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8 Useful AIR Applications for Designers

Every designer in the field has their own set of tools and tricks to increase productivity or to ensure the best possible and most accurate results.  One of the latest innovations from Adobe is the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).  This environment brings what used to be traditional in browser rich internet application to the desktop.  This means that anyone can now have a set of mini applications that can connect to a web service run on their desktop.  This can assist designers in creating a faster and more productive workflow.  Below is a list of applications that designers can use to help get the job done faster and more efficiently.

NOTE: Adobe AIR is required to run these applications.  You can download Adobe AIR here.

1. Adobe Kuler Desktop

Screenshot of Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler Desktop is one of the most powerful (and free) color choosing applications on the market.  Users can create their own custom color schemes from a color palette, derive them from an image, or find pre-made color schemes made by other designers.  Kuler also allows for users to import themes into Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.  Let your creativity and inspiration soar with this application!

To try the application before you download it, visit the Adobe Kuler site.

2.  ColourLovers Desktop Color Finder

ColourLovers Desktop Color Picker

If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles that Adobe Kuler provides, look no further than the ColourLovers Desktop Color Finder application.  According to the site

You can use the Desktop Color Finder to search our entire database of nearly 1 million named colors and more than 300,00 user created color palettes.

This is great when inspiration is only a color palette away.

3. Color Browser

Color Browser

Color Browser does an excellent job of organizing and arranging color schemes and palettes.  Play around with the application, create a library, and have a collection of colors to use in future projects!  The application can also allows users to backup their libraries by exporting them as a file.

4. Font Picker

Font Picker

Need a font, but not sure which one to use?  Font Picker allows users to view and select fonts installed on their computer in a visual and simplistic manner.  The user can remove fonts that they do not want to use for their project and compare side by side multiple fonts to select the right font for the project.

5.  Doomi


Doomi is a very simple, barebones to-do list application.  Simply type in the task and watch the list grow!  Check off tasks and they get stored in the Show Old area, just in case tasks need to be revisited.  There is also a built in timer for how long a user wants to work on a project. As you can see, I use the application personally. I’m really quite fond of it.  Also, looks like there’s a list of potential blog ideas for Planet Label. 😉

6. FEAT (Freelancer’s Estimation Assistant Tool)

Freelancer's Estimation Assistance Tool

FEAT is a free application used for estimating the cost of a project.  The great thing about this application is the fact that is also puts into consideration a multitude of personal expenses such as insurance, taxes, and even sick days.  Profit margin and retirement funds are also factored into the mix.  The application also has a built in wizard for first time users.

6. MiniTask


For ultimate minimalism in user interface and usability in comparison to Doomi, look no further than Minitask.  At first you’ll notice limited functionality, but all of the application’s options rely in right clicking.  If you’re good with keyboard shortcuts, CTRL+N will start a new task item.

7. Ora Time and Expense

Ora Time and Expense

This application does a great job for managing and tracking times on a project.  The great features about this application is that it has a built in timer for when projects are being worked on and that expense reports and timesheets can be generated with it.

8. TimeLoc


Simple, smooth, and elegant best describe this small and handy little time management and expense application.  It will time and calculate how much a project can cost based on an hourly rate.

After evaluating the applications, I know that my workflow will change as a result.  Happy designing!

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