Within the Android Developers Guide there is a section outlining the guidelines app developers should follow for creating their application launch icons. I actually posted an article about it a while back because I noticed that 1) it was very specific and almost too controlling and 2) almost no developers were following it. Well, with the introduction of Android 2.0 and above Google changed their own app icons; the ones for mail, camera, text messages, browser etc. And yesterday they updated the icon guidelines to be a little more relaxed, without all the 3D angle requirements and craziness.
The new icon guidelines are simplified, but do include instructions on creating different icons for different screen density devices as well as an overall feel for the launcher icons
Clean and contemporary:
- Launcher icons should be current and sometimes quirky, but they should not appear aged or ragged. You should avoid overused symbolic metaphors whenever possible.
Simple and iconic:
- Android Launcher icons are caricatural in nature; your icons should be highly simplified and exaggerated, so that they are appropriate for use at small sizes. Your icons should not be overly complicated.
- Try featuring a single part of an application as a symbolic representation of the whole (for example, the Music icon features a speaker).
- Consider using natural outlines and shapes, both geometric and organic, with a realistic (but never photorealistic) rendering.
- Your icons should not present a cropped view of a larger image.
They have a few do’s and don’ts out there as well and some general feel, materials, styles and colors.
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