Notespark is a popular note-taking, syncing, and sharing app for iPhones, iPads, and the web. The brief was short and simple: "We have a solid product but our mark is meh, please make it awesome."
The goal: convey notes and syncing, and create differentiation in a well-defined competitive space with a strong and unique mark that communicates function and character.
(Apple Notes, Notespark, Awesome Note, Penultimate, Evernote, Simplenote)
Concept work... this was my first iPlatform app, so naturally I wanted to see what we could get away with. How much can we bend the rules in the context of the iphone ui and its convention of little rounded-corner squares? One thing i wanted to do was create more form dimension and play with the boundaries of the icon grid - possibly create the illusion of depth or of breaking the periphery of the square.
"Notes a flutter" was an approach which would put a dramatic (jagged) form into the iPhone desktop. However, given all the different contexts the mark would live in (textured dock, various desktops, different places in the iTunes store and websites), abandoning the icon background entirely was ruled out as probably a bad idea. The only real form decision left was whether to go the picture-on-a-tile route or to incorporate the full ground of the icon.
As far as visual metaphors go, the stack of notes seemed obvious and could still be fairly unique if drawn well. Tweaking the common 'sync' arrow symbol just a bit created a strong graphic with a distinctive 'S' counter-form. If the MetaSpark guys expand their product line, it's conceivable to imagine a system built around this S. Further nuances in the page rules and stack edges added texture and detail to bring the icon alive.
In this early-generation of iOS Apple proscribes some bizarre icon sizes, many frustratingly close but clearly different; 29, 50 trimmed to 48, 57 with rounds and 58 without, 75 & 175 scaled down from 512. You want us to shine that for you? Can we round your corners for you? Despite the detail, the developer guidelines still have some vagueness.
Client: Sho Kuwamoto