Nowadays, almost everyone has access to a smartphone. People from all walks of life and across all age groups spend a significant amount of time on their phones using different apps. The first impression a user gets of an app, and consequently a very important part of any app, is its launch icon.
Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to create an app in your free time or a professional who does this for a living, Adobe Illustrator is the perfect tool to design and create your app icon and get that great first impression you’re looking for.
Here’s a quick guide for creating an Android app icon:
Go to Google’s Material design resource page and download the Product icon sticker sheet from the Product icons section.
A set of Adobe Illustrator artwork files containing the recommended layout for Android app icons will be downloaded.
There are four different templates in the zip file, and you can pick one depending on how dark or light you want the front and base layers to be. Just double-click to open the template of your choice in Illustrator.
You can design any app icon using the above template as a guideline. To get you started, here are the steps to design a simple book reader app icon:
1.Open the Android icon template in Illustrator.
2.Create a rectangle (roughly 73 pt x 104 pt). The fill color shown here is 01dee9.
3.Round off the edges by selecting the two live corner widgets on the right (hold down the Shift key and select) and dragging until the desired curvature is obtained.
4.Make three smaller rectangles of dimensions (38.75 pt x 21.87 pt, 28 pt x 3 pt, and 21.5 pt x 3 pt) and arrange them as shown below:
5.Make a long rectangle (12.87 pt x 104 pt) and place it along the left border of the larger rectangle. The fill color shown here is 1e75ad.
6.Make another small rectangular segment and align with the grid.
7.Keep copying the first rectangle (press Alt and drag) and paste the copied rectangle at equal distances along the left border of the icon.
8.You now need to subtract the overlapping segments of the smaller and larger rectangles. This can be easily accomplished using the Shape Builder tool. Simply select the Shape Builder tool and drag it on the area to be deleted while pressing the Alt key.
9.Select the layer named ‘back’ and change the color to the desired value. The fill color shown here is ffd740.
10.Use the Pen tool to draw two parallel lines connected along the border of the square key line. Use the Shape Builder tool to remove this portion. This is done to create a shadow effect.
11.Select the newly created blank space and fill with the desired color (pick a color slightly darker than the base color). The fill color shown here is ffc400.
12.Our app icon is ready. To save it, simply go to File > Export > Export For Screens. The Export For Screens dialog already has an option to quickly add the sizes needed for Android icons. Click the Android option in the Formats area. Finally, click Export Artboard.
Need more inspiration? You can read this tutorial on how to create a camera icon or this tutorial on how to create a to-do list app icon. You may also want to read Android’s developer guide for launcher icons. In case you need help getting Adobe Illustrator up and running, here’s a great article that talks about how to download and install Illustrator. You may also want to learn a little more about Illustrator. Feel free to play around and come up with your own designs.