Designing the icon for your application is a crucial part of finding success on any marketplace. Popular platforms such as the iPhone App Store are crowded and fiercely competitive. This makes the design more important than ever for both your icon and user interface.
Your app icon will be the first thing potential users see which is why I would like to share some tips on creating an attention-grabbing app icon that will also serve as an extension of your brand.
Here are 7 tips on creating a timeless and powerful app icon:
1. Reflect on your product
Start by reflecting on your product and consider the message you would like to communicate. Both the color and graphics used in your icon will play a role in how your app is received so make sure they align with your message. Consider both the value your app provides as well as the audience you are targeting.
While trying to determine how your brand should be communicated, ask yourself this question: “How would you explain your application to a five-year-old?” This will help you establish your apps purpose in layman’s terms which is a great starting point for developing your app’s icon. This approach is often used to determine a company’s ‘elevator pitch’ which should always align with your branding.
2. Set the tone
Now that you know how to communicate your app you need to set the tone by establishing your colour palette. Colours are a huge consideration in branding and marketing collateral so it comes as no surprise that the colours you use in your app icon will dictate how your message is received. Colour has perhaps the largest influence on social psychology and acts as one of the main triggers in user behaviour. If your brand colors have not yet been established I recommend using the following cheat sheet during the process.
RED: Red is the color of fire and blood. It is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
ORANGE: Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and tropics.
YELLOW: Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.
GREEN: Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility.
BLUE: Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
PURPLE: Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition.
WHITE: White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, and purity. It symbolizes safety, purity, and cleanliness. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.
BLACK: Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.