TJ Kelly

Calm Down About the iTunes Icon

Alright nerds, it’s time to calm down about the iTunes 11 icon. Twitter is mad, you guys. I’m a designer too and I don’t see the problem. I can’t say it’s the most beautiful thing Apple has ever designed, but seriously, what’s the problem?

This strikes me as arrogance. The design community has come to expect such high-quality work from Apple that when something simple comes out of Cupertino, they get up on their high horse and talk about how much it sucks. Why? Why does it suck? Does it actually suck or is it just not the next chapter in show-stopping designs released?

I like it.

I, for one, actually like the icon. Again I’ll admit that it’s not the most gorgeous arrangement of colors I’ve ever seen from Apple’s design team, but what’s not to like? Take a look at the large version and inspect it in its full glory. It’s got shading, dimension, texture, rich colors. It’s a beautifully crafted image, obviously the work of a talented artist or artists.

I haven’t heard one concrete criticism of the icon. It’s all been “wahh they could do so much better!” Really? Apple’s stated motto is simplicity and elegance. I think the iTunes 11 icon is exactly that—simple and elegant.

I didn’t go to design school.

Before I get attacked, let me add a disclaimer. I didn’t go to design school. I’m self-taught and proud of that fact. But that doesn’t mean I’m unqualified to critique design. (I’m also much more a front-end developer than a visual designer, but let’s not split hairs.) So if there are substantial, objective (yea right) critiques that can be made of the new iTunes icon, please share them with me.

I mean that sincerely—what is everyone else seeing (and hating) that I’m missing? Please let me know in the comments.

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