With exponential developments in smartphone OS and GUI technologies, it may often seem like new visual designs are becoming obsolete faster than they’re being created. A couple of years ago, flat icons were all the rage—and are now being superseded once more by 3D and ‘almost flat’ Material Design-style icons. Keeping up with the trends… Read more »
With the recent releases of iOS 9 and the new OS X, El Capitan, Apple have introduced a number of incremental updates to their operating systems—mostly oriented towards speed and optimisation. Visual changes are few and far between, but the operating system is as beautiful—and often, unnecessarily prescriptive—as before. With over 1.5 million apps on… Read more »
This week saw the release of Apple’s new (and much hyped) iOS 9, the primary operating system for all of its mobile devices – in particular, the iPhone and iPad. iOS 9 boasts a range of new features and functions, including improved mapping, note-taking capabilities, multi-tasking, and customisation. While it was the much earlier iOS… Read more »
Icon design is ever evolving. As new platforms embrace the use of icons, new terms and references are dreamt up and older terms fall out of favour. This glossary is an ongoing project to document the icon design lexicon. Contributions are very welcome. 16×16 Pixel Icons This icon size has its own entry here because… Read more »
Flat design has become very popular recently. Many websites utilise the principles of flat design and simplify their interfaces accordingly. Indeed, many recent user interface redesigns and new websites use a flat design; this trend has begun to appear almost everywhere, both on websites and in applications. Icons are also keeping pace with the times,… Read more »
When someone asks me for a ‘set of application icons to cover all platforms’ they are usually shocked by just how many different sizes and formats are required. In fact, this is something that seems to evolve and increase every few months. There is some overlap across legacy platforms but most newer mobile platforms choose… Read more »
Running an Icon Design agency can be a lot of fun when you have a terrific set of people working with you. Not everything we churn out is always a commercial project, sometimes the icon designers like to kick-back and have a little fun. I thought it would be nice to showcase some of my… Read more »
As Apple have decided to make some changes to their App Icon size and corner radii form iOS7, I thought it would be helpful to myself and others to create a PSD template to both produce all the different Icon Sizes now required, as well as show how these will look on both iOS6 and… Read more »
Free App Icon Download Following on from my last post on designing cross-platform App Icons, here are the Free App Icons for you to download. Android PNG – 512, 96, 72, 48, 36, 32, 24 & 18 pixels iOS PNG – 1024, 512, 144, 120, 114, 100, 72, 58, 57, 50 & 29 pixels Windows… Read more »
I thought it might be useful for designers and clients alike to see how we approach a typical App Icon design project. In this case study the client requested an App Launcher Icon for an Email App developed on multiple platforms. The first thing to consider when creating an icon for different platforms is how to… Read more »
The scope of the design projects we undertake can vary enormously, from relatively small projects for iPhone and iPad applications, requiring just a handful of files, to larger software applications that require hundreds of individual icons in many sizes and states, leading to the production of thousands of files, all needing to be documented and approved by the client.
With any production environment, automation is the key to maintaining quality (and sanity), and this is as true in the design world as anywhere else. We needed a system which allowed us to automate as much of the management as possible, whilst being flexible enough to cover the wide range of projects we take on.
Historically we would manage projects by referring to a ‘Project Document’ that included the brief and a list of all the icons, descriptions, file formats, sizes, priorities etc. Both the client and the designers would constantly reference and update the document and correspond via email. We found this method of project management rather inefficient, and prone to miscommunication and document mismanagement. Even using off the shelf solutions such as Basecamp did not give us the kind of transparency we required.
After a long time struggling with these inadequate solutions, we decided to develop our own software to manage icon design projects, which we appropriately christened ‘Icon Manager’. The idea behind the software was to create a single repository for the entire design process, from a design brief/specification reference (so no one can argue the scope of the project), to the day to day development and production of the icons themselves.
There are two elements to Icon Manager: the client facing area and the back office. Everyone involved in the project is given an account, including the clients. The designers add designs, and the client can confirm, reject, and comment on the individual designs. The client is even able to change the background colour to simulate the look of the icons in their own software or website. The designers can then respond to client comments and make necessary changes. Everything remains available online, including all iterations for all to see as a permanent record of the project. All comments and state changes are automatically sent to all project account members so that everyone is kept in the loop. The client is also free to download any icons throughout the project for testing etc. in any format they require, including ICO.
The Icon Manager has reduced our project time-scales significantly as well as reducing the need for hands on involvement from our account managers. Projects come as close as is possible to running themselves, and feedback from our clients has been extremely positive.