The app icon or better known it as launcher icon in Android platform, is a small piece of graphic that represent your app on user’s Home Screen or All Apps Screen. Due to multiple screen densities on Android devices, you should always make sure your launcher icon can be displayed properly on the installed devices by providing multiple version of icon for low, medium, high and extra-high screen. Besides that, you also have to prepare a high resolution of launcher icon for your app that will be appeared on Google Play (formerly known as Android Market) for use in app listing.
Ok, let’s start to check out what is the things that we should take care when designing app launcher icon.
You should design your launcher icon to be appeared unique, outstanding than others icons and hold the identity of the brand. You launcher icon should be made up by your brand’s colors, styles, graphics and the icon itself should have enough impact and memorable for users. One thing you should keep in minds that, NEVER put any sentences or your application name into the icon itself! This is because, launcher icon is in small sizes so it should be distinguishable at small sizes. You can compare the following images, see which one is more distinguish and memorable.
Study has shown that, a high quality launcher icon can influence users to find out more as they scroll through lists of applications. You should always design your icon in vector format for future scalable purpose. Your final outcome of an icon should be in PNG 32-bit with alpha channel for transparency. Google’s Android devices has multiple screen densities, following is the table that shows you the size of an icon that workable on low, medium, high and extra-high density of screens.
|Screen Density||ldpi (120 dpi)
(Low density screen)
|mdpi (160 dpi)
(Medium density screen)
|hdpi (240 dpi)
(High density screen)
|xhdpi (320 dpi)
(Extra-high density screen)
|Icon Size||36 x 36px||48 x 48px||72 x 72px||96 x 96px|
Besides, you are required to create an application icon that used to display on Google Play. Please take note that, the size of the icon needed for Google Play is 512 x 512px.
A successful launcher icon must be able to works well on wide variety of backgrounds, or situations. Unlike Apple iOS platform, Google’s Android allow you to design your launcher icon in any from of shaped, instead of just square. You could design an unique silhouette for faster recognition; 3 dimensional, front view, with a slight perspective as if viewed from above, so that users perceive some depth.
And 1 more thing is NEVER make your launcher icon too thin or too thick, make sure your icon has same weight to other icons, else your icon doesn’t stand out well on any background.
You should always design an unique silhouette icon that holding the identity of your brand, and it should be outstanding than others icons. Besides, you should provide several version of icons for multiple screen densities of devices. Lastly, make sure your icon is works great on different backgrounds.
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