September 18, 2020, by Katrina Pascual
On average, Statista finds that there are 2.2 billion apps on both the App and Play stores. It can be challenging to compete with other apps of the same function. One way to do this is to create an app design icon that will captivate or intrigue users to learn more about the app.
Eventually, they might even download it. Some might resort to logos or illustrations. Either way, you need to create an app icon design that stands out from the crowd.
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In the meantime, read on app design icons. Plus, get an exclusive step-by-step process on how you can use the Penji platform to request an app design.
The App Store provided its guidelines on how the app icon should look like in their OS. According to the guidelines provided, Apple values simplicity. It’s in line with their branding and aesthetics. Other things to note when publishing an app on iOS:
The sizes of the icon depend on the device type as well.
iPad and iPad mini:
Across all devices, the final size should be at 512 x 512 px. Google Play recommends following the keylines when designing the app icon. It’s 75% of the final size (384px x 384px).
Another thing to note is when your design has a drop shadow, and Google Play automatically adds a drop shadow on the icon. Plus, like Apple, publish a square icon since Google Play applies a mask to round the icons.
Now that you know what sizes you need to follow, learn what the good app design icon elements are.
According to Michael Flarup, grab your users’ attention by following the principles of logo design. Here are the basic concepts of icon design.
Like logos, an icon design needs to look great in any size. You don’t want an app icon to look pixelated. You also don’t want the app icon (if it’s a logo) to look huge in the app design, either. That would cause slow loading times and wouldn’t look pleasing on the app.
As brands decide to create apps, it’s much more important to stick out if you want users to download an app. After all, there are billions of apps available in both app stores. Create an app icon design that will make users pique their interest because of the icon.
If you want to stick out on the App or Play stores, your icon design should be unique. You want users to remember your app and not your competitor’s. Productivity apps, for example, tend to follow a checklist type of icon. Most of them may have the same design, but they differentiate through color or form.
If you’re using the logo as your app icon design, make sure that logo colors, sizes, and elements look the same. It should also apply in the app design as well since this will help in recall.
Another thing Flarup mentioned was not to add words.
Thermopylae reveals that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Your app icon can become a visual representation of your startup, brand, or company. After all, you have limited space, you want to maximize it through compelling design.
It can’t be helped if the logo is a word or lettermark. However, brands could work around it without making it cluttered.
Now know you know how to design an app icon, check out these examples from 15 apps.
For their app design icon, Asos used the a from their logo and put a circle around it. Unlike most fashion apps, they observed the no-word rule on the app design icon. It looks like the copyright symbol, but Asos keeps its branding thanks to the font consistency on the app icon.
The app icon for Snapseed is unique against its other photo editing competitors. It’s intriguing because it can make one wonder what the icon’s significance to its name and use is. Its meaning remains unclear. However, Google developed this app, and it follows the icon style from other Google products.
Don’t hesitate to use a combination of lettermark and illustrations, just like how Whereby designed their app icon. They even go the extra mile by having two different app design icons for the Google Play Store and App Store. The different illustrations are intriguing and will make a potential user click on it to learn more about the app.
This example from Timehop uses their mascot, Abe, the dinosaur, as the app icon design. It’s a great alternative to using text since Timehop uses a wordmark logo. Plus, it’s unique, too, because you rarely see characters on any social app.
The Karrot app design icon shows you can get straight to the point and put a twist on it. It’s a shopping app where users can find buyers or sellers. The carrot morphed into a location pin while keeping the carrot form by adding the leaf atop the pin. It conveys the name of the app and its use.
One example of scaling your logo onto the app is from American Airlines. As you can see, they cut off the wings, but the logo remains recognizable on the icon. That’s why you should have a custom logo design that will fit in any size. Check out what our designers have produced for our clients.
You won’t see many neon designs on any of the app stores, but that’s advantageous for the Wannaby product, Wanna Kicks. It helps them stand out against other AR apps. The app design icon is relevant to the app’s name and its function.
The Jumprope app icon design takes inspiration from its name. However, it seems that the icon design appears to relate to the app’s purpose. It’s as if the icon design can either look straight at the user or sideways as if it were jumping up a rope. Either way, it seems to teach the user how to jump up a rope.
