Let’s just say that if there was a Bible for icon designers, it would probably be this book put together by Michael Flarup. Titled ‘The iOS App Icon Book’, this beautiful hard-bound publication captures years’ worth of digital design, brought about by the advent of the App Store with the launch of the very first iPhone.
Designer: Michael Flarup
“Design changed forever with the introduction of the Smartphone”, says Flarup sitting in front of a white background, in the rather Apple keynote-esque video above. “Entire new disciplines were created and existing ones were transformed”, he mentions, talking about how virtual app icons practically became the packaging that we consumed before the app’s features itself, serving as a powerful link between creator and user, and distilling an entire app’s experience into one tiny little square that was a gateway to the app itself.
“I figured Logo Design had beautiful coffee table books dedicated to them, right? So why not App Icon Design??”, Flarup questioned. That question led to a 4-year journey comprising many sleepless nights, hours spent in front of computers, and over 10,000 emails, finally culminating in The App Icon Book, a compendium of popular app icons, their iterations over the years, their design analyses, and the story behind their creation. Flarup’s labor of love is almost encyclopedic in how beautifully it captures every aspect of something as humble as the App Icon… or as I like to call it, the Welcome Mat that ushers you across a digital threshold into a virtual world.
The book serves multiple purposes… Created not just for designers, but for anyone who finds the concept of the App Icon an interesting topic, The iOS App Icon Book acts as a visual reference, a source of inspiration, and a historic archive that documents all the different visual styles over the years, from the days of skeuomorphic design to the current trend of flat iconography. It starts with a foreword by Flarup, a designer and app icon connoisseur himself, followed by a short history on the iOS App Store platform and a quick primer on the design process behind creating app icons. The purpose of the primer is to give readers the background they need to understand and appreciate icons better. The book is also peppered with artist spotlights, featuring interviews with the creators behind some of the most memorable and interesting app icons, and revealing the stories of the humans behind the icon artworks.
Spanning close to 150 pages of rich, vibrant, hi-resolution artworks in thorough documentation, the book is a practical must-have for designers, creatives, and studios. It’s easily the most definitive anthology on app icons to date, and makes for a perfect book to browse through while sipping on coffee, or having on your table as you pitch your concepts to a client, or just glossing over for your daily visual stimulation! The book’s running for $68 on Kickstarter, and ships in April 2022.