Tag Archives: logo design

UI icons in interface design tubik blog

Small Elements, Big Impact: Types and Functions of UI Icons.

Icons in user interfaces are the elements that cannot be overestimated. Small and meaningful, they solve numerous problems. They become little keys to usability and intuitive navigation. And only designers know how much time and effort is needed to make them simple, helpful and expressive.

 

Guru of user experience design Steve  Jobs said: «Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.» Obviously, icons are on the top of details making interface usable and navigable. So, today let’s discuss what are their types and how they can be used in interfaces.

 

Definition

 

In general terms, an icon can be defined as an image which has a high symbolic value and is used for the purpose of communication. Icons present signs which are informative and support data exchange between the informer and addressee alongside with words and sentences: while copy is served with letters or characters, icons communicate via the images showing pictorial resemblance with an object of the physical world. In computing and digital design, icons are pictograms or ideograms used in the web or mobile interface to support its usability and provide the successful flow of human-computer interaction.

 

Diving into the benefits of icons, one of the most important among them is the ability to replace the text. In one of our earlier articles, we gave details about the relations of copy and icons and their influence on usability. The process of the research showed that usage of recognizable and clear icons had a great potential in strengthening navigation as most people perceive images faster than words. However, even the slightest misperception can become the reason of poor UX so the solutions on the type of icons should be carefully tested to reach the good balance of icons and copy for a particular target audience.

 

weather app design UI

 

History

 

Obviously, icons weren’t invented by interface designers. As an object of communication, they have a long and diverse history rooting in ancient times. They are found in maps, signs, schemes, manuals and many other sources of information. However, with the advent of new technologies and graphical user interfaces, icons experienced the new twist of progress. Historically, Xerox is mentioned in credits for creating the first icons for a graphical UI in the early 1970s: the icons were implemented in a machine called Xerox Alto which was very expensive and didn’t really go to the wide masses. Still, that was a beginning of a long story: in 1981, Xerox Star was released and it’s referred to as the first consumer computer which used icons as a part of its interface. In particular, it applied the icons of folders and trash bins which have been used so far.

 

icons xerox star

Source

 

Another milestone easily remembered on this way is presented with the color icons Apple revealed first in 1991 and then later with their further updates for Macintosh. They featured another approach to the style when icons combined functionality and informative capacity with attractive and harmonic appearance.

 

icons apple machintosh

Source

 

These days icons are presented in digital design with numerous packs and sets in all the themes and styles possible. Although there are many ready-made packs, the database of icons is growing all the time in search of new solutions appealing to users.

 

Talking about the classification of icons, we can mark out several aspects of grouping them on types.

 

Types based on functions

 

Clarifying icons

These are the icons aimed at explanation. They are visual markers explaining particular features or marking out categories of content. In some cases, they are not the layout elements of direct interaction; also, you can often find them in combination with copy supporting their meaning. This trick activates multiple elements of perception in one interaction providing better recognizability for call-to-action elements. People, who instantly understand the symbol transferred with the icon, won’t pay big attention to the copy. The same will happen to those who have problems with fast copy recognition. However, using the copy together with the icon decreases the risk of misunderstanding or wrong interactions for people who can possibly misinterpret the meaning of the image.

 

Homey app smart home UI

Homey App

 

saily app UI design

Category icons for Saily app

 

Interactive icons

The icons of this type are directly involved into interaction process and are the core supporters of navigation. They are clickable or tappable and respond to the users request doing the action symbolized by them. Their main goal is to inform users about the functions or features behind the buttons, controls and any other elements of interaction.

