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Joseph Wain designs near-ubiquitous iOS icons


Chances are very good that almost any iOS app you use contains icons that were designed by one man -- Joseph Wain.

Wain doesn't work for Apple and never has. Instead, he's a designer who was impressed at an early age by the work of seminal Apple and NeXT icon designer Susan Kare, but not impressed with early attempts at icon design by many app developers. So Wain sat down and designed Glyphish, a set of "great icons for mobile apps."

Glyphish icons are visible in thousands of iOS apps. Wain believes the total number of apps using his icons is near 50,000 and growing. One Twitter user stated that "it's amazing how pervasive @glyphish's icons are in iOS! 2nd only to Apple in influencing look and feel."

There's a bit of Kare's heart and soul in Glyphish, with all of the Cairo font dingbats re-imagined for the 21st century by Wain. He's made 200 of the icons available for free under a Creative Commons Attribution license, or app developers can pop $25 for a complete Pro set of 400 icons that come in regular and Retina resolutions.

The icon library continues to grow; Wain often makes seasonal or timely icons available for free. Right now, you can download a set of "spooky" Halloween-themed icons from the Glyphish website. The next time you open up an iOS app, see how many Glyphish icons you can find and send your thanks to their creator, Joseph Wain.

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