Sharing the designs and style guide for our location-aware news app, HERE for Local Journalism.

Keeping our commitment to sharing our work and being transparent while we experiment, we wanted to make all of the HERE for Local Journalism app design assets open and available for anyone to reference or re-use.

I’ve created a style guide which includes the app’s color palette, fonts, graphics, and icons. It’s all available on Github and below is a guide to what you’ll find there.

Style guide for the HERE app.

Color palette and fonts

The app’s color palette and the fonts are casual and lively and include warm colors. We wanted the look and feel to truly reflect the vibrant style of local arts, architecture, and real estate news. The colors we chose gave us a broad range of options to choose from to differentiate between various content and features in the app. We thought that having that flexibility would make it easier for us to update the app later if we added new types of stories. The fonts are simple and clean which creates a laid-back vibe and at the same time balances out the bright colors.

Two mood boards for the HERE app.

Graphics

Similar to the colors and fonts, the app graphics were intended to be casual and clean. I explored different options and settled on one using simple shapes and lines with different weights. This makes the graphics pleasing to look at but doesn’t distract people from reading. After a few iterations on the basic outline of the black and white version of the graphics, I explored options by applying different color combinations. The combination of the bright and soft orange colors seemed to best match the tone of the app and the content, and the warm tones make the graphics casual yet welcoming.

Icons

The icons were also intended to be as simple and clean as possible. The thin lines give the icons less weight, and the simple shapes make the icons look modern. Because the stories in the app are about local arts, architecture and real estate, we included buildings and bridges in the icon. We also wanted the icon to signal that the app content would be focused on urban life and places. With that idea in mind, I explored various combinations of simple outlined building and bridges, and the team chose the icon set with multiple shapes to look more flexible and be more inclusive of many types of city stories. We also decided to use two colors in the icon to make the app’s purpose easier to interpret at a glance and more legible overall.

The app icon
Icons that appear in the app

If you have any questions about this work and how you might use it please reach out to me at [email protected] Thank you!


The Lenfest Local Lab is a small, multidisciplinary product and user experience innovation team located in Philadelphia, PA supported by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and support sustainable business models for great local journalism. The Institute was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest with the goal of helping transform the news industry in the digital age to ensure high-quality local journalism remains a cornerstone of democracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *