iOS 7 Icon Set Redesign

July 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

A set of icons for iOS7 on iPhone

iOS7 icon set redesign

Finally found some time this weekend to put my own take of iOS7 into pixels. See the full project right here!

Quick thoughts: It is worth saying that whatever the reaction to the icon designs for iOS7, the UX will as ever be perfect, Apple needed a big modern update, and the general public will not care. I personally like the more minimal, flat, vibrant approach for iOS7. My issue is that a lot of the icons look very lazy to me, especially the Newsstand, Calendar, and Weather apps. For my own take I tried to maintain a similar colour palette, although less vibrant, reduced the icon corner radius and made the inner guides more central. You can see my icon template here and my colour palette right here.

The redesign and original icons for comparison

Comparison view

Colour palette, icon template and icons

iOS7 elements, colour palette and icon template guide

Apple iPhone 5 render with the redesigned icons

iOS7 iPhone device render


Special Mentions to:
Brilliant Safari icon from Frank Rodriquez.
Game Centre icon motivated by Joseph Wachira.

Jony Ive Redesigns Things

June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment


Jony Ive redesigns his only t-shirt

The recent big reveal of Apple’s iOS 7 has been a huge talking point over the past couple of days. Graphic designers from around the world were comfortably prepared for a large-scale shift from past skeuomorphic design principles to a modern flat approach that has been successfully implemented by Google and Microsoft, but were not prepared for many of the design choices shown in the keynote. In particular, the over-flat approach renders many interactive elements unclear to the user, visual hierarchy is lost, the incredibly saturated colour palette is painful and certain icon designs such as the Newsstand icon are very poor. Having spent many hours digesting various opinions and redesigns for iOS7, I feel my own views are very eloquently explained by graphic designer Bill Labus (@labusdesign) who commented:

”I was initially extremely disappointed in not just the overall style, but the actual execution of that style. I realize Apple is keen to update the visual style of the OS after so many years, but in attempting to differentiate from all previous versions, I believe they pushed a bit too far in the opposite direction (note that all of this is referring to the visual/UI design- everything I’ve seen/used with regards to the UX/interaction design is top-notch, as always).

I’m starting to warm up to the general ‘lightening’ of the UI, as it lends a clean, airy feel (not that the current OS suffers from the opposite, but the new aesthetic is indeed refreshing, so I think they succeeded there). Having said that, I think the core issues revolve around the execution of that aesthetic. The UI has indeed been ‘flattened’, but when combined with the overall lighter color scheme, it seems to lose a sense of visual order and hierarchy, with many of the apps suffering from their content blending in with controls and making it difficult to distinguish exactly what is interactive (borderless textual buttons, lack of gradients and drop shadows to separate nav bars/toolbars from view content,…)

I’m convinced that the sweet spot lies between the two extremes, and I think the UI could benefit from taking the best of both styles to create something new and refreshing, but still discoverable and intuitive.”

In typical Internet fashion, a hilarious Tumblr site mocking iOS7 was launched immediately. You can see more things ‘Jony Ive has redesigned’ right here,  Enjoy!


Jony Ive redesigns Mac OS X


Jony Ive redesigns the battery icon


Jony Ive redesigns Windows Phone


Jony Ive redesigns Garage Band


Jony Ive redesigns Microsoft


Jony Ive redesigns Adobe Creative Cloud


Jony Ive reveals the inspiration behind iOS7


Jony Ive redesigns Pinterest – I actually like this one

The Best Free Resources For Graphic Designers: Websites, Icons, Templates, Mockups and Tutorials

May 14, 2013 § 11 Comments

Over the past couple of years alongside my University degree I have taught myself how to use graphic design software and have had a lot of help from stumbling across free resources along the way. It seems whenever I talk to another creative, we both have these favourite free locations or items the other doesn’t know about and so I thought I would put together a post and share them all! This list contains works and sites from many designers and some from myself; a few are downloadable files and others are websites that offer help in other ways – but all are free!

Follow me on my Dribbble page, a community for designers.


1. Magazine mockup: Two really great digital magazine psd mockups by Carlos Viloria. An open spread version here and a double page spread with cover version here.


2. stationary set: A fantastic free stationary mockup set here, including business cards, envelopes, letterheads, iPads, iPhones and other branding elements.


3. social media icon set: My own free and complete social media icon set, a nice collection of psd social icons here, and a set of png social icons.


