How I Designed a Cool Icon on my MacBook Pro

How I Designed a Cool Icon on my MacBook Pro

A few months ago I received a quite peculiar task. My company gave me two weeks to create an iOS app icon and a Mac app icon for one of our new products, and a new logo for our sister company. At first, the task seemed easy to accomplish, but as the days passed, I came to realise how wrong I was. I spent almost a week just trying to understand how to use the app I originally wanted to use. It was way too complicated for me. I spent the next five days desperately searching for a new app to use. In those five days I came across many different apps, some too complicated to understand, some much more simple to use but lacking essential features.

It was a few hours before the deadline when I found Icon Plus. After trying so many different apps, I didn’t have much hope for this one. However, with Icon Plus I managed to finish my task in three hours without problems.

The first part of the task was to create an iOS app icon. I am not that skilled in graphic design, so I didn’t really know what to do, or how to do it. When I first opened the app I feared it would be too complicated once again. I was wrong. The app has a friendly interface and it is really easy to understand.

The first thing I noticed were the four main sections provided. As I needed a design for the background of the icon I used the Design section more. As a sample of what you can do using the app, Icon Plus opens with a preset background which you can either use as it is or customise it. I needed a different design so I changed it quite a bit.

I used the gradient options to make an interesting fusion between grey and white as those were the colors I needed. The icon had to have a circular background so I moved the corner curvature level to maximum. I didn’t have any other precise requirements about the background so I just played a little more with the stroke and shadows. After I was happy with the result, I moved over to the Icon section.

In this section I was able to place the butterfly image designed by one of my colleagues. To do so I just clicked the “Select” button placed in the top side. After doing so the image was placed in the center of the background. I didn’t need to change anything else about it so I just moved on to the next step.

The app provides a Text section which I did not use in this process because the design I had to follow did not require any text. As I didn’t have to make any more changes I moved on to the final section, the Output one. To save my icon I just had to choose the iOS Icon Set. After that, I clicked the “Save Icon(s)” button, placed them in the wanted folder and that was it.

To create the Mac app icon I followed the exact same steps because I needed the iOS app icon and the Mac app icon to match. The only change I had to make was choosing the Mac OS X Icon Set.

Another thing I liked about the app was that I could use it to also make the logo. The process of making it was easier than I could have ever imagined. I followed almost the same steps as I did with the icon, with a few changes here and there.

The logo required a transparent background. To do so I only had to choose the Transparent Background option provided by the main Design section. I didn’t have to make any more changes to the background so I moved over to the Icon section to choose and place the main image of the logo. The image was already made by one of the company’s teams. After the image was added to the app I had to rescale it and to move it to better fit the design. To do so I just used the features provided by the app.

The main part of the logo was the text I had to add. I was pleasantly surprised by the multitude of possibilities I had regarding the customising of the text. I didn’t have any precise requirements about it so I just played around with the colors, fonts, stroke, and shadows.

After I finished the design I went over to the Output section and chose the Custom Size option. I chose the needed format and quality, and I saved the logo in the same way I did with the icons.

As I said, I finished the two-week task in just a few hours, and I would have finished a lot quicker if I haven’t spent time just playing with the features provided by the app.

About the Author

Cezar Popescu
CEO of 64BitApps, Software Engineer, Windows and macOS User

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