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2018-03-20 13:27:35 +0100 - laurie

Food apps are red, Finance apps are blue… We’ve done some researches for you! Discover our unique app icon colors palette compilation from the Top 50 Apps in the App Store categories of Game, Food & Drink, Social Networking, Finance, Shopping and Travel.


The Methodology behind our research

We started by scrapping all the app icons of the Top 50 Apps in the Apple App Store in 6 categories:

  1. Finance
  2. Food & Drinks
  3. Games
  4. Social Networking
  5. Shopping
  6. Travel

For each of these Top Apps, we’ve extracted every single pixel of color used in their icon.

We then gathered all these pixels into groups of colors (the process is called clustering) ending up with 12 main colors for each category: orange, green, light green, dark green, blue, light blue, dark blue, black, white, red, light red, etc.

For each category, we’ve compiled these main 12 colors in order to provide a color palette usage breakdown. We have been able to identify interesting trends. See for yourself.


Don’t know which category to choose for your app? Discover our methodology to do App Store Research for Startup Founders.

Games icons are the most colorful

The first observation we’ve made is that the Games category is very different than all the others. In this category, apps are using a very varied set of colors.** At the same time, it is the category where app icons show the smallest amount of white.

Games app icons are usually vivid and more complex than the others, using lots of details and items.

Interesting fact: we found 2 colors (brown and flesh-color) that are not used in any other categories. We can attribute this to the fact that lots of apps in the Games category use some of their characters/humans in their app icon and so it is probably reflecting the amount of “skin” color usage.

Food & Drinks: 25% app icons are red

The Food & Drink category showing the highest amount of red in app icons. We’ve found out that about 25% of apps in this category had a red app icon.

This is clearly shown on the pie chart above, were red/pink at the predominant colors of the pie.


Wondering how to craft your app icon? Read our 9 tips to make your app icon stand out!

Social Networking using flashy colors

When looking at the Social Networking category, we notice that it’s the category where the highest amount of flashy & bright colors is used.

We also notice a huge amount of white, in comparison to the other categories, which could be explained by the brand logo on the colored background, practice very common throughout this category.

Finance apps use sober colors

On the opposite of Social Media apps, the Finance category shows much more sober colors, with a predominance of blue and green.

Blue is well-known to be the most common favorite color in the world. It is likely to inspire confidence and trust – very important value for Business and Finance apps.


What about your screenshots? Discover our Ultimate Guide to Screenshots A/B Testing.

Conclusion

This study was not only fun to do, it was also very insightful! We can see that Top Apps’ icons are definitely showing trends across categories.

Make sure to benchmark your app category’s palette before creating/optimizing your own app icon. It is indeed interesting to take into account the current color trends of your category in your design.

App Store users are used to certain color scheme/design for each category (even subconsciously) so it might be easier for you to convert.

At the same time, if you’re just launching your new app, you may want to stand out from other competing apps and create something different than what’s already there.

It’s all about finding the best strategy between uniqueness and following the best practices and current trends.


Same goes for keywords selection actually. Check our ASO Keyword Research Methodology!

If you want to get more insights on app icons, make sure to check our ASO report features!

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App Store Optimization ("ASO") is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone app) in an app store (such as iTunes or Google Play for Android). App Store Optimization is the mobile equivalent of Search engine optimization. Specifically, App Store Optimization includes the process of ranking highly in an app store's search results and top charts rankings. ASO marketers agree that ranking higher in search results and top charts rankings will drive more downloads for an app. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.