addLib U for iPhone and iPad review
addLib U - Original Graphic Album Generator is a follow up to addLib S, a quirky, innovative app from WOW Inc. a visual design studio based out of Tokyo, Sendai and London. Like it's predecessor, addLib U turns photos into stylish images that ape graphic design styles, specifically with this latest app a "mid-century modern" look, typified by the great Saul Bass and iconic Blue Note record covers. addLib U automatically generates variations on that theme, either by selecting four images randomly from your photo library or by users choosing up to four images. Tapping the album icon produces a collection of ten designs in a virtual journal, which you can scroll through and individually select, save and share.
At its best, addLib U produces some striking images, that resemble vintage book covers and posters that would require some design skills to create traditionally. Each image variation comes with placeholder text, including the date, which is currently a day ahead of the actual date. This can be customised, adding text that best fits the image, or should you wish you can delete this element altogether. Images are saved at a good resolution and each journal sits on a bookshelf until you decide to delete it.
addLib U has its limitations, perhaps to ensure the design ethics remain pure, which are a little frustrating. You can't for instance change or move typefaces or select any of the elements, including the original photo, to edit, so results are very hit an miss. Like the Swiss design inspired addLib S, this follow up also produces images from a limited selection of templates, which means eventually results will look samey, although you can of course further edit images in other creative apps. It’s worth adding that for the first month of release addLib U costs £1.49, a 25% saving on the full £1.99 price
addLib U is another artistic and unusual app from visual design studio WOW Inc. that feels innovative, despite a limited palette and its aim to create images that look fondly back to a classic design period. Ever creative, WOW Inc. should be applauded for producing a photography app that isn't simply another collection of filters and frames.