Glyphish, probably the most popular source for licensed iOS icons, has just been refreshed so you can get ready for iOS 7. Currently bundled at US$75 for Glyphish 3 through 6, this over-the-summer special saves you a cool 25 percent off the normal price.
If you're already a Glyphish customer, it's the Glyphish 6 package ($25) you'll be most interested in. Using thin lines and inspired by iOS 7's visual style, these icons were designed using an Ive aesthetic. Here are a few examples that I pulled out of the packages to compare the old and new designs.
Today, I was able to sit down with designer Joseph Wain to discuss the process of moving Glyphish to iOS 7, and hear his thoughts about the overall changes in the iOS design language. As you can see with these samples, Wain's evolved the entire look of the icon set.
TUAW: So how did Glyphish 6 come about?
Wain: I took my best guess about iOS 7 and where it's going. My goal was to support developers both in the near term, with resources for porting apps to iOS 7 and, fingers crossed, the long term as iOS 7 evolves. The launch-and-iterate approach will be the best approach to keep up with Apple's standards and matching their aesthetic over time.
TUAW: The community response to iOS 7 has been kind of a mixed bag, hasn't it?
Wain: I've heard a lot of short-term negativity and long-term positivity. I'm optimistic for the future of iOS 7 and I think the initial "shock" will wear off quickly.
This is a good opportunity for independent developers to help Apple discover what an iOS 7 app will be. There's a lot of opportunity here to innovate both app design and UI design that you might not have had in iOS 6, because as an ecosystem it's so crowded. With iOS 7, independent developers can contribute back to what it means to be a good iOS 7 citizen.
TUAW: What are the negatives about iOS 7 design?
Wain: In terms of iconography, the iOS 7 look as a whole is very new, and very young. What we've seen so far in demos pretty clearly doesn't have the same polish as what we've seen before. Plus, the shock value is high because there's a big change, and designers like to nitpick -- they hone in on the details (And that's fine! They're naturally perfectionists!) but as somebody making icons, a lot of the iOS 7 icons are not something I would create.
Some Apple icon choices look very strange on non-Retina displays. But how long will it be until Apple moves past Retina devices entirely? There are a couple of non-Retina devices right now. If you extrapolate out 18 months, it's not going to be a big problem any more. There's not going to be more non-Retina devices. There's more likely going to be zero.
With Glyphish, I'm trying to see the forest through the trees. I'm anticipating Apple understanding that, so many of those issues will resolve.
TUAW: What do you love about the iOS 7 aesthetic?
Wain: From an icon standpoint, I love where they have successfully simplified the kinds of icons I make. In iOS 6, icons have been all over the map. Apple has followed the Human Interface Guide (HIG) just fine [but it's not consistent]. iOS 7 feels like a movement towards eventual resolution independence. Where things have been simplified successfully, it's been done very well.
In terms of overall visuals, a lot of things may change between now and public release. If you want a joke, my joke with a wink is that I'm glad that iOS and Android finally look the same visually. The aesthetic of iOS 7 is more in the Android ballpark than previously. Things are starker and simpler if you subtract the motion and interactivity layer. As a designer, I like that I can see similarities in the visual style. I don't have to think of the rich skeumorphic world of iOS and the stark gray world of Android.
TUAW: This all comes down to design languages, yes? Love it or hate it, iOS 7 seems more consistent as a design language.
Wain: Not sure if I'd go so far. Everything I've seen in iOS 7 has come from Apple. We still have to wait for the entire app ecosystem to express it. Are Apple's iOS 7 apps consistent? Yes, maybe. We've moved past the rich Corinthian leather. But while the language still isn't consistent, it's certainly identifiable. It's certainly Apple. On other OS's platforms, designers have co-opted Apple's beautiful design language from the last five years. It's a karmic sense that Apple inspired elements are more identifiable as Apple.
TUAW: Any changes in how the new icon set be used? For example, the plus sign is really thin.
Wain: It will be different. I think in terms of UI components, developers will still use tab bars and tool bars and all, but there will differences. An icon may no longer work in the same role.
Developers working now on iOS 7 will lead the way and hold the flag up high, and hold the torch for where this is going. In six months or so, this will all settle down and there will be a bunch of really great iOS 7 apps.
TUAW: Thank you so much for your time!
Readers interested in picking up a copy of Glyphish, whether the entire bundle or the individual Glyphish 6 update, can do so at the developer's website. The bundle offer is for a limited time.