Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Unofficial Apple Icon Design Awards for 2015. We will be celebrating the best in class minimalist icon design the community has to offer. This has been an especially tough year, with lots of competition.
Ever since the arrival of iOS 7 and OS X Yosemite, flat, black and white icons with a logo in the middle have become the norm. We have seen an overwhelming number of entries to our awards that fit this profile.
We have a message for these entrants: if you want to compete in the Icon Design Awards, such an icon will get you thrown out without hesitation–logos are far too ornamental in their contours to make it past the first round. To make it to this final stage, contestants must remove ornamentation entirely.
With that, let's see what our judges have in store!
Category One: OS X Icons
The standard for OS X icons post-Yosemite is somewhat permissive in comparison to the iOS category. As such, minor shadows are available to our competing designers. Judging this category will be a matter of determining whether our design contestants eschewed as much detail as possible.
The stock Apple OS X icons to beat are the OS X El Capitan Installer and TextEdit.
OS X Winners
This has been a tough one, but we have our winners: the second runner up is Airmail app, whose designers have displayed a lack of conviction and adherence to minimalist principles in changing their icon to featuring a blue gradient with an inner shadow. Nevertheless, according to Design Awards regulations, their earlier icon still qualifies for third place.
The first runner up is GitUp, which loses points for having a somewhat physically coherent metaphor. Last but not least, our crowd favorite, Author app, takes first place! Extra points go to Author app for choosing the least SEO-friendly product name on the internet and for drawing the fewest vector shapes possible.
All three of our top contestants handily beat Apple's most minimalist stock icons. And with that, we move to the iOS category.
Category Two: iOS App Icons
iOS icons provide designers an open canvas to explore. Let's see which designers achieved the least possible with those available pixels.
The stock Apple iOS icons to beat are Print Center and Voice Memos. A difficult task indeed.
The ranking of this year's top iOS contestants was quite difficult for our judges, with VSCO taking the second runner up position due to its unfortunately elaborate concentric circles.
VSCO only narrowly made it to this contest, with their redesigned icon arriving not two months before the entry cut off date. Had they stayed with their previous icon, they would not have had a chance this year given the competition.
Priime app has a unique backstory. The app was so successful in its icon design that Priime managed to fool top App Store interns into thinking their icon featured an "i," when in fact it is a "p." If you can trick interns in the App Store cathedral, then you're doing your minimalism right–hence the award.
This just in–Apple has just released their most unbelievably hideous icon yet. This icon deserves a category of its own. Although the icon is par for the course given Apple's penchant for expanding their color palette.
It is, after all, the Unofficial Apple Icon Design Awards, and we seek to be minimalist in our environmentally friendly mission, so the OS X and iOS winners will not be receiving any prizes.
Many thanks to this year's judges (you know who you are) and our hard-working contestants. Be sure to stay tuned for the 2016 Unofficial Apple Icon Design Awards!