The Salcombe Web Design Blog

Welcome to the Salcombe Web Design blog. This is kept up to date by our Creative Director Daniel Ashton. Daniel is a project manager, graphic designer and website consultant.

Last time we looked at some of the defining categories of icons. Now it's time to consider how brand leaders are driving the use of icons forward.

Apple - a brand case study



As part of my icon series I thought I should incude at least a mention of the Apple brand. Apple are driving the shift towards icons navigation, not only on small palm top computers, but also on the flagship Ipad. As touch screen technology becomes the standard, there is a greater and greater need for well designed icons.

The Apple loyalists amongst us will always insist it's the friendliness and simplicity of their Apple machine is the reason Apple has overtaken Google as the worlds most valuable brand.

Today Apple aren't selling computers, their selling an overall perception and relationships. Apple has become a designer brand. Their products fit perfectly into this world where the consumer seeks material possessions to be happy. They've marketed themselves as an exclusive product for the trendy and successful portion of our population and the rest have followed suit.

The loyalists wont like this next statement, but the fact is it's not the quality of the product that's Apples current success, in fact the market is flooded with alternative that easily match most of Apples products. People really are buying into the label, just as they would an item of designer clothing. And this is the real reason Apple has been so successful.

One thing Steve Jobs is is a great physiologist. Any  company wanting to mimic this success need to understand that Apple has a brand personality. You can clearly see the parallels between Apples personality and Facebook. They both base themselves around lifestyle choice. It's about aspirations, passion and innovation.

Their biggest rival Microsoft has always struggled to to really fit into any of those lifestyle choices. Always beaten by Apple  to the post on innovation with their Windows operating system full of bugs and glitches and never aspiring to be user friendly. The charismatic leader of Apple Steve Jobs was always full of passion and inspiration for his products, so much so that he insisted on marketing them under the single umbrella that is Apple. A bold move that Microsoft could never do. Take the Xbox for example, barely a mention of the Microsoft brand.

The single umbrella that is the Apple brand could be the true drive behind their global popularity. With the launch of Siri artificial intelligence on the new iPhone 4s the Apple brand has become almost human. It's more than a phone it's everything you need and a friend.

To quote the iPhone 4 advert "The iPhone 4 is so much more than just another new product...this will have a lasting impact on the way we connect with each other".

So in conclusion Apples success is about the human element of this global technological giant, they have successfully dispelled the technophobe amongst us and created an umbrella brand that presents them as everything you need and your best friend.

Before we look at the anatomy of an icon lets have a quick discussion about metaphors in icon design