected within the board as a mix-and-match for a particular occasion as shown below.

It’s a worthwhile “investment” and you don’t have to be a designer to use it, but you can look like one.


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