There are several fantastic resources online to help you get started and set you on your path to creating better app icons. I created and maintain appicontemplate.com, which offers a set of free PSD templates.
With these, amateurs and professionals alike can quickly render and export all the icon sizes needed for the various platforms, simply by editing a single Smart Object in Photoshop. There are templates for iOS, Android, OS X and even templates that help you make screenshots for your app.
Test icons automatically
Around 500,000 templates have already been downloaded. Most of these include standard assets, shapes, textures and colours that give the designer something to build on, along with contextual screenshots that show your icon in native environments like the App Store and on a homescreen.
By utilising Smart Objects, the templates enable you to work in a single canvas – the largest size needed – and then see the other sizes rendered automatically. This enables you to quickly assess how well a given concept scales.
Templates and tutorials
Smart, one-click export actions are bundled, and you'll also find helpful videos and tutorials on how to get the most out of the templates. The goal is to empower everyone to build better icons for the devices around us.
Another great resource is Bjango Actions by Marc Edwards – this is a collection of clever Photoshop actions for both icons and UI work.
If you're just getting started with icons, The Icon Handbook by John Hicks is a great reference book covering a more general approach to individual icon types and the history of icons.
Words: Michael Flarup
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