Do you think Apple would ever (or should) include more illustration throughout their apps and OSes?


I won’t ramble for too long (narrator: this was a lie) but here’s a random thing I was thinking about.

I tried to switch to Google Calendar a while back literally because they have this lovely feature where certain words will add an illustration to an event in a certain view and it looks really great. Not a very functional feature, granted, but they’re really nice to look at and they help break up the monotony of a calendar and I instantly saw it as something that would add a bit more joy and variety into time management and push my ADHD ass to actually, like, do it sometimes.

It didn’t work out. I’ve been using Apple Calendar for well over a decade now and the Google UI was just not as pleasant to my eyes, or as easy to use, and the lack of dedicated Mac app drove me nuts. So I switched back. God, I miss the illustrations, though.

It made me wonder if a feature like that would ever show up in Apple software. My gut instinct is no. It seems way too over the top and counterintuitive to their minimalist design, and if it ever did happen it would probably have been a decade ago when they went all in on skeumorphism.

BUT, then I thought about Apple Music. One of the reasons it’s my preferred streamer is because the playlists are not only really great to listen to, but they’re stunning to look at. They look great in my library, and they look amazing on their pages when they’re splashed up and animated. Apple has clearly gone all out on making them look so good, and it’s paid off.

So then, I thought… Why not elsewhere in the OS? I can kind of imagine something like Calendar having illustrations for events that have a similar look to the playlists, or having cards in Contacts have a heading that’s for example a certain illustration for work contacts, another for personal, etc.

I think Health is a really bland app at the moment, too white for something so data-heavy, so I can see this feature being a big benefit there, too, with each category having it’s own color and illustration.

They’ve also put a ton of work into little design features that make curated collections on Apple News look good, so I can see illustrations slotting in perfectly there.

And when it comes to content, it would allow a lot of cross-app consistency, for example you might have a podcast collection, music playlist, or an Apple News section that share a similar topic and so they share the same illustration and color scheme. Or weight training on Fitness+ might share the same illustration as a workout playlist, and that illustration is added to a Calendar event if you schedule in an event called “weight training.”

So the more I thought about it, the more I realized it could actually look really, really neat. I still don’t think Apple would ever do it, but I certainly wish they would!

Sidenote: If anyone has any articles or behance portfolios or anything that give a behind the scenes peek at their Apple Music artwork the amateur designer inside me would be thrilled to see it!

Categorized as Apple