Q&A With ThaPhlash – The Best Icons. Period.
Posted by s15274n
I get the most feedback when I introduce you guys to those who make your phone better… typically I focus on developers. But there is one guy I have been following for a pretty good while now, and he makes the absolute BEST icons – and a ton of them at that.
I hope you guys enjoy and learn a little… I also hope that you check out his work and support him – introducing ThaPhlash!
His comments are in bold to help distinguish.
ThaPhlash, I know you have been around Android and theming for a long time man, but I just discovered your site (LINK – Check it out!) about 6 months ago.
I obviously want to focus on your work and Android, but before we jump into it, can you tell me a little about yourself?
My name is PHLASH… ThaPHLASH !
I live in Montreal Quebec… our city is great… I’m into good beats… hip hop and the likes, mostly old school… you know… Inside my mind couldn’t find a place to rest until I got that thug life tattooed on my chest!!
Haha, very cool man. I know you spend a LOT of time working on your icons… but what do you do when you are away from Android? Hobbies?
When I’m not doing icons… I’m an urban artist… I paint murals to relieve the stress… see some of my artwork here: www.thaphlash.com . I urge everyone to paint at least one thing in their life, it’s a wonderful experience.
I have seen your murals, and I have to say man… wow. I have a LOT of respect for what you do. Clearly you have an eye and a ton of talent. It’s funny to me though, such large scale art… yet I know you for your tiny icons. Both equally beautiful. You guys REALLY need to check out his icons, but his murals too. Impressive.
I know developers/themers do Android-related items on the side – balancing work and family. Do you have these distractions like most? I ask because of the amount of icons you do (more on that soon).
The best thing I do, is spend quality time with my lovely girlfriend and our awesome 2 year old son… I do my best to appreciate those times as fully as possible.
Alright, thanks for that man… Lets talk about what you do for the Android Community.
In short, I think you make some of the ABSOLUTE BEST icons. Can you tell me a little about how you got into doing this?
While playing around with my phone, I had the sudden urge to change an icon that was a shortcut to My Accounts, with something more personal. I still use that icon today 🙂
And the story begins, after many inquiries I not only felt quickly that changing icons wasn’t easy, but also that a lot of app icons did not go well with one and another. Of course there are many icon packs out there, but felt most of them were incomplete or not phone oriented, which was a problem…
So I set up to do one… only one icon pack that would gather all the apps I used in a clean way. Why clean? Well life is chaotic enough as it is, I wanted to look at my screen and have a soothing felling of harmony.
And also create a tool for theming your device like nothing else, while giving more than just a plain uncontrolled home screen…
I know exactly what you mean about “clean.” It makes a huge impact on the aesthetes.
You have to spend an enormous amount of time working on these icons. To my surprise though, you just bumped up the # of icons in your sets – from 500+ to 747 or so right? How many sets do you have now – seems you are always adding new sets too.
The pack grew up slowly through the year and I found that there are many different tastes out there, so I went on and decided to make some color variation of the pack… 79 of them.
By that time I was able to adapt the pack in an app format and make it compatible with most home replacements out there.
At this point i decided to make this icon project a full time endeavor… To this day the addiction is omnipresent and I can’t seem to shake it off… in my desktop at the moment you can find 138,600 files… that’s a lot.
Near 140,000 icons. Dude, that is crazy.
Please, explain to me how in the world this is possible… do you have a template and then work from that? Give us a reader’s digest version on how you do this in Photoshop?
I’d say the best secrets I have is HAVE A LOT OF METHOD… you know right down to layer names and stuff.
I basically have my models all hand drawn in vector for my needs… that’s the most crucial part.
Copy / Pasting image from the Net won’t work here. In this XDA thread I share a lot of technical details that some may want to review. It really should help those interested.
Alright, very cool man. I checked that out, and yes… very helpful information.
I’ve always wondered how you are able to crank out so many quality icons. Really respect you for adding more icons to your old sets too. I know it was not easy and I hope the readers can appreciate that.