4. iPhone templates: A great collection of 20 different iPhone 5 mockups from different angles here, another version here with a model hand holding the device, and a simple front view of a white and black iPhone 5 here.


5. iPad templates: iPad 2 front view psd here, a nice angled shot of the iPad Mini here in psd format (which I tend to use to showcase tablet-designed designs in general), and three viewpoints of the iPad Mini White in psd format here.


6. Apple Computer templates: Front view MacBook Pro psd here, angled MacBook Air here, front view of the MacBook Air that I also use a lot (big fan of this one!), Apple keyboard psd here, and a nice iMac psd mockup here to complete the set.


7. Free UI kit: A great clean UI kit here that would work for anyone, a really nice Apple Safari Lion UI set here, a UI icon kit here, and a brilliant Metro psd UI kit that took someone a long time to create!


8. Icons: A fantastic set of pixel perfect psd icons that I used a lot when I first started UI work, some simple UI icons here that I think look great, the amazing ‘climacons’ by Adam Whitcroft here (that I think every designer in the world uses), and another set of web icons with a nice layer style here.


9. Browser Template: An Apple Safari Browser psd template here to showcase your web designs or display sites – another of mine.


10. PSD template: Here are a few of my favourite psd templates that can be used for anything. Firstly, a browser magnify psd to zoom and highlight design details, a set of amazing horizontal paper psd rule lines to break up content, a wooden bookcase psd similar to the iBook store design, and a set of psd stitch graphics.


11. The holy grail of icon websites. Up until very recently this site was completely free although now you are encouraged to credit the original designer or pay a dollar or two to wave the action. Thousands of icons, easily categorised and vectored –


12. Abduzeedo: This website is great for general inspiration and discovering interesting new design work across the world. It also has a brilliant and huge archive of step-by-step tutorials for Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Pixelmator and others (I essentially taught myself layer styles using this site). Every Friday they also release a few free fonts to add to your collection.


13. An incredible free resource for digital designers. contains hundreds of free downloadable digital patterns to add a touch of texture to your screen designs –


14. Adobe TV: If you are just starting out using design software, or if you have stumbled upon these free downloads and wonder how to use them, then Adobe TV is a great place to start. Discover free and easily digestible tutorial videos outlining the key things to get started – Adobe TV.


15. A great place to find colour palettes for your project; organised, well presented, and again, completely free –


16. The Chive: Because everyone needs a break… –

The Life Infographics From The Man Who Designed The Facebook Timeline, Nicholas Felton

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Data visualisation genius Nicholas Felton, a man who is likely best known for his work designing the Facebook Timeline, recently announced that he was leaving Team Zuckerberg. Rather than revere over the timeline however – something conceptually brilliant but executed averagely in my mind – i’d like to introduce Felton’s annual reports; an amazing infographic representation of a person’s life and a real insight into the future of measured social metrics. Take a look at some of these beautiful HQ images!

Nicholas Felton spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. He is the author of several Personal Annual Reports that weave numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics that reflect the year’s activities. He is the co-founder of, and currently a member of the product design team at Facebook. His work has been profiled in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Good Magazine and has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential designers in America by Fast Company.

I find social metrics a really interesting aspect of the future. Take your smartphone; when you’re not using the device it just sits in your pocket. But think about all the information it could be recording: your location, time and day, speed, temperature, height, who you’re with, who’s contacting you, the event you’re going to… Now imagine a future where all devices are connected to the internet and talking to each other. Add to that list, your heart rate, what you’re eating and drinking, what you’re watching, what you’re wearing, your purchases, your photos, sleep patterns… literally everything! The idea of so much recorded information will scare a lot of people, but to me it’s exciting. Shoes that tell you when you need to buy new ones, a shirt that lets you know when more exercise would be a good idea, a fridge that suggests more water and less pizza…

Felton tracked the crazy amount of data using a custom iPhone app, which you can download and use yourselves, either by searching ‘daytum’ in the app store or at – learn more about it from this slightly awkward web chat here. I have been using the app myself for the past month with the aim of using the data for a new infographic cv design.

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A Vivid New Visual Identity for Branding Public Libraries

May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment


I came across this project today on Behance by Natalia Bilska from Krakow, Poland. I love the icon set and colour palette and simplicity that makes my puts my university library experiences last year to shame!

Visual Identity for public libraries in all rural and rural-municipal communes and municipal communes with up to 20,000 residents. Project won first prize in a contest organized by the polish Association of Applied Graphic Designers and Library Development Program.

Take a look at her other work here.

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