9 Must Have iPhone Apps For Font Addicts

If you’re a Typography Nerd raise your hand….I knew I wasn’t the only one obsessed with the art and techniques of arranging type and type design. As designers we seem to have an innate passion for Typography with an understanding it is at the very core of our work. It’s even been said that Web Design is 95% Typography.

So what better way to keep ourselves entertained, enlightened or just plain amused with Type than with these 9 Typography based apps.

Think you know your Century from your Myriad Pro? Well The Font Game will most definitely test your typography knowledge! There are three levels to choose from, beginning with ‘Somewhat Difficult’ through to the incredibly challenging ‘Exceedingly Difficult’, with a Hall of Fame which holds the latest and greatest scores. It was created by the Typography obsessed John Boardley, Kari Pätilä and Justin Stahl.

KERN is a challenging and thoroughly addictive game with the aim being to place a missing letter into a falling word while avoiding unnecessary ligatures. The letter appears at a variable point size and as the leading begins to shrink, you navigate the missing letter to the proper space and release its handle to lock it in place. It’s a wonderfully designed app that will bring out the Typography addict within.

This uniquely interesting app uses a random set of letters published on Flickr to display the message you input, which can then be emailed directly to a recipient of your choice or uploaded on the public gallery. Each image is linked to the respective Flickr page and you can view the photo’s credit by rolling over the image. It’s a fantastic combination of Flickr, Typography and communication.

What The Font is the brainchild of MyFonts which helps you identify the fonts in a photo or web graphic. Ever seen a great font in a magazine ad, poster, or on the web and wondered what font it is? Whip out your iPhone and snap a photo, and WhatTheFont for iPhone will identify that font in seconds. The app connects directly to MyFonts’ font identification service which I’ve used personally on many occasions.

Do your eyes light up when conversations turn to ems, kerning, and baseline grids? If you answered yes, then The Typography Manual is for you! The Typography Manual is a superb resource for designers and includes a visual type anatomy glossary, a font size ruler, an em calculator, and enough content to fill a 60-page book. It has all the essentials of a desk reference in a regularly updated pocket resource. This is one Typography app every designer should have on their iPhone.

TypeDrawing is a wonderful app that lets you draw with letters. You start by typing a sentence, word or letters you want to express, and then just draw. It allows you to make stunning typographic artworks and wallpapers. You can specify the font, size, color and opacity as well as the background and later save your artwork to a Photo Album or Email it. You can also join the Flickr group and upload your drawings.

FontShuffle was created by The Font Shop and offers a unique way of finding and comparing typefaces, and composing text samples. It’s a fantastic source of typographic inspiration, with hundreds of font families sorted by visual similarity into a visual family tree. The FontShop selects the best fonts from its huge assortment, from the world’s most respected type foundries, so the FontShuffle catalogue is constantly updated.

Type Photo combines your creative imagination with Typography and Photos. Make your friend’s photos into great typographic art with the words you want to say together. TypePhoto is really simple to use. Just type a sentence, words or letters and choose a font, then select an image (from either your photo album or with your iPhone camera) and that’s it, Type Photo creates beautiful typographic art. Type Photo also supports saving your arts as high definition images (1920*1920 pixels) and you can print them out or set them as wallpaper on your Mac and iPhone.

Want to know what the Malayalam letter Gha looks like? Do you need to know the key code for a left arrow? Or wonder what fonts are installed in your device? This app is for you. Font Browser is a unicode font browser, color browser, and keyboard keystroke browser. You can browse through more than 19,000 characters in the Unicode font, 9,600 named colors and 1,900 X11 keyboard codes.

Further Typography Resources

Have you tried any of the apps listed? If so I would love to hear your experience and your recommendations in the comments below.


  1. Nice list Grace, thanks. I have a couple of these, Kern looks fun though! A trip to the app store later maybe :)

  2. Josh Nielsen says:

    Great list, I really want to try typeDrawing don’t forget http://typewars.com. they have an iphone app but I think the browser interface is more engrossing.

  3. There must be a good alternative to Font Browser? I’d happily pay a nominal amount to not be subjected to the ads, and the thing keeps pestering me for my location for no good reason. I removed the app almost instantly, but realised that something similar could be quite handy.

  4. Clinton says:

    Loving font shuffle at the mo’. Haven’t had much time in the past to check the small variations in fonts but now I can with my trusty iPhone.

    • Grace says:

      @Michael, Kern is awesome, do check it out!

      @Josh Thanks Josh for the link but appears to be down? Typewars sounds fun though.

      @Foomandoonian Unfortunately I haven’t found an alternative to Font Browser as yet. I do agree Font Browser could use a much better UI.

      @Clinton Font Shuffle is fantastic, I hope you enjoy it :-)

  5. Carl Franke says:

    Ahhh, these apps are exactly what I need for the train ride in the morning. Looking forward to installing these and checking them out. Great list!

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