Making new models is always quite daunting indeed… because I have to redraw and sometimes rethink the new icons models. If originally the icon designer did a shitty job – I’m trying not to replicate that.
Where do you get your ideas for new icon themes? Do you take requests from people, if so…. How can they request them?
I take request from all over the place, people contact me on my site, on Twitter, on XDA, I sometimes even have icon aficionados call me straight on my phone… dedicated…
I know you make and sell icon sets on your site – are you also doing ADW/LauncherPro themes?
I make icon sets and also ADW themes with Dave Kover…
Aslo making Launcherpro/bettercut apps with “Onymous Heroes” were just a big happy family….
People can search the Market or link to it on the site.
Okay, so you can get apps with your icons in the market then. Do you suggest people to buy the .png files from your site, or to buy the apps in the Market? Can you explain why it may be more appropriate to do one vs. the other?
The apps are convenient and really help have an easy switch of all icons… and the ones on my site are higher resolution to be used with apps that let you have bigger size icons (like desktop visualizr)… and for tablets.
Are all of your icon sets there for purchase as apps? How do you determine which ones are made into apps? First come first serve or by demand?
In time they will all be converted… that’s the goal.
With all of the icon sets you’ve made, what do you consider your flagship? What are you most proud of? I know you have a lot, so maybe just a top 3?
1- The original pack which is the most classic, easy to read, the first one I made and the one all my other styles are based on… and I give it away free so it’s in use by tons of people and definitely has a special place in my heart.
2- Tha Shag, because, beside been very original, its damn near impossible for anyone to copy, that style is just sooooo much work/details.
3- Tha Krom, because its shinny… and I’m attached to shinny things like a squirrel 🙂
Haha. Love it. I actually have all of those myself. I also picked up TheFlesh… and those are freaky as hell. Where can people find your icons man?
Check this page out… all my stuff is listed here: http://www.thaicon.thasyndicate.com/premium/
Interesting, so you are selling your icons on both the Market and on your site.
I strongly advocate for our developers, themers and the community. I notice more and more pirating of Android apps/themes everyday…. Is this something you have noticed?
It definitely comes with the territory… the more successful you are the more piracy you can expect… Piracy is rampant in icon design, but the way I think about it is that piracy is simply a competing business.
They happen to sell at the price of $0, so you can’t beat them on price, but you CAN beat them on 1. Convenience and 2. Content
Piracy takes awhile to get up to date unless you have a hugely popular icon pack which gets pirated within HOURS of release. As long as these two points outweigh the price difference, you’ll be ok.
What are your thoughts on people stealing your work?
They make me lose hope in the human kind 🙂
Selling in the Market – is it helping/hurting people kanging your icons?
The sets in the Market are the products being pirated right now…
What do you think Android will be like in a year+… think we will be better off than we are now, or are we heading in the wrong direction? Regardless of which way you feel, can you explain why you feel that way?
Being the kind of person who looks forward in a bright future, I’m very optimistic about what it holds… we are talking about the platform that gave me a whole new prospect in life, so I can only say it will get better, and open new doors for sure!
Amen to that.
Dude, you have been amazing. Your icons AND your murals are amazing. I really hope the readers seek you out and support you. Please keep doing what you are doing man.
If you want to get up with Tha Phlash you can do so with the links below.
PLEASE LET HIM KNOW YOU APPRECIATE HIS TIME.
Hit him up on Twitter, check his site (icons/murals) and if inclined… make your phone look pretty and buy some icons!
Thanks again man… really appreciate your time.
It’s awesome people like you that help me feel like more than just an icon making android, lol.
Your readers can hit me up on my Twitter (@ThaPhlash) and I’m “Phlash Tha” on Google+
I read this religiously 🙂
Again – Please hit him up on twitter, check his site out, &
let him know you appreciate his work/time.
Thank you all. If you want to help me out – please spread this out. I want the blog to grow. It will not happen unless you tell people.