This is the design template Apple introduced at WWDC for iOS 7 app icons.
There has been a lot of discussion about the aesthetic merits of this layout, especially around the proportions it encourages. But for non-designers like myself, this kind of direction from Apple is very valuable. It provides some clues on how to ‘fit in’ on the user’s home screen. As with most design tasks, it’s sensible to follow the rules until you’re competent enough to know how and why you’re breaking them.
But sometimes an interesting icon concept is not an obvious fit for this kind of grid. Right now I am finishing work on an app that sends out push notifications when a pizza promotion is triggered by local sports results (a spin-off from IsPizzaHalfPrice.com). When I started thinking about the app icon, I quickly settled on a concept I liked. I wanted to use the DC flag, but replace the stars with pizza slices. It’s not going to win any design awards, but I think it communicates the core ‘feel’ of the app – it’s local, it’s about pizza, and it’s fun (perhaps a bit silly, even).
I thought it would be an interesting challenge to still use the icon template where I could. Here’s what I ended up with.