The icon design for the Squid app is unique. Most note-taking apps would use notepads and pens. However, because of its name, the app design icon takes the form of a squid. The tip of the fountain pen acts as the body, while the ink lines are the legs.
Music app, Perfect Ear, has a double meaning to their icon design. The obvious one is it looks like an ear with two earrings. However, musicians know that it also looks like the bass clef. It’s a great way to attract their target audience.
In some cases, you might need to create separate apps for different functions. That’s the instance for Kakaotalk’s KakaoT app. Kakaotalk is a chat app, but KakaoT is for transportation.
As you can see on the app icon, they used a road shaped like a T. It’s a clever yet simple illustration. As part of the Kakaotalk brand, it uses yellow on the T-shaped road to make it consistent and recognizable.
Like the Timehop example, Fabulous uses an illustration for the app design icon. The app is about creating habits. The illustration on the app is striking because of the colors. Plus, the image is captivating; this will make a user click on the app and read more about it.
If you want illustrations on your app icon design like Fabulous, learn more about how you can request those and more on the Penji platform.
The toggle on the Flipd app icon is curved to look like a smile. It’s significant because it signifies when someone uses the app, they can focus. It’s also unique because most productivity apps would show time.
Some meditation apps use a head vector or a meditating person as their app design icon. The Unwind design is unique. The design seems like a play on toggles.
At first glance, it might be a weather app. However, what Unwind wants users to remember is anyone can meditate at any time of the day.
Players of this game know how addicting Two Dots can get. One of the best things about Two Dots is they change their app icon for new level updates. I’ve played this game before, and when I see the change in app icons, it’s time to play new levels. It’s a great way to reduce the uninstall rates because you want users to keep the app on their phones. Plus, they create eye-catching app icons, too, through illustrations or color changes.
By subscribing to Penji, you won’t have to go through the trouble of looking for a graphic designer. All you need is to sign up, and you can start requesting on the Penji platform. Here are the three easy steps in requesting an app design.
Once you subscribe to a Penji plan, you get access to the Penji platform. On the platform, click New Project. You’ll see a form where you’ll fill up the details of your request. Supply a Project title and Design category.
Tip: Put what you’re requesting on the Project Title. For example, you can type something like this: App Design – Client X
You’ll see the words App Design pop up beside “Is it one of these?” Then click it.
After this, make sure to select the Dimensions of your app. You can also click Custom if you need custom dimensions.
After this, you’ll see the Description field. Feel free to follow the What to Include guidelines. This will guide your app designer on how to work on the app design page.
Then, click the Level of Customization, File Deliverables, and Associated Brand. Once done, click Create Project, and you’ll have your first active project on the platform.
Penji assigns a designer to your project, and they will review your request. From there, they’ll submit the first draft of the app design. Please remember that app designs might take time depending on the requirements of the page or pages.
Once the designer submits the first draft, you can review the design. One of the reasons why Penji clients continue to use the platform is the revision tool. If you think the design needs more work, point and click on the design.
Leave comments on how your designer can improve their work. No need to download the first draft and put markings on it by using Paint or another design software.
Once you pointed out what needs improvement, the designer will submit a revised version within 24 hours.
If the design meets your standards or exceeds expectations, all you need to do is download it. By clicking on the Download button, your files will be saved to your computer. That’s it. There’s no fuss. It’s easy to receive your design.
Plus, you can access it anytime when you need it. Penji stores the designs in a cloud. So, if you need another copy of the design, just log in to the Penji platform, and download the design once more.
The 15 examples above show that you can create an app design icon that will capture user attention. You don’t have to use the company’s logo as an icon. Maybe you can use illustrations or icons that can make users take a second look while browsing. Either way, don’t settle for a lackluster icon that will decrease install rates.
You can rely on Penji for high-quality and compelling work for only $899/mo on the Agency plan. Get access to ALL design types. Plus, we streamline your work by assigning two or more designers for your projects. You won’t find this rate anywhere else.
Increase productivity rates and double your outputs when you sign up for Penji. Don’t settle for cheap options or spend too much on mediocre work. Subscribe now and try Penji 100% risk-free for 15 days.
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