It’s crazy to think about the world before software and retina, before January 9th, 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone.
When touch screen devices were fairly new to many people, designers had to make sure users would understand how apps worked, to help them learn to use new technologies. They had to create flashy icons, rich textures, shadowing, beautiful panels that looked like real objects. This trend that has come and gone over the years is called Skeuomorphic design. I like to call it “approachable” or “friendly” design.
Back in 2007 when we first saw this incredible icons, we went: “Wow, it is so much to look at!”. Icons became tiny pieces of digital art with lots of details and we fell in love with realistic 3d dimension design. Icons were carefully crafted and created a delightful “feel” to every pixel. Here are some vivid and attractive examples of Skeuomorphic icon design:
When people had already become comfortable with touching screen, they didn’t need glossy buttons anymore, the logical step was to create an software environment that was less specific – a flat user interface.
So, Skeuomorphism was widely debated because we no longer wanted to spend time on admiring chrome borders or wood elements, we want an interaction immediately – instantly find what we want.
In my opinion flat icons are stunning in minimalism, but they’re not necessarily as friendly anymore.
I am happy that today we are noticing the evolution of that flat icon design to something a little more textured and 3D, which can be a beautiful combination and balance to our digital interactions.
On IconsFlow you can find a variety of icon styles, so let us be your motivation to create new amazing icons!