Designer makes £77,000 from iPhone icons in a week

2020/10/06 15:25

Today's Vocabulary

1. deterred (v) 
to prevent someone from doing something or to make someone less enthusiastic about doing something by making it difficult for that person to do it or by threatening bad results if they do it

2. slick (adj)
operating or performing skillfully and effectively, without problems and without seeming to need effort

3. aesthetic (adj) 
relating to the enjoyment or study of beauty

4. content (n)  
the ideas that are contained in a piece of writing, a speech, or a movie

5. widgets (n)
a piece of software that is used in a page of a website to give the user changing information of a particular type in a small area of the computer screen

6. minimalistic (adj)
using the smallest range of materials and colors possible, and only very simple shapes or forms

Designer makes £77,000 from iPhone icons in a week

A designer has earned more than $100,000 (£77,000) in less than a week, after posting a tweet showcasing his collection of iPhone app icons.

The creator, known online as Traf, says he produced “the right content, at the right time” and was boosted by tech-reviewing YouTube star Marques Brownlee.

Traf had noticed a trend of people sharing screenshots of their newly customised iPhone homescreens, with colour-coordinated icons and widgets. While this was nothing unusual for users of Android smartphones, Apple had never officially let its users customise their iPhones in this way.

But after the launch of iOS 14 in September, users discovered a work-around that let them completely redesign their homescreens, changing app icons to whatever they liked. It inspired Traf to share a screenshot of his own minimalistic monochrome design on Twitter.

It was an instant hit, with users describing it as “clean”, “slick” and a “dream aesthetic”. “Right away, people started asking about the icons in the screenshot. So I quickly packaged them,” he said in his blog.

Since there was “no notion of what an iOS icon set should be priced at”, he decided to charge $28 (£22) for the set. Many people replied that the icons were too expensive, but plenty of people were not deterred.

Sales soared after YouTube star Marques Brownlee, who has more than 12 million subscribers to his technology review channel, showcased the icons.

Traf has now made more than $140,000 selling his icons to more than 5,000 customers. The designer, who is currently based in San Francisco, called it an “unimaginable result”.


  1. What would your life be like without your mobile phone?
  2. Do you think mobile telephones are dangerous in any way?
  3. Are you happy with the mobile telephone you have now? Why (not ) ?

“A smartphone is an addictive device which traps a soul into a lifeless planet full of lives.”

Munia Khan