Without Words

Smart App Icons for Android

Icons are a language everybody understands. In the world of mobile and smartphones, icons are playing an ever more important role. For one of our clients, we have done comprehensive research on App icons, and based on our findings, we have created the next evolutionary step for the app icons we know today.

With seemingly simple methods we have breathed new life into the icons, whose concept had remained unchanged for several years.

Always Visible
On any surface

Taking into account customizable background images, the Smart Icons present a neutral contrast in order to enable optimum readability on any background.

Android System
Icons side by side with Google icons

The individually designed App Icons appear side by side with third-party App Icons and the pre-installed Google icons, e.g. Gmail, Calendar or Hangouts.

That's why our Smart Icons are based on the Google Material Design Grid, clearly showing parallels in terms of visual design.

This ensures on the one hand that the home screen appears as if all of a piece, on the other hand the icons still sport their own design language.

Speeding up the workflow

In order to integrate the icons into the user flow, we developed that certain twist to create a pleasant user experience.

Information that's strictly speaking only available after opening the application is now being displayed right in the App Icon itself.

This avoids opening the app unnecessarily, thus saving time. The calendar icon shows immediately how busy the day will be; the timer icon shows the running timer at a glance.

The Family
Visual style


The "Origami" design concept has all icons merge together into one family without impacting their individual recognition value.


Smooth animations and transitions make it easy on the eye to notice changes at once without any information overload. You notice immediately what has changed on your home screen and which app you don't need to open.


After conducting comprehensive research and workshops, we left new interaction formats like "force touch" and "gesture control" to the OS and have concentrated instead on the magic.

Without Words

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Silvia Olp

Silvia Olp

Head of Communications

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