Make your own retro wallpaper inexpensively

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More backgrounds than you can get, and there are even more available through an inexpensive in-app purchase.

Apple includes a variety of handpicked wallpaper images to adorn your iOS screen, but these options don’t do much to express yourself in a unique way. Proving once again that there is indeed an app for every need, Vintage Design makes decorating your home screen fun and easy, without a computer.

A decorative touch

The latest version of Vintage Design is packed with creative possibilities with over 1,500 works of art spanning a wide range of categories. If you need more, a trio of in-app packs can be purchased for a dollar each, or buy them all (which includes 25 bonus fonts) for just a dollar more. True to its title, there are many model elements that have a light and retro look and feel, so this app will not appeal to hardcore types looking for something with more courage and guts.

vintage design ipad tools

Vintage Design offers an intuitive user interface with a grid of design options at the bottom of the screen.

The app has a nice and easy to understand user interface that guides users through the process; most of the tools are grouped together in a row of icons at the bottom of the screen. The background sets the stage for your wallpaper with a base color, an image imported from the camera roll, one of the included templates, or from a completely transparent background.

Then add any number of badges or decorative icons, with full control over color, shadow, opacity, and more, including an intuitive pinch to resize or rotate any element . You can even add vintage effects to the distressed or grunge of individual artwork or the entire design at once, but surprisingly there are no Instagram style filters available, which is pretty much the only option that’s really missing.

vintage design iphone imported font

There are many fonts built into Vintage Design, but you can easily import your own from Dropbox or an email attachment.

Know your dimensions

Vintage Design also allows users to add text in a variety of unique styles, including OTF or TTF fonts you may already own. These can be added from a relatively simple email attachment process or imported through Dropbox. But there are a lot of options already built in, so many, in fact, that the app’s seemingly endless horizontal scrolling method should really be ditched in favor of a more convenient font picker.

When a design is complete, by pressing the action button, users have the option to export a flattened PNG file or a version with a transparent background before cropping it to almost any size needed. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t offer any help reducing specific display sizes unless you already know the dimensions. I’d like to see presets for specific iPhone, Pod touch, and iPad models added in a future update.

vintage design iphone cropping

You can crop Vintage Design wallpaper however you like, but there are no shortcuts for specific device models.

Once cropped, the final design can be saved to Camera Roll, sent via AirDrop, or shared on social media or other apps that support iOS 8 extensions. Designs are saved for later editing, although it does not. There is no iCloud sync support, so wallpapers created on one device will not display on others. The universal app is optimized for the Retina display and the latest iPhone models, so all graphics are crisp and crisp.

At the end of the line

Vintage Design offers an inexpensive way to make do-it-yourself wallpaper with little effort, but lacks a few conveniences like iCloud syncing and presets to crop designs to specific device sizes.


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