Not everyone of us is an artist with the skill to create amazing graphical art. Still, we’d like to be able to create a nice poster or card once in a while for our club, a party or a music event – without having to read a book about design first. Luckily for us iPhone and iPad owners, Phoster can help out. Read on to learn how to create stunningly stylish posters within minutes that will let you and your cause shine.
What does it do & how does it work?
Phoster can be best summarized via the included mini user guide. It really is as easy as importing a photo into one of the very stylish themes, adding some personal touches and sharing it with the world (or just your friends).
Phoster ships with an impressive number of templates covering a wide variety of styles and themes. Whether you want to create a funny poster to entertain your friends, a promotional one for your band’s next gig or a stylish one for your community or an exhibition – you’re sure to find something.
Creating your first poster
When you create your first poster and you are loading the templates for the first time, be patient. It will take a while, so don’t go tapping any buttons, give it some 20-30 seconds or so.
After choosing one of the templates, select an image from your photo library to include. You can switch images around via the import button as often as you like. If you decide to change templates halfway through the process, Phoster will even retain the last used image and include it right after the new template is loaded. Now you can add all those personal touches, starting with editing the photo you just selected. Just remember that your iPad screen is not really calibrated for print so the final printed result may vary from what you see on your screen – remember this when adjusting the brightness or contrast especially.
Of course, you can also edit the text. You can change the text itself – remove it, add to it or shorten it – and you can set a different color for the text which is very nice since your image as a background may render the default color unreadable.
Once you are satisfied with the results, tap the next button on the lower right and now you can apply filters to your poster if you like. There are quite a number to chose from and depending on the desired effect, you can go for funky, old or stylish.
If you want to see how an effect looks – since those previews are quite tiny, really – just tap one and your photo will be created. If you dislike the result, just go back and chose another filter. If you are happy, save your image and share it via email, Facebook, Twitter or tumblr.
Your saved images will be available to you via the Gallery, which you can access from the start screen of Phoster. From there, you can always select it and share it again.
So, that was easy, wasn’t it? As nice and quick as the poster creation process is, due to the fact that you’re doing it on the iPad, there are some limitations you need to be aware of.
First of all, you can only use photos from your photo library, which are put there either directly after you take them (iPhone, iPod touch) or via iTunes sync. Now, when you sync via iTunes, the app actually “optimizes” your photos for the mobile device. On the Apple support page it says that it creates “TV quality” copies of your photos. As far as I have noticed, the file size and therefore the quality of the images is reduced. They look great on the iPad and iPhone, but when you look at an exported Phoster image on a 27″ screen or print the poster on a very large sheet of paper, you will notice image degradation when you look at the image at 100% (exported size is 1448×2048 pixels).
Also, as mentioned before, your mobile devices are not calibrated for print. Calibration is a fairly complicated process when using it in a professional workflow and it ensures that what you see on screen matches the printed results (you cannot display print CMYK colors on a screen which only handles RGB modes). Also, brightness and contrast can be an issue. Just bear that in mind when manipulating your images.
One more function I would like in the app is to go back to an image I’ve already created and edit it again. I’d like to pick one from my gallery and be able to re-edit it. Unfortunately, once you close the app after creating an image you have to go through the entire process again. Not a huge deal, but a minor inconvenience still.
Phoster is, despite the facts just mentioned above, a great app to quickly create posters of all kinds – from stylish to humorous to funky. If you use it for fun or as a quick and dirty solution, it will absolutely do the job. But for professional use you won’t be able to do without a professional desktop editing application.
The images above show the iPad version but Phoster is a great iPhone app as well. So no matter which iOS device you own, go download it and give it a shot!