Creating Flogg’s App Icon

My process from start to finish

When I get approached to create a new App Icon, or update an existing App Icon for a company I tend to have similar process each time. So I’ve decided to share my process for this project in particular.

I find the process of creating an App Icon to be such an unique one, unlike other work such as UI Design where design is constantly changing—with Icons for Apps the design is so final that stays there as a window into the product for a while.

Okay, step 1.

Initially I tend to have a list of questions for client to get the feel and starting direction for the design, below you can see snippet of the conversation — in this case the communication tool was Slack.

This is grabbed from another client, but they all tend to be similar.

It obviously gets more in depth but that’s just a little part of it.

I don’t tend to spend too much time in my sketchbook, I feel like in Illustrator or Photoshop is where the real magic happens.

Step 2.

Once the questions are answered and I’m ready to go, next step is I jump into my little sketchbook and start jotting down ideas. I don’t have a big sketch book for travelling reason, I find small one efficient enough for ideas.

I like to sketch things based on keywords, in this case: marketplace, selling, buying, community etc.

Not the pretties sketches, but good enough to get the ideas across.

I like to capture ideas fairly quick while I’m in the moment. I don’t tend to spend too much time in my sketchbook, I feel like in Illustrator or Photoshop is where the real magic happens.

Photoshop. Yes, I still use Photoshop.

Step 3.

After I pick ideas that I think would work the best, I jump straight into Illustrator to start putting them together. In this case I was doing 4 mock-ups per round of revisions. In Illustrator I normally concentrate more on the shapes, placement and how it will generally look. I apply all the pretty stuff when I transfer it over to Photoshop.

I have one main symbol as reference, and other mock-ups around it as I circle through designs.
Screenshot from another round of revisions, with more refined ideas.

Step 4.

Photoshop. Yes, I still use Photoshop.

This is the part (my favourite) where I transfer the vector shapes over into Photoshop and make things pretty. I tend to add things like gradients, inner shadows, drop shadows, tightening up alignment etc. Sometimes design calls for more heavy effects and sometimes more flat design, it just depends from project to project.

I go back and forth to make sure it looks good big or small — it must be flexible enough to achieve that look.

I start off with opening up the PixelResort template. And from there I click on the smart object and start importing from Illustrator.

The guides are a nice reference but don’t necessarily have to follow them.

Once I import the shapes, now I start playing around with layer styles:

Pretty subtle, not too over the top.

After I’m happy with the styles, I go back and forth to make sure it looks good big or small — it must be flexible enough to achieve that look.

Simplicity is key to make sure it looks good all across.

Step 5.

After all the revisions and everything is approved, I use the export in action panel to get all the right PNG’s out into the folder as my final deliverables to the client.

That’s it. This is my typical process from start to finish of making an App Icon.

I’m not the best writer but thought this would be a fun post — thanks for reading.

Can check out my dribbble post as well.

Download flogg here.

Oh, and one more thing — this is the final result: