Archive for March, 2012

Glyphish and the Long Tail

March 5, 2012

There’s a designer whose creativity is seen on many of your favorite apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and ours.  He’s not a full member of the app development team but you use his work all the time.  Joseph Wain is the founder of Glyphish, a firm that designs icons for mobile apps, a “long tail” service for developers.  

We purchased his sets but a few days ago he sent out a note asking his customers to help spread the word.  We’re more than happy to help.  I spoke with Joseph by phone today and he was very gracious.  He respects that we’re out there publishing apps to help make “the system” work better. 

For Congress in Your Pocket, he designs custom tab bar icons that you push at the bottom of an iPhone app to change screens.  For our upcoming Governors app, we are going with a full set that gives you options of seeing the full list of governors or just the Republicans or Democrats.

The ones we’re using here are less than fifty pixels by fifty pixels, which is tiny.  We tried putting together our own with mixed results.  Having a pro like Joseph design for you saves a lot of time as well as the ability to look in the mirror and still think you’re good at what you do (which is not this).

Here’s what we tried on our own (fuzzy):



Here’s what Joseph did for us (much clearer):


Chris Anderson popularized the statistical term “The Long Tail” as a method of understanding how successful companies like can be in selling products to small markets.  Joseph Wain is doing the same thing with developers in providing an essential service, extremely well, at a fair price.

You can follow Joseph’s company @Glyphish but it’s much more fun to talk with him.  Send him a message here and thank him for making your favorite app look like something worthy of an iDevice.