About a month ago, I announced a brand new app called Studio (download it here). It's basically Instagram for graphic design. I've been spending way too much time on it designing up some graphics for this and that. I use it for adding text onto images and then put it onto Instagram, or creating illustrations from scratch. The app has exploded with over 1,000,000 users now (and over 500,000 people following me, yikes!) and for good reason: it's simple enough that anyone can use it, it's quick, and you can improve your design skills by remixing anyone's design. I constantly have people asking me how to use the features so I thought I'd do a full tutorial to quicken the process.
Here's a quick show of how I made the above graphic on Studio app. Of course, it doesn't show the design elements that I didn't like. I spared you.
How to navigate the Studio feed (image below): Like Instagram, you'll have a main feed where you can see everyone whom you follow and their latest designs. At the top of each design it reads "original" if the design is one that the person has created from scratch. Next to it it reads 1. "Remixes: 44" meaning that 44 people have "remixed" this particular design. In other words, they can use whatever design elements you have used to create your design and put it onto theirs. 2. If you click on these three dots it will take you to a button where you can save that particular design to your bookmarks and report inappropriate material. I use this when I see a really great design and note it for later. For kicks I report every third image as inappropriate. Kidding. 3. The plus button is where you start your original design from scratch.
How to create an original design or remix a design: If you click on the plus button or the remix button (which is on the bottom right, not shown), it will prompt you to choose a photo to act as a base, or you can choose no image at all. If I want to create an illustration from scratch, I typically don't use a photo underneath. If I want to add text to a picture, this is when I would add in the photo of my choice.
How to add layers to your original or remixed design (image below): This layers page will be your ticket to creating a complete design. If you're familiar with Photoshop, then you're familiar with the concept of layers. If you're not, let me explain: each design element you want to put onto your design will be its own layer. For example, in the above design up top, the flower outline is one layer, each circle of color is its own layer, the two lines of text are its own layer, and the lines surrounding it are also a different layer, like below:
- The overlay market is where you can get some awesome overlays (see more in the next image below). Some are free of charge while others are $.99 like my pack of flowers. Once you get it you have it forever and can use it with any design. They introduce new designs all the time and it's perfect because I find that I reuse a lot of the the same designs over and over.
- Bookmarks. This is where you can go back to retrieve the bookmarks you've saved for your new design.
- Each layer will be added here.
- These three dots are where you can duplicate or delete a layer. I use this button a lot to duplicate the same layers and typically adjust each one to what I need it to do.
- Hide. This button allows you to hide a layer. It's good if you want to test something out and then see if it works or not.
Here's the marketplace. You see you have access to a lot of really great designs. Ahem, my flower pack.
Here's an example of what my Layer page looked like while I was working on the top image. I used the "cluster" from my Flower pack, and each color was its own layer. I put the text on a white rectangle shape and added in the text.
Here's an example of what the overlay market will look like. I used my Flower pack as an example.
Here's the process for creating the final design. As you can see, I started out with the main flower image and then added each color underneath. I adjusted the opacity of the colors so that they would feel more watercolory. Then added the white rectangle on top and then the black text on top of that framed by the black lines. Donzo. It seems so easy here, but to get a really great design it will take you a bit of time.
ALSO, I have found that the system can close down when you have too many layers. This one wasn't a problem, but I've done some more intricate illustrations only to have the app close on me. And it's not saved, so it's been a bit frustrating. I'm hoping that will get fixed soon.
What sets Studio app apart from any other design apps is that you have the option to "remix" anyone's design. I created this design and it was remixed 44 times. Here are a couple of examples. These ones are a bit more tame, but generally you'll find some pretty crazy remixes.
Download the app here.