The client is an app developer. He was working on creating a time-crunch puzzle game for iOS. The client had the game mechanics and the
in-game layout designed but he did not have a game icon.
The application required an icon that would catch a new user’s eye and quickly identify the game’s purpose. It also needed to appear playful to encourage the user to download.
I was chosen by the client for this project due to my background education in illustration and animation. I was tasked with creating this application icon/brand for the client. Before starting work on this project, I was tasked with creating the projects proposal. This proposal included my fee and the projects timeline. The timeline included check ins, deliverables, feedback and project’s deadline.
I started with background research on word games in the app store. I dived deep into what is the story that they were trying to portray in their layout. I studied their illustrations, use of color, and common themes. I looked into the purpose, and audience reach of this mobile application. This gave me insight into its mechanics, design and intended feel for this type of game. I created a word map to help discover the apps core message. Once I had a feel for what kind of message it needed to portray, I created different illustrated comps.
The initial concepts from the comps did not deliver the correct message. There was too much action in the illustration, which could portray a game with too much excitement in it. This game concept has a timer, but it does not have such action pack game play. With this feedback from the client, and review with another designer, the illustration concepts were narrowed down to focus on the time-crunch of the puzzle game. The final illustration was of an hourglass with letter blocks, instead of sand, counting down the time.
Once approved, I researched color compositions that are on trend and attract the eye. Currently gradient color schemes are very popular in app games. This so because game applications need to be rich in visuals in order to attract the eye. Color transitions such as gradients tend to do just that. The compositions’ illustration has an hourglass floating in midair with clouds behind it, during a sunset. The hues used in the gradient to illustrate a sunset are a golden orange and magenta. The warm tones’ color transition from light to dark romanticizes the game creating a higher download probability. After the final design was submitted, the client noted a few revisions. He requested changes in the placement of certain objects, and adding a personal touch, which included initials of himself and his sweetheart. I was happy to oblige.
The client was very happy with how the application icon turned out, especially since a personal touch was added. The application was launched on the iOS app store, and it was playable on iphones and pads. It remained on the app store for about two years.
The challenge of this design was creating a brand asset. The client had a game created, but no image. Though I made use of a word map and several different illustrations, it was still difficult in finding the brand of the game. Through feedback from the client and advice from other designers, we were able to create a satisfactory brand image for the asset.
Branding a game by creating an app icon was a great learning experience. I learned how to ask for background information, research, ideate, develop, and finally get feedback and advice during the process. The client was happy with the outcome, and everyone with an iphone or ipad can find this game in the app store