Inspired by pop art, another delightful way to jazz up your photos

by Chérmelle Edwards

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It’s not news that Instagram is a cultural phenomenon. As a visual platform used to tell stories through images, how users design their feed can be a work of art. Thanks to XTRAPOP—a free iOS app—users can add art to photos and create customized collages with a set of stickers, frames and filters.

Once the web alias of its LA-based designer, Thomas Brodahl, XTRAPOP is influenced by Brodahl’s love for pop art, grunge collages and digital imagery. In 2013, Brodahl joined forces with iOS developer Dai Hovey and together they created what they are considering the future of digital iPhone imagery. “I wanted to create a better interface for making art on the phone; something in the middle of super hipster line drawings and Hello Kitty,” said Brodahl.

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XTRAPOP is an all-ages, easy-to-use sticker app that takes away the need to learn software or design to create a digital work of an art. The app comes with three free sticker packs and the option to buy more. Users can challenge their use of traditional filters and photography packs by popping their photos with colorful graphics and shapes that create a highly personalized dialogue between the image-maker and its viewer. This approach is about “creating instead of capturing. Instead of personalization being a filter, you now have a canvas whose interplay of shapes and stickers can create an entirely different,” says Brodahl.

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More and more people are communicating in images and compositions—design is becoming part of the vocabulary.

The recently launched app has also become an updated clipart tool for the DRAW application in the stamps section on Google Hangouts. But, with just over 100,000 downloads so far, Brodahl and Hovey have set their sites on the next evolution of their XTRAPOP: guest illustrators. Users can expect to see packs from artists like Justin Harder and THS. “We want to create a library of images while at the same time shining a light on great artists. More and more people are communicating in images and compositions; design is becoming part of the vocabulary,” says Brodahl.

XTRAPOP is available for free in the App Store.

Images courtesy of XTRAPOP