We’ve been through at least one (or in some instances, many) cycles of new and updated app icons for most of us at this point. When it came to changing what many thought to be for lack of a better term, their iconic application icon, many businesses have stirred up some controversy.
The trend for app icons was before minimalism, and even before apps were absolutely commonplace in our daily lives, each app icon had a great responsibility. They needed to convey the message, character, and product description of the brand all in one tiny square.
All of us remember YouTube’s old retro TV icon and the Polaroid icon on Instagram. You might recall a vast array of colors, shapes and designs if you think back to the early days of touch screens and iPod Touch apps. Some may have felt that a disorganized look was created by this lack of cohesion, and that may explain why app icon designers have turned instead to more polished, minimalistic designs.
While apps such as Facebook and Spotify have changed gradually and modestly, others have completely redone the whole look, sometimes to the initial criticism of being unrecognizable. You may recall the first icon design of Uber, with a black “U” on a grey background. They then shifted to a combination of square and circle that was highly unpopular on the internet. Now on a black background, the icon is simply the word ‘Uber.’
When it comes to app icon design, it seems like nowadays less is more. However, that does not always appeal to everyone. In fact, many people mourn the changes that are made to their beloved app’s icon, and wish they could somehow use the one they grew accustomed to instead.
Now these people can rejoice, because there’s finally a way to do it! A company called MSCHF has got you covered with their Icon Rewind site. All you need to do is open the site on a Safari browser on your iPhone and then follow the simple instructions listed there.
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and one of the most iconic (no pun intended) pieces of nostalgia are old app icons, explains Daniel Greenberg, who is head of strategy at MSCHF. I can’t tell you how much I miss the old Slack or Instagram icons.
“We made a way for you to save the OG icons from the web to your iPhone home screen using progressive web apps, and it opens the corresponding app when you click them,” he continued.
Which icon in the app do you miss the most?