 

tubik studio tapbar ui

Tab Bar interactions

 

ui concept animation tubik studio

Menu interaction concept

 

Decorative and entertaining icons

 

The icons of this type give more about aesthetic appeal than functionality. However, this aspect is also significant and needs to be considered as the style and appearance corresponding to the target audience preferences and expectations set the solid ground for high desirability. Applied wisely, it is one of the features that can not only attract but also retain users and add much to the positive user experience. Decorative icons are often used to present seasonal features and special offers.

easter icons tubik studio

Easter and spring themed icons 

 

App icons

 

App icons are the interactive brand signs that present the application on different platforms supporting the original identity of the digital product. In most cases, it features the logo of the app designed according to the requirements set for this kind of icons. However, it also can apply something else, for example, a mascot or an abstract combination of corporate colors. The effective solution is usually based on thorough market and competition research with the aim of creating an original icon which won’t get lost on the screen full of other app icons.

 

logo design by Tubik studio

Elephun App Icon

 

Favicon

 

Favicon, also known as URL icon or bookmark icon, is a special type of symbol which represents the product or brand in the URL-line of the browser as well as in the bookmark tab. It allows users to get a quick visual connection with it while they are browsing. This interface element proved itself effective for productive website promotion and good recognizability of its visual identity.

 

Types based on visual performance

 

Glyph icons

 
The term “glyph”[glif] has come to design from the field of typography. The word takes its roots from the Greek word which means “carving”. Originally, the term presents an elements symbols or pictogram which is included in the set of symbols agreed upon many users (readers, writers etc.): it presents a readable character enabling people to write it.

 

In the sphere of typography, it is a certain graphic representation of an element of written language within a particular system of writing or particular typeface: it can be a grapheme, or part of a grapheme, or sometimes several graphemes in combination (a composed glyph). Here’s the set of ancient Celtic glyphs, for example.

 

pictish_rune_meanings

Source

 
In modern digital design, the word “glyph” reinvented its meaning but not into a sort of revolution. It is used to define a graphic symbol that provides the appearance or form for a character: it can be an alphabetic or numeric font as well as a symbol picturing an encoded character. Talking about icons, glyph icons are first of all described as a typographic symbol that represents something else, not letter or number. Among popular examples, you will also find the «@» symbol representing the preposition «at». For example, here is the set of icons for material design from Google.

 

material icons

Material icons

 

Glyph icons use simplified and universal shapes and images to be recognizable and flexible in terms of responsive design. They play the big role in the issues of navigation for a digital product.

 

weather_icons tubik studio

Weather icons

 

Flat and semi-flat icons

 

Flat icons are usually a bit more complex than glyph: they can apply color combinations, filling of the elements and present a bit more complicated images. Nevertheless, they are also focused on simple and recognizable visual metaphors quickly transferring the required meaning. The most prominent feature which actually has inspired the name of this direction is applying flat 2-dimensional visual details as the opposite to highly realistic and detailed skeuomorphic images. Flat style allows designers to be more flexible in applying the expressive power of colors and shapes not losing in legibility of the presented items.

 

tubik studio blog app

Blog App

 

Skeuomorphic icons

 

Skeuomorphism is the design direction somehow opposite to flat. It is based on the idea of reflecting images in 3D look very close to the original natural look of the physical objects. It was popular for GUI of different types and functionality several years ago. But then it was gradually replaced with flat design in UI which is simpler and therefore more flexible and practical for the needs of digital interfaces. Nevertheless, the skeuomorphic icons are still widely used in game design and app icons in game sector.

 

SVG icons

 

SVG icons, decoded as Scalable Vector Graphics, are responsive icons built on XML-based 2D vector images. They are designed and integrated according to an open standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) since 1999, and supported by all major browsers. SVG icons are growing their popularity as today websites are used on the diversity of platforms and devices and need to be responsive to provide positive UX.

 

Types based on applied image metaphor

 

This direction of icons typology is based on the research provided by the famous expert in usability Jackob Nielsen and revealed in his article for Nielsen Norman Group. In this perspective, icons can be divided into three core types according to the type of the metaphor they reflect.

 

Resemblance icons are the symbols directly depicting a physical object the icon represents. These are, for example, the magnifier for search, the shopping cart, the envelope for mail etc.

 

Reference icons are the symbols depicting an object on the basis of analogy. For instance, a picture of a clamp representing a file-compression utility (because it squeezes) goes to this group.

