How a personal project transformed into an overnight success

Client: Myself

Role: Co-Founder & Lead Designer

Year: 2014 - 2017

In the early days of Android Lollipop, there was a leak that gave the world a sneak peek of Google's future for Android and design. Codenamed "Moonshine", it focused on depth, shadows, and layers that mimicked the look and feel of paper. This would later turn out to be a part of Google's new design language, Material Design.

A friend of mine and I decided to recreate these icons, and to bring this new style to icons outside of Google's suite. What started as a personal project turned into a massive success.

First to market

Initially, we designed 50 icons in this new design style, and became the first designers to compile and publish it as a downloadable application on Google Play. We published Version 1.0 under our studio name, Valiant Pixels (formerly Nexbit Design).

A screenshot of a phones homescreen with Google icons.

Creating the icons

Over 1,100 icons were designed for Moonshine over a 2 year long period, and were made compatible with all of the top launchers at the time. This library grew due to icon requests and our own ambition to add consistency to Android OS. Each icon incorporate subtle shadows and color shifts to add some depth over the stock icon.

Product dashboard

A user interface for the Moonshine app was designed and coded. The app included a "dashboard" which would allow users to apply the icon pack to multiple third-party launchers, download wallpapers, view individual icons, and contact support for assistance/bug reports.

Wallpapers

Wallpapers were designed to reflect the use of color, depth, and elevation that is present in Google's Material Design.

Building a community

Moonshine had over 500k active users a month, and we gained a community of people who followed us on our Google+ page (remember that?). We amassed over 6,000 followers on our Google+ page, and people shared with us how hey were using Moonshine in their home screen setup.

Thoughts & Results

Moonshine is one of the most downloaded and rated iconography products on Google Play, and has become one of the most well known icon packs in the Android theming community during it's almost 3 year run under Valiant Pixels.

It became a challenge over time to continue to maintain Moonshine at its peak. I ended up selling the rights in 2016 to an avid developer and designer, who is still keeping Moonshine in active development till this day.

Press:

Phandroid: Moonshine Now Available On Google Play

Android Headlines: AH Awards 2014 - Best Icon Pack Of The Year

Techno Buffalo: How To Achieve The Look Of Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android Central: AC Editors Apps Of The Week

Software Developers
Aidan Follestad
Alessandro Eppacher
Pkmmte Xeleon
Design
Pedro Peguero Jr.
Tom Wellington

Accumulated over 2.4 million installs within a 2 year period

Over 500k active users during it's peak

More than 80k reviews, averaging a 4.5/5 rating