QQ is Tencent's representative mobile instant messenger with a history of more than 20 years which has hundreds and millions of users. All the brand elements of QQ such as penguin character, emoji, and even notification sound are already familiar for many users. Among these elements, the splash screen is one of the most important elements that is directly related to the brand image since it decides the first impression of the service. In this article, I will share the design development story of the new QQ splash screen, which has been re-designed recently following the rapidly changing design trend.
QQ splash screen is an important element for the brand image of a mobile app service, so we had to be particularly careful in re-designing it. We need to encompass the characteristics of QQ(one huge platform that provides various services) into one single image and not lose its originality of the brand, and also consider the tastes of the public and the constantly changing design trend.
Because of the reasons above, QQ's splash screen has changed within a certain frame for a quite a long time. Usually, there are QQ's shape in the middle with some graphic elements trying the imply the service characteristics. There were also a few updates and special designs for national holidays and other temporary events, but most of them were basically 2D-style graphics.
However, design trend using 3D illustrations has been spotlighted recently and used in numerous medias such as brand design and advertisement. So recently, 3D graphics are recognized as trendy and visually attractive and fresh to many people. Since QQ is a service mainly used by young users, we also tried to apply this style and made new attempts on the design following the recent changes on design trend.
Maintaining the QQ's iconic penguin shape, we applied the 3D style instead of the existing flat graphic on this new splash screen. This kind of attempt was planned to enhance the brand image of the messenger leading the technology and trend while giving visual freshness by applying an image with an expanded sense of space. In addition, high saturation colors give the brand younger and vibrant feeling, and a variety of textures add depth and richness to the graphics.
The first idea was based on the aforementioned plan, experimenting various new and attractive graphics without any specific limitation. The shape of the QQ penguin was dismantled and various materials were tested and we also tried to add various graphic elements around the penguin shape. And we tried to use a wide range of hues and high saturation colors besides the sky blue color, which is the brand color of QQ.
On the second round, we tested graphics that could symbolize the year of the rat. We made proposals with a mouse-shaped mask over the QQ shape or tested some graphics with the mouse-shaped outline. However, since the splash screen should represent the whole service, more universal image was preferred. Moreover, since this concept was only focusing the temporary issue, we decided to try different ideas.
In the final round, we designed some proposals of colorful geometric 3D shapes with various textures, floating in the QQ shaped window. This represents the meaning of the service that various services are gathered together to create a new world in QQ platform. This direction was selected for the new QQ splash design and was applied after the final refinement.
For the final design, geometric shapes with various textures are balanced in harmony in the QQ-shaped window, making dynamic diagonal composition. This symbolize an image in which various users and diverse services interacting in the universe of QQ. The brand color blue and yellow was applied to the final graphic considering harmony of the colors with other graphic elements. The blue color was applied following the brand color of QQ and yellow is from the mouth and feet color of QQ. And this vivid color contrast implies the young and trendy image of QQ.
This QQ splash design will keep change, trying to express diversity and growth of QQ which will make users feel that our QQ brand is alive. We hope that QQ will be able to meet users with more younger and trendy look in 2020.