Instagram’s greatest accomplishment was popularizing digital photography in the same way that Polaroid popularized analog. Now, a new app is hoping to do the same thing for design. Meet Fleck, the Instagram for the design-minded.
On the surface, Fleck has many things in common with Instagram. Both are iPhone apps that allow you to post photos, apply filters, like other users’ pictures, leave comments, and more. But there is a major distinction that makes Fleck unique and it’s one of organizational hierarchy: in Instagram–as on Twitter or Facebook–you follow individual users and their photos are slurped into a stream of pictures on your timeline. But with Fleck, you follow and post to topics, an approach that is similar to community curated websites such as Reddit.
These topics are what that truly distinguish Fleck as a haven for design-minded shutterbugs. Default topics include Abstract Nature, Ink, Abstract Architecture, Patterns, Street Style, Street Art, and Typography, although you can also suggest other topics. Loading up the app, you are invited to browse chronological collections of photos filed in each category by fellow Fleck users and, of course, you can post a photos of your own.
Sure, Instagram also allows you to take pictures of graffiti, typography, and modern architecture, so why bother with a new app? Fleck has an answer for that: discovery. If you want to see what’s going on in your friends’ lives, Instagram can’t really be topped, but if you want to discover beautiful, elegant, or well-wrought design, Instagram doesn’t make it easy for you. It’s about people, not content.
That’s what Fleck gets right. Open up the Typography category, and it’s like Instagram for type nerds. The Street Art category is rich with urban art; the Street Style section is a digital closet full of urban fashion, as spotted in the real world, not the world of magazine covers. Fleck makes it easy not just to discover design on the web, but to discover it in the real world as well: every photo is geotagged.
Fleck’s got some growing to do, but for those who love discovering design, it’s off to a great start. The world is full of wonderful design, and Fleck is a wonderful magic wardrobe in which it can be stored.
You can learn more about Fleck and download it for your iPhone here.