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Illustration in the App Store

Khoi Vinh, writing at Subtraction:

Apple’s dramatically redesigned App Store got a decent amount of attention when it debuted last year with iOS 11, but its unique success as a hybrid of product design and editorial design has gone little noticed since. That’s a shame, because it’s a huge breakthrough.

I myself paid it scant attention until one day this past winter when I realized that the company was commissioning original illustration to accompany its new format. If you check the App Store front page a few times a week, you’ll see a quietly remarkable display of unique art alongside unique stories about apps, games and “content” (movies, TV shows, comics, etc.). To be clear: this isn’t work lifted from the marketing materials created by app publishers. It’s drawings, paintings, photographs, collages and/or animations that have been created expressly for the App Store.

We don’t see this particular flavor of artistic ambition from many companies today, especially tech companies.

The new iOS 11 App Store really is run like an editorial-driven publication. They write articles and features, and as Vinh rightly celebrates here, commission great custom artwork. One of the things I’m most looking forward to next month at WWDC is seeing this sort of treatment on the Mac App Store, too.

Thursday, 24 May 2018