 

Arbitrary icons are the symbols which currently do not set direct connections with the objects and their recognizability is based on convention and power of habit. This is when we should remember about floppy disc representing «Save» function: although initially it was a reference icon, for many users now it doesn’t work like that — they just know the meaning solidly connected to this image for many years.

 

multimedia icons tubik studio

Multimedia Icon Set

 

Key features of effective icons

 

In one of our previous articles devoted to the role of icons in user interfaces, we have already described all the essential features making the icons efficient, so today let’s just quickly recall them.

  • clear — the meaning of the icon is understandable and accessible to the target audience
  • meaningful — the icon transfers the informative value
  • recognizable — the visual symbol applied in the icon is presented in the form which can be recognized and decoded correctly by users
  • simple — the icon isn’t overloaded with non-essential graphic elements which allows it to be quickly perceived and understood without too much effort
  • original and noticeable — the icon stands out among other similar elements of the interface which is especially actual for the app icons
  • scalable and flexible — the icon saves its unity, integrity, and legibility in different sizes and resolutions
  • attractive — the icon satisfies aesthetic expectations and sets harmonic visual appeal
  • non-offensive — the icon doesn’t have hidden meanings or misperceptions which could feel offensive or rude for any part of the target audience
  • consistent — the icon corresponds to the general stylistic concept of the layout it is applied for.

 

Icons in UI tubikstudio

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is a bunch of articles for further exploration of the topic:

 

Icon Classification: Resemblance, Reference, and Arbitrary Icons

A Brief History of the Origin of the Computer Icon

Iconic Simplicity. The Vital Role of Icons.

Visual Perception: Icons VS Copy in UI.

How to Combine Icons from Different Sets in Your UI


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

tubik free podcast design business terms

Tubik Podcast #6. Design for E-Commerce.

These days e-commerce is evolving by leaps and bounds presenting new interesting challenges to designers of user interfaces. Websites and mobile applications enabling users to buy and sell need constant attention and improvement to correspond to the current concerns. Today we have prepared a new episode for the listeners of Tubik Podcast, the series of free audio talks devoted to various aspects of design. In this episode, we’ll consider the strategies and practices of UX design for e-commerce. Welcome to listen and follow the updates!

 

If you want to get the set of episodes devoted to the theme of business terms and processes in the design aspect, subscribe here and get them right into your inbox.

 

You can check more details in the article devoted to targeting applied in design projects. Also, to learn more and see practical case studies, welcome to read or download our free ebooks. Stay tuned!

tubik studio lettering design

Get Original: Benefits of Handcrafted Lettering in Design.

Nowadays, people try to be discernible and unique among thousands similar ones. Business owners strive at the uniqueness of their brand and often demand something special from designers. The majority of original things are made by hands. Custom hand lettering took its place among other design techniques a long time ago and it never gets old. All the advanced digital tools still couldn’t replace it and even more, they only supplemented it with new opportunities. Today’s article reveals the essence of lettering and shows its role in the design industry.

 

lettering designer

 

What is lettering?

 

The essence of the term “lettering” is already hidden within its name. To be specific, lettering is the art of letter drawing when a word or phrase is presented as an artwork. Each letter is drawn in an original way and together they form a unique composition. Lettering masters usually work by hands using various pencils, brushes, ink, or chalk. Some may prefer applying graphic tablets and stylus but it can be more challenging because it requires advanced skills in special programs like Adobe Illustrator. A distinctive characteristic of hand lettering is that an artwork can be carefully developed as well as absolutely spontaneous.

 

tubik studio lettering design

 

Lettering vs Calligraphy

 

People seeing decorative letters may think “ A calligrapher did a stunning work!”. It happens because not everyone knows that lettering and calligraphy are not the same things. Let’s clear this out.

