It’s December 26, 2010, and I’ve just released my first Android specific, hand crafted icon set, called “Last Round”. I’m proud. I did this all by myself, didn’t ask anyone for help, didn’t reach out to anyone for tips, I created this.
Let’s go back a little bit, about 6 months, summer. I started getting into the modifying my homescreen craze for smartphones. It was HUGE for iPhone. If you jailbroke your iPhone, 9 times out of 10, you probably modify your homescreen icons. Back then the design of icons was called “skeuomorphic”, which breaks down to the design or mimic of it’s real life counterpart. Apple icon designs were classic skeuomorphic, the clock icon looked like a analog clock, the camera icon looked like a camera lens, the note icon looked like a notepad etc. If you had an Android phone, you were shit out of luck. There was nobody in the Android field making these specific Google kinds of icons, you either had to download the Apple icons and substitute or just stick with stock. I changed that. Forever.
Before I took that stride, I did what every other Android guy did, which was ask some of top iPhone icon designers to make Android specific icons for our device. The answer I got was simple, no. Not one person wanted to aid in this. Every PM I sent on a forum, every email I sent, either got a no, a lol or no response at all. I even got the people talking shit how Android sucks and iPhone is the best, which has NOTHING to do with creating icons. Anyways, after dealing with this for a few months, it was at this point I knew I had to do this by myself. I knew I had to get Photoshop and learn – advanced techniques of graphic design. I was just a beginner photoshop user. I took a intro to Photoshop in college, but that was cake. Icon designs are not a intro course, it’s advance.
I could not afford Photoshop at the time, it’s a pretty beefy software and it takes a lot of space. So I did what any person would do in this situation, illegally download. I’m not proud of this, but I wasn’t going to fork over the hundreds of dollar and a near 2GB download for the full program. So I downloaded a portal version, which is a cut down version for FREE. It cuts out all the fat and leaves just the meet, umm umm GOOD! Next I had to learn icon design, so I started searching for tutorials. Bad idea. Everything was so advanced. I felt loss after step 3 or 4, and I’m a extremely computer savvy guy. So I scratched that idea. I decided to instead look for a icon tutorial and just learn Photoshop on the fly. Instead of making each icon design specific, I just took an image from google, shrink it to fit inside the box (icon) shape and paste. Simply. Real simple. I lacked the patient to create each icon individually at the time, so for now, that had to do. I put my icon creations on Deviantart.com and xda-developers.com where it garnerd ALOT of praise. I was the FIRST to do this, for Android. XDA forum is the worlds largest Android forum, it had just over a million users at this point and were my cult following started. I never figured that this icon set would be the start of something amazing down the road. After the lights dimmed, the smoked cleared and dust subdue, it was on to the next set and the challenge was bigger then ever. I was never happy with ‘Last Round’, I felt I took shortcuts, and really didn’t give it the creative juice that it needed to be beautiful. I for sure wasn’t in the realm of top iPhone icon designers, and I wanted my name to be in talks with them. I’m serious. I wanted people to think Raaidus when it comes to icon design. So for next set, I had to go bigger, and better! Here comes Ares HD.
I will finish part 2 tomorrow…