Nate Weiner

This is an old archived post from my former blog The Idea Shower. It's where I cataloged my product explorations and releases, one of which ultimately became Pocket.

This post was published back in 2009. It may not function as originally intended or may be missing images.

iPhone Developers: Prepare Featured Artwork Ahead of Time

August 31, 2009

If you are an iPhone developer, I'd highly recommend preparing Featured Artwork files ahead of time.  If  Apple contacted you and wanted to feature your app, would you want anything to stand in the way of that happening?

I received a brief email from Apple in early in August requesting artwork for a 'potential marketing opportunity'.  The opportunity turned out to be Read It Later being featured in the Apple App Store.

The email came in late on a Tuesday and had requested artwork files for first thing Thursday morning.  In reality, this gave me about a day to put everything together and send it.

However, during that time I was scrambling to get some other work finished before I left for a trip at the end of the week.  There was no way I was going to miss the chance for whatever this opportunity was so I ended up having to  forfeit some other important tasks in order to make room for this.

It would have been much better if I had this work ready to go ahead of time.  In fact, details about having these files are in the 'developer guide'.  The guide is linked to from the bottom of the iTunesConnect window and the details of the featured artwork are buried near the end of the PDF.  Admittedly, I had never seen it, and from the developers I spoke with, a lot of others haven't either.

I wanted to share my experience so in case other developers were not aware of this they could be better prepared than I was.  Though it meant I had to put off some other work that week to put the files together, the result of being featured was definitely worth it.

The Requested Artwork

They request two artwork files.  The Apple designers will actually take bits/pieces from these and rearrange them as they see fit based on the image they are trying to create.  (More on that below)

itunes-feature-titleTitle Treatment - This is a 600 x 600 image of your logo/title.  The background should be transparent and it should exclude tag-lines if the text will not be legible at a small scale.

An example of the Title graphic for Read It Later is shown to the side.

itunes-feature-bg Background Treatment - This is a 900 x 530 layered PSD.  What you put in this file is fairly open.  Apple states:  "The background image, texture, color or gradient should correspond to the application or compliment the title treatment. It may include elements of the application itself, but should not be or include screenshots."

The approach I took was to provide them with a gradient background in one layer and then a main graphic that could accompany the logo.

My Submitted Artwork

Just as an example (you wouldn't send this together), here is a close up of the combined artwork: itunes-feature-close

Apple's Design

As I mentioned, Apple will take the artwork you send them and put it together in a way they see fit.  You should try to keep all the graphical elements in separate layers in Photoshop to make this easier for them.  If you have some graphic elements that must be laid out in a specific way, I'd suggest merging the layers so the designers do not break them apart as they will not consult you prior to the graphics being made.

Here are the three images that I saw during the time it was featured.  As you can see, they significantly rearranged the graphics I sent them.  (I think they turned out nice, just making the point that this may happen).

On the featured tab of the App Store App:


Big promo on the main App Store page in iTunes:

Mini promo on the main App Store page in iTunes: