Kansas City Designer Launches Creativity App Shapely
Local designer Chris Jones has designed a lot of invitations and t-shirts for his friends. Eventually he began to wonder if there was a simple tool non-designers could use to create well-made custom images. He scoured the web and App Store and found nothing. So he rolled up his sleeves and created Shapely.
Shapely is a free app made to indulge your creative side. Jones has worked for the past year to design and release Shapely, an iPhone app going live on Tuesday, December 11, and he hopes that it will help people who are not trained in design have fun making custom images and photos.
“My mission is to make design fun and easy for everyone,” says Jones. “I hope Shapely will give people simple tools to be creative on a daily basis.”
Jones, who began his career at local firm Willoughby Design and is now a Senior Interactive Art Director at local advertising agency MMGY Global, was inspired by a vacation in Austin, Texas to build an app that would empower people to be creative. “The aesthetic there was very fun and eclectic, and reflected the personalities of the people you met,” says Jones. Upon his return he established Left Hand Labs, LLC and began work on the app in January of 2012.
Shapely offers users a variety of shapes, patterns, icons and text options to create custom images which can be used on phones and websites, or printed for use on cards, photo album covers and fliers. Users choose from 96 shapes including badges and cartouches, and select from backgrounds including plaids, stripes, chevrons and woodgrains. Shapely users can utilize these features, along with their own photos, to create Shapely images.
For the past week, 75 beta testers have been using Shapely and posting their creations on social networking platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #madewithshapely. “Beyond the great concept and simple user interface, the best part of Shapely is getting lost in the endless design combinations,” says beta tester Eric Looney, Group Creative Director at local advertising agency VML, Inc. “I can’t wait to see that the world creates.”
Beta testers include local designers and photographers, as well as individuals from non-creative fields such as healthcare, education, insurance and real estate. During the beta period they created images ranging from holiday greeting card images and portrait and landscape photos put into shapes, to a wedding save the date and quirky graphics with captions such as “Happiness is a warm cup of joe” and “What good shall I do this day?”
"I love how Shapely allows me to memorialize my everyday moments in a creative, unique, and highly shareable way,” says beta tester and local industrial designer Alexandra Sperrazza.
Shapely is available in the app store beginning Tuesday, December 11. The download is free, with an optional $1.99 in-app upgrade to Shapely Pro for a wider variety of features. More information can be found at www.shapelyapp.com.
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