Digital portfolio app features layers
that behave like tracing paper

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The latest version of this app by creative collective The Morpholio Project enables images in a digital portfolio to be annotated and drawn on, as if sketching on a sheet of tracing paper laid over the top.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_1

The Morpholio Project is a collective of architects and designers founded in 2011, which develops tools that artists, architects, designers, photographers or anyone involved in creative business can use to present, update and share their digital portfolio.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_10

Its Trace app was originally launched in September 2012 and is designed to allow sketches to be executed on top of existing drawings, photos or custom templates using a stylus and a mobile device, such as a tablet. Updated images can then be shared with friends or colleagues using Morpholio's online platform.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_3

Trace 2.0 provides new functions including layers like pages of tracing paper that users can flick back and forth between, making changes where required.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_4

"The goal of the app was to embrace and enhance the fast paced and messy process of idea building, bringing back hand drawing to a culture no longer beholden to the desktop computer," explained Morpholio co-creator Anna Kenoff.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_5

"The first word we thought of with Trace 2.0 was workflow," added co-creator Toru Hasegawa. "Drawing in layers was already linking workflow and drawing in interesting ways, but 2.0 unlocks the potential for you to dive back into your drawing's history for rediscovery."

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_6

Once the user has sketched something they can choose to apply colour from a series of palettes dedicated to specific genres. The automotive design palette, for example, features shades commonly used for brake lights or indicators, while fashion designers can select from various options suitable for skin tones.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_7

They can also quickly add a filter to their artwork, creating effects such as cross-hatching or pixellation to give images greater interest or clarity.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_8

"Software design is not simply about presenting the best digital version of an analog process, it should also create an opportunity for something that was not previously possible," explained co-creator Mark Collins. "The filters fuse drawing and technology in a way that seeks a bit of serendipity, enhanced beauty, and even whimsy in the creative process."

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_11

"Drawing isn't just drawing anymore - it is discovery," Collins added. "This hybrid of drawing and rendering opens up a vital pathway to inspiration unleashing enormous potential on the image driven world."

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_13

Morpholio's suite of apps also includes the original Morpholio portfolio app, which allows users to upload, organise, alter and share images of their work, as well as perform tasks like creating business cards and send notes by email.

Here are some more details about Trace 2.0:


Morpholio Launches Trace 2.0

Trace 2.0 Introduces New Tools for the Creative World

The Morpholio Project announces the launch of Trace 2.0. Originally released in September of 2012, Trace explores the role of technology in the conceptual phase of the creative process through a digital version of "canary yellow" trace paper. Sketching, is now made easier, faster and more intuitive with Trace, allowing users to instantly draw on top of imported images or background templates, and layer comments or ideas to generate immediate, intelligent, and beautiful drawings that are easy to circulate.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_13

"The goal of the app was to embrace and enhance the fast paced and messy process of idea building, bringing back hand drawing to a culture no longer beholden to the desktop computer." says Co-Creator Anna Kenoff. Design process works iteratively, as our thoughts build and expand upon one another. Trace 2.0 attempts to put this process in hyper drive with the introduction of three game changing tools for the creative world.

Sketch + Filter

Trace 2.0 reimagines the drawing process, placing thought before beauty. It now offers 12 vibrant filters such as ink, marker, and perforation that allow a simple hand drawn sketch or photo to take on new life. "Similar to the revolution in digital photography that allowed us to select the film after the photo was taken; Trace 2.0 repositions the medium within the drawing process." says Kenoff. This allows the priority to remain on the thought and idea. Once you have developed a sketch, Trace filters can add beauty, clarity, or appeal, making your idea more powerful. By hybridizing drawing and rendering, the process still embodies the rapid, unencumbered evolution of creative thinking that sketching by hand is best for.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_14

"Software design is not simply about presenting the best digital version of an analog process. It should also create an opportunity for something that was not previously possible. The filters fuse drawing and technology in a way that seeks a bit of serendipity, enhanced beauty, and even whimsy in the creative process." says Co-creator Mark Collins. "Drawing isn't just drawing anymore - it is discovery. This hybrid of drawing and rendering opens up a vital pathway to inspiration unleashing enormous potential on the image driven world."

Your Ideas...in Color

What is the role of color in the design process? How does color establish meaning, hierarchy or direction? Morpholio teamed up with acclaimed graphic designer Glenn Cummings of MTWTF as well as multiple representatives from a diverse group of disciplines to research process and color. The result is a series of thoughtful color palettes curated for both beauty and intelligence.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_2

These sophisticated palettes remove color selection agony from the creative process and allow a user to assemble a sketch with a choice of predefined sets of colors that work beautifully together. Examples include automotive design palettes that feature reds and oranges as "break lights on and off," photography palettes that bring back the classically bright rainbow of "grease pens", landscape versus site planning palettes, fashion templates that distinguish warm, cool, skin and accent tones, and many more.

Layers: Past, Present & Future

In the design process going in reverse can be as valuable as going forward. We often find that going back to the core of an idea is essential, thus that moment must be preserved. In Trace 2.0 users can now go back and forth between all layers of a sketch and add, edit or remove information as necessary.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_12

Editing and comparison are now possible as you literally peel through iterations of a drawing. "The first word we thought of with Trace 2.0 was "workflow." Drawing in layers was already linking workflow and drawing in interesting ways, but 2.0 unlocks the potential for you to dive back into your drawing's history for rediscovery." says Co-creator Toru Hasegawa.

Sketch Futures

Trace 2.0 seeks to be the unique sketch utility that allows you to easily develop ideas in layers, communicate via drawing markup, and connect fluently with your global network. Designed to be beautifully simple, clean and familiar, it seeks to disinhibit through freedom and flexibility.

Trace 2 app by The Morpholio Project_dezeen_15

The Morpholio team is made up of architects and designers with the hope of building serious tools for a creative world. Trace is part of the Morpholio suite of apps, which also includes Morpholio, for building and sharing your portfolio, Morpholio Exhibit, for kiosk display, and Morpholio Board which is currently in beta for layout and collage.

  • ratherguest

    Umm what? Somebody cares to explains the novelty? Seems like layers to me. Something to consider before publishing an article. Does it add something useful or is it just to promote another product?

  • ij

    I wonder what is that pen for iPAD? ( It looks like iPAD).

  • LM

    That’s all it does? Are you kidding… No new things. You’ll need to do more to be interesting. It seems there are more and more apps and all of these are like only one button of photoshop. Would you be able to make love and bring us a plenty full app?
    damn*** Do I have to download thousands apps to get what I want? Sorry I’m just fed up with “the new apps!”