 

As we said above, lettering is the art of letter drawing while calligraphy is the art of beautiful letter writing. A dip pen and ink are the main tools of calligraphy masters. Calligraphers follow certain rules to create a perfect construction with the letters made in one style. They regulate the width of lines by changing degrees of pressure on the pen. Calligraphy masters usually write one letter and even one word with one stroke.

 

One of the biggest differences is that calligraphy aims at the perfection of style while lettering is popular due to the freedom of the presentation. Lettering is more like an individual illustration. Each letter is an original unit and together they form a unique picture. Masters of lettering are not constrained by the certain style, so they can create something really special which isn’t similar to anything else.

 

team_work_tubik_studio_lettering

 

Hand-drawn lettering in design

 

Being an expert means non-stop improving and expanding professional skills. Today a proficient designer is expected to be an artist, architect, psychologist, and illustrator all in one face. So, the lettering skills will definitely be a huge benefit for a designer’s status. However, some may ask how lettering can be applied in web design. Let’s see.

 

Nowadays, a designer can choose from a great assortment of various fonts perfectly suiting different digital products. Nevertheless, it may happen that a client’s product has a wide range of competitors and to stand out, it needs something extraordinary so that the product could attract the attention of the potential customers. Many designers offer to create slogan lettering. It is drawn in an absolutely original way which characterizes the product and the company principles. This way people may memorize the slogan quicker and associate it with the certain product. Design with custom lettering can increase brand awareness and make sure people will be able to distinguish the company from the others.

 

slogan_lettering_tubik_graphic_design

 

In addition, beautiful original lettering can guarantee the pleasant first impression from the company. People always appreciate things which go from hand craftsmanship, so handmade lettering will give clients strong associations with the trust and painstaking. Also, decorative letters give the feeling of aesthetic pleasure which is significant for the delightful first impression too.

 

Hand lettering in branding

 

Building strong brand identity is as vital as providing excellent services to your customers: a business just can’t survive without the brand awareness and loyalty.

 

A logo is one of the key parts creating brand’s image. Well-thought logo design can tell about the personality of a company to the potential clients. A designer’s task is to create a powerful extraordinary logo that would represent the business image and transfer the message of the company.

 

Hand lettering is an effective way to design unique, aesthetic, and recognizable brand identity. A designer creates custom letters fully based on company’s features and peculiarities. The professional will take into account the smallest details paying deep attention to every letter and line because it’s known that the devil is in the details. Moreover, today everyone strives at uniqueness so a great benefit logo with the hand lettering brings to a business is that everything made by hands can never be repeated once again. It means a company receives an original logo that will be hard to plagiarize so people will associate it strongly with your company.

 

toonie-photo-lettering

Logo lettering handcrafted for Toonie Alarm

 

Pitfalls lettering may bring

 

Despite all the pleasant emotions and benefits hand lettering brings, it isn’t perfect as well as any other technique. First of all, considering hand lettering as a design element, you need to think if it suits the brand. For example, it’s hard to imagine a website of a law firm with decorative letters say “We’ll protect your rights”. Hand lettering looks artistic and sometimes even playful. A designer needs to understand the target audience and their requirements before taking decisions.

 

Another point to keep in mind is legibility of letters. Sometimes, it may be difficult to see the line between beautiful and usable. Designers may go too far with the letter decorating turning them into the illegible mess. Badly readable letters may ruin the transferred message so a company risks falling into disrepute or losing the reach.

 

Points to consider

 

Hand lettering is an old craft requiring discipline, knowledge, and talent. Not every designer will choose to spend time and effort to lettering learning. However, for those who want to learn and for the companies thinking about applying hand lettering, we present the list of possible benefits it may bring.

 

  • Hand lettering is fully original so it makes the design feel fresh and special.
  • Custom letters always look extraordinary and attract customers’ attention.
  • Beautiful decorative letters influence visual perception bringing the feeling of aesthetic pleasure.
  • Powerful hand lettering increases brand recognition.
  • It’s sometimes easier to transfer the right message of a product via custom letters than with the help of digital fonts.
  • Original lettering assists a company to stand out against competitors.
  • Hand lettering can guarantee a pleasing first impression.

design_for_business_tubik_studio

 

Recommended reading

 

Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms

 

The Art Of Hand Lettering

 

Creating a Hand-Lettered Logo Design

 

Understanding The Difference Between Type And Lettering

 

Hand Lettering for Responsive Web Design


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

year in review tubik studio design

Tubik Studio 2016. Year in Review.

