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A Guide to understanding android style icons
1. Style of the Design
The icons present in Androids are strong, filled with colors, and are easily understandable. The boldness of these icons represents a more serious look and is best suited for devices solely used for business purposes. However, while there may be a strong base of businesspersons that use the operating system, there is a much wider base of individuals from other fields who simply don’t like the bold looks of Android’s icons.
With that being said, Android is an operating system which is widely popular for its extensive customizability. As such, you can use certain icon packs for Android and customize them as you like.
2. Grid System
There are a variety of Grid Systems for Androids, all of which add their own distinctive clarity, sharpness, and color to the icons. As far as our Android icons are concerned, we create them based on the 24 Pixels Grid System. This enables us to create exceptional looking icons which are well suited for all types of displays. Apart from this, we also offer more sizes.
3. Technical Guidelines
Android devices are different not only in their physical sizes, but also in their screen densities (DPI). For designers, it is crucial that they follow some technical guidelines which will simply the way they go about designing icons for multiple screens. The following guidelines will be of great assistance to aspiring Android icon designers:
- There are two size buckets for Androids: Handset (Less than 600dp) and Tablet (equal to or more than 600dp).
- The density buckets for Androids include XXXHDPI, XXHDPI, XHDPI, HDPI, MDI, and LDPI.
- An icon’s outlook should be optimized for alternative layouts by making sure it is compatible with all of the size and density buckets mentioned above.
- 24 px is roughly around 9mm in physical size. As such, 24 px is one size which is comfortably within the range of ideal target sizes (which are 7-10mm). Icons with this density can be easily identified and targeted by users of touchscreen smartphones.
- Keeping the design elements (icons, UIs, etc) to a minimum of 24 px high would guarantee that the targets are never smaller than the minimum target size recommended, which is 7mm, despite whichever screen they may be displayed on. Other than that, there is an exceptional blend of density and targetability for the UI elements if the design elements are kept to a minimum of 24 px.
We provide icon packs which can be utilized for all sorts of purposes. The most common applications of our icon packs include websites, logos, templates, applications, etc. The following are some of the examples of our icons which will explain how you can put them to use.
5. How We Did It?
It takes great accuracy and precision to produce solid icons of the highest quality. Combining these two, we were able to come up with extremely positive outputs. Take a look at some of our sketches to find out more about how we produced these icons:
Furthermore, we have also created a video to help you understand the process:
6. We Support SVG-Fonts
The icons we provide are all entirely based on the SVG style of Fonts. This is the main reason why we are able to produce sharp-looking icons particularly for Retina displays. To find out more about SVG Font Icons, take a look at the article SVG Font Icons is the new way of working!
7. Difference Between Solid Icons and Line Icons
If you ask anyone regarding the difference between solid and line icons, they would come up with hardly one or two properties that make them differ from each others. This goes to show that the definitions for the difference are mainly quite loose. To begin with, there can even be icons that have both solid and line characteristics. However, the main difference is that line icons are featured on the latest addition of the iOS (read more about the iOS 7’s Icon Styles and Guidelines) while solid icons are more Android-specific. As such, generally, this difference of platform is regarded as the main distinction between the two types.
The guidelines for the iOS app icons and the Android Launcher icons are quite varying. Most essentially, for Androids, the icons need to possess a distinctive shape. Even though the iOS’ round cornered icon style may be quite popular, when one looks for Android icons, they expect to see a difference. Mainly, all a designer needs to remember is that 24 px is an ideal size which can be suitable for a wide range of devices and screens. This is mostly due to the fact that this DPI fits quite suitably on all smartphones. Other than that, there is also quite a fuss about an increasing range of Android products which are now featuring the XXHDPI density. As such, a designer should make sure this emerging screen density is also catered to accordingly.
For those who are wondering despite the differences that which icon type is preferred generally, the answer is quite conveniently provided by a recent study. According to this study, the results of around 1,260 tests (which were carried out for a 10-day period) showed that for over 25,000 separate trials for icon recognition, people mostly found it difficult to identify line icons. Comparatively, solid icons were easier to identify. The mean time of selection was found to be three seconds exact, whereas the standard deviation was 1.5 seconds.
As such, for any Android enthusiast, the answer is generally simple. Despite their differences, solid icons are usually preferred over line icons simply due to the fact that they are easier to identify. However, this by no means portrays line icons as inferior as both these types of visual elements have their own characteristics that make them unique and preferable over the other.
Here’s another article you might like: Top 10 Useful Android Apps For Designers