The new iOS 7 is making way for great advances in flat iOS icons. Here are seven ingenious flat-icon apps to draw inspiration from.
1. Paper by FiftyThree
Paper by FiftyThree was voted an app of the year in 2012, and little wonder why. The design reflects the idea behind the app, which allows you to draw and paint. It looks as though someone used the app to create the icon, a great selling point.
The logo for Jelly is shaped like a jellyfish, but not just any jellyfish; its tentacles are shaped like Js, giving it a distinctive and easy-to-recognize look. Plus it uses only one color, one of Stern’s best practices, which draws in the eye.
The icon for Castro, a podcast app, is designed to look like a radio tower. The design perfectly telegraphs the purpose of the app.
The Duolingo icon is a great example of an app that doesn’t include superfluous words to try to convey its purpose. The contrasting green and orange make the app pop.
The app for Vine, the short-video app, is a perfect example of “less is more.” It uses the simple idea of a white letter on a colored background, an approach also used with great success by Twitter, Google Search, Pinterest and others.
6. Lumosity Mobile
Lumosity Mobile, a brain-games app, uses simple shapes to tell a story. The head shape is white, and there’s a yellow brain inside that draws immediate attention. Plus, the way the images are laid out, it looks as though the head is also a light bulb, with the yellow brain providing the light, a clever double play.
One of the most visually arresting icons, Clear uses the repetition of a check mark to show that it’s a to-do list app.
Designing for iOS 7 is different than past Apple operating systems. By keeping in mind best practices, drawing on the extensive Web resources for assistance and looking to proven designs for inspiration, you can design flat iOS icons that draw in your target audience.