Bright, fast and furious, the year 2016 is over. For Tubik Studio it was dynamic, bright, rich in meetings, shots, interesting projects and non-stop professional growth. The company got bigger, more experienced and diverse. Traditionally, we start every new stage of our workflow remembering the most significant points of what has already been done, and today won’t be an exception. Let’s take a moment to turn back for a while and remember some outstanding things that marked 2016 for our team.

 

Being active on Dribbble, we published over 170 shots. Welcome to look through the set of top positions in the categories of UI/UX design, animation, branding and illustration. Following the links, you will be able to see all their detailed descriptions and full-size attachments.

 

Top Twenty UI/UX shots

 

tubik studio web design

Page 404

 

tubikstudio travel gear landing

Travel Gear Landing Page

 

tubikstudio library widget

Library Widget

 

tubikstudio ui webdesign

Comics Shop Home Page

 

graphic design tutorial tubik studio

Singify App Tutorial

 

Christmas graphic design tubik studio

Magic Christmas App

 

tubikstudio homepage design

Event Agency Webpage

web design UI concept tubik studio

The Big Landscape

 

tubik_studio_website_ui_bakery

Vinny’s Bakery

 

health care app UI design

Health Care App

 

website design tubik studio

Adventure Agency Website

 

landing page UI design tubik studio

Website on cooking seafood

 

tubikstudio graphic design illustration

Ryiadh Tour Guide

 

tubik studio design

Weather App Concept

 

mobile app design tubik studio

Moneywise App

 

travel app tutorial tubik studio

Travel App Tutorial

 

snake battle app UI design

Snake Battle

 

toonie alarm UI design

Toonie Alarm

 

online magazine design tubik studio

Daily Bugle Online Magazine

 

book swap app tubik studio

Book Swap App

 

Top Twenty Animated shots

 

tubik studio web ui design

Birds of Paradise Encyclopedia

 

landing page animation Tubik studio

Magic.co landing page animation

 

 

tubik_studio_book_swap

Book Swap App

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Organic — landing page animation

 

tubik studio healthy food animation

Healthy Food App 

 

tubik studio application recipes and cooking

Recipes App

 

tubikstudio ui design

BuonApp

 

website design UI

Architecture Firm

 

Tubik studio UI animation

Museu

tubik studio ice ui website

Ice Website

 

tubikstudio ui animation website design

Bjorn Website

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App

 

apple even animation tubik studio

Apple Event Animated Graphics

 

gym landing page concept by Tubik

Gym Landing Page

 

tubik studio animated illustration

Lowrider

 

tubik_toonie_help_screens_interaction

Toonie Alarm tutorial

 

animation design

Night Run Animation

 

Contact List Concept Scrolls Tubik

Contact List Concept

 

animated tutorial

Social Network Tutorial

 

motion design tubik studio

Rocket Animation

 

Top Ten Branding shots

 

business cards design

Deetu Business Cards

 

logo design music app tubik studio

Switch-up logo

 

logo design tubik studio

fOxygenic logo

 

andre logo design tubik studio

Andre logo 

 

logo design branding tubik

Pickitout logo

 

lion browser logo tubik studio

Lion browser logo icon

 

snake battle logo for game app

Snake Battle Logo

horsy logo design branding

Horsy Logo

 

logo design by Tubik studio

Elephun logo

 

logo animation tubik studio

Realli logo

 

Top Ten Illustration shots

 

Rio 2016 Illustration tubik studio

Rio 2016

 

graphic design illustration tubik studio

Californication Bus

 

tubikstudio space wallpapers

Free Space Wallpapers

 

character illustration tubik studio

Indian Dreamcatcher

 

