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My Mac app icon design workflow

My favourite Mac app icons are simple enough to be easily read in the Dock, yet they contain interesting details when viewed up close. They have large vibrant areas of colour, yet they contain enough contrast and shading to give them a sense of volume.


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Color Creator Templates

A set of Photoshop, Sketch and Affinity Designer documents that use base colors to generate larger palettes. It’s a bit like an advanced color picker, in the form of a document.


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When two colours can be one

Many user interfaces have dark and light themes. Having a dark and light theme usually means defining a full set of colours, and switching them when the theme switches.


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Displays for designers and developers

If you’re considering an external display for your Mac, there’s a few important decisions to make. Apple doesn’t sell external displays any more, so you can’t just default to their wisdom. That’s an issue, because not all displays are well suited for Macs.


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My icon design workflow

Here’s some tips for creating icons — anything from a single colour pictogram to a highly detailed app icon.



Color Creator Templates

When two colours can be one

Displays for designers and developers


PNG optimisation

Design debugging

Interaction density

1px is not enough

Why I don’t use PDFs for iOS assets

Creating palettes with adjustment layers


Images and the macOS Color Picker

My app design workflow

My icon design workflow

Extracting colours with alpha

Device pixel density tests

Using Soulver for design

App Store description previewer

Just like print design

Using algebra to create paths

Sub-pixel text rendering

Pixels per inch is just a tag

Everything is a grid

Designing for Retina display

Designing for Retina display, part two


Why Skala won’t have artboards

Skala progress, December 2014


Batch processing with Generator

Using blend if for masking

Magic tricks

Photoshop CC 2015 improvements

Photoshop’s gradient positioning

Adobe MAX 2014

Blend if

Photoshop Actions & Workflows

Colour management and UI design

2014: Smart Objects and Layer Comps

Gradient maps

Strokes in Photoshop CS6

Text in Photoshop CS6

Masking in Photoshop CS6

Vector shapes in Photoshop CS6

Layer tags

Smart Objects

Linked Smart Objects

Exporting from Photoshop

Pixel perfect rotation

Pixel perfect vector pasting

Pixel perfect vector nudging


Photoshop CS6 improvements

Scale Patterns to 100% script

Illustrator and app design

How many layers are in my PSD?

Really old

Dissecting iTunes and App Store links

What if iChat was one window?

A new Drobo Dashboard icon

Photoshop CS6 wish list

What to do with all those extra pixels?

Noise and textures

Photoshop roundrect roundup

PNG compression and iOS apps