First of all, many of the new icons were primarily designed by members of Apple’s marketing and communications department, not the app design teams. From what we’ve heard, SVP of Design Jony Ive (also now Apple’s head of Human Interaction) brought the print and web marketing design team in to set the look and color palette of the stock app icons. They then handed those off to the app design teams who did their own work on the ‘interiors’, with those palettes as a guide.
Just because you can design a great UI experience in an app doesn’t mean you can design a great icon for it. The same goes for logo design, industrial design, etc. There are very different challenges involved in each kind. Too often we generalize, assuming that a designer proven to be strong in one area will be as proficient in another. Just because Jony Ive made the iPhone didn’t mean he would automatically make great decisions on the software side. Luckily it seems that the aesthetic that drove this:
…translated well to iOS 7.
I know from hard-learned experience that good design takes time, iteration, and at least a few false starts. I’m confident that, come the official launch, the whole iOS 7 experience will be something that they’ll be proud to brand “Designed by Apple in California”.
Published on June 13th, 2013