Christmas graphic design tubik studio

Christmas Spirit Illustration

 

game character design tubik studio

Ulf the Viking

 

tubik illustration jazz tales book

Tales of the Jazz Age Book Cover

 

tubik studio illustration graphic design

Muscles Magazine

 

star-wars-rogue-one_tubik_studio_illustration

Star Wars Rogue One Illustration

 

badges illustration tubik studio

PukaPal Badges

 

Top Ten Articles in Tubik Blog

 

2016 brought a great deal of new posts in Tubik Blog to share our ideas, case studies and experience. Here is the list of some articles which got shared and read by big number of readers.

 

tubik blog article

Visual Perception: Icons vs Copy in UI

 

Tubik Studio Interface Animation

UI Animation: Microinteraction for Macroresult

 

toonie alarm time picker

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Mobile Application

 

book swap app design

UI Animation: Eye-Pleasing, Problem-Solving.

 

lion browser logo tubik studio

Logo Design: Creative Stages.

 

tubikstudio ui ux design

UI/UX Glossary: Steps to Usability.

 

web design tubik studio

Home Sweet Home. Strategies of Home Page Design.

 

tubik studio ui design dark

Dark Side of UI: Benefits of Dark Background.

 

ios-developers-tubik-studio

Review of Popular Trends and Tools for Developers in 2016

 

UI design trends

Review of Popular Design Trends for Interfaces in 2016

 

Top Five Tubik News

 

Growing diversity of services

In 2016 we formed the full team of specialists able to create and maintain a digital product from scratch to release: today we are a comprehensive full-cycle digital agency, with experienced specialists in the domains of branding, UI/UX design for websites and applications, graphic design of any complexity, motion design, iOS and web-development, QA testing.

 

collaboration-process-app-design

 

Variety of outsource projects

2016 brought us the great bunch of outsource design and development projects for diversity of businesses and organizations. They established broad experience of collaboration with different customers, including big and well-known clients. One of the latest projects of 2016 was a «year-in-review» video for Opera.

 

 

In-house iOS application: Toonie Alarm

In 2016, to get closer to our outsource clients, we have set the purpose to create in-house studio products helpful for their target audience and adding some social value as well as giving us comprehensive experience of full path for creating and promoting digital products. In the domain of iOS app design, the product created and released by Tubik in 2016 is Toonie Alarm, entertaining and funny free alarm app for iPhones rewarding users for waking up with cute stickers. 

 


 

In-house content project: Design4Users

Design4Users is a blog devoted to diverse design issues solving users’ problems. It is organized via the basic categories such as «Branding» «Product» «Print» and «UI/UX» and plenty of more detailed tags in the mentioned domains. This resource was started with the aim to provide designers, customers and all those who are interested in this sphere of human activity with a wide variety of useful and interesting content supported with attractive and functional design. The blog is designed, developed and curated fully by Tubik studio team.

 

design4users blog

 

Free e-books by Tubik team

Additional big news was the start of Tubik Magazine, the set of free e-books from us about different aspects, approaches and tips on design and development. The first issue called Design for Business presented a variety of business points and terms important to consider for designers working over goal-centered design for companies and brands. The second ebook called Logo design was devoted to creative stages and strategies of efficient logo design. Both books are supported with practical cases. Welcome to read them or download totally for free.

 

tubik studio free ebook design for business

 

Bright moments of work, rest and creative search were traditionally shared with our followers on studio Instagram page. No doubt, we also didn’t miss the chance to share our ideas, news, tips and experience via Medium and Quora as well as kept everyone updated with studio news via Twitter, FacebookTumblr and Flipboard.

 

new-year-photo

 

Even this quite brief review makes obvious that 2016 was full of everything for our team. And we are ready for new challenges, perspectives and projects in 2017 which will definitely open many new unforgettable creative pages. 

 

 

Warm greetings for everyone from Tubik Studio, we wish you amazing and successful year 2017!