What iOS 7 Means for Your Design

iOS7With Apple seeding the fifth beta of iOS 7 to developers yesterday, I’ve been reflecting on what all the Cupertino redesigns to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch mean for the design industry as a whole.

The complete redesign of Apple’s mobile OS has drawn both loud praise and loud criticism from professional designers and armchair commentators alike. The clean lines, simple design, and the use of opacity and layering certainly gives the iPhone a much needed facelift.

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, you can’t deny that the new design by Jony Ive and the iOS design team will shape graphic design for years to come.

Though most pastors and youth pastors don’t consider themselves artists or graphic designers, we often find ourselves creating and designing slides, informational packets, and other forms of media for our people to consume.

Here are five things that you should keep in mind when you design your next project.

  1. Don’t be afraid to use bright colors. For a long time the colors we used were primarily dull and dark. You know, cool colors – like from a dungeon. For this update, Apple as freed us to not feel guilty for using an abundance of white and other kick-you-in-the-face bright colors.
  2. Helvetica (Neue) is still king. Apple and other designers have been extolling the virtue of the popular Swiss font called Helvetica for quite some time – and apparently it’s here to stay. Especially if it’s light and ultralight. So, drop Comic Sans and Papyrus and replace them with the tried and true Helvetica. (Or get really trendy and use the more customizable Helvetica Neue.)
  3. Don’t skimp on the details. One thing Apple has done really, really well in iOS 7 (I’m currently using beta 5) is an amazing attention to detail – details so small that they’re easily overlooked and under-appreciated. In design, I often state that it’s the last 20% of the work that makes 80% of the difference. It’s the details that matter. So, take your time and do the work that only a few will truly appreciate. Those with an eye for design appreciate fine details.
  4. Simple is beautiful. From it’s portable devices to desktops and from it’s website to brick-and-mortar storefronts, Apple has always been extremely minimal in it’s design. Minimalism is everything you need and nothing you don’t. When designing anything – artwork, slides, handouts, sermons, etc – it’s always better to do less with quality than more less quality. (Check out this simple concept for an upcoming series.)
  5. Great design is both beautiful and practical. Designs that are truly great aren’t only beautiful but are also extremely practical. Apple has done a great job in iOS 7 in making the new controls feel even more natural and user-friendly. In your design, don’t sacrifice usefulness for art – let art augment your design’s usefulness.


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