Tips for Designing Graphics for Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are becoming the most preferred platforms people are using to access the internet. Whether it is for chatting, browsing, connecting with friends and other social interactions, research shows that the number of users with mobile devices outnumbers those using desktop devices. This has presented businesses and websites owners who provide content on the internet or those who wish to use the internet to gain visibility to come up with mobile friendly designs.

Consequently, designers working on designs to show on the internet are now compelled to adapt their designs for proper rendition on the mobile devices. If you are a designer working on graphics for display on mobile devices, here are a few tips to get you going on the right path.

Resolutions and screen size

The various mobile devices for which you are adapting your designs have different screen sizes and resolutions. It implies that you can’t create graphics with the same resolution and expect it to render well across all the devices. This will make the design not to appear in the right manner if it is displayed on devices that are not compatible with the resolutions you had designed it for. Therefore, check the display screens as well as the pixel densities and make designs that will render without any resolution problems on the mobile devices.

Flexible designs

Most of the mobile devices, except for those manufactured by Blackberry will have a G-Sensor. A G-Sensor is a technology fitted in the mobile devices to understand the orientation of the devices and display information in the right format. It is the technology for determining whether the device is held vertically or horizontally so that it adjusts the devices’ display to reflect the same, either landscape display or portrait display.

As much as the mobile devices have the G-Sensors, designers working on graphics meant to mobile display should not rely on it but use appropriate designs skills that will lead to this flexibility. In graphics design, as well as web design, this calls for a fluid layout so which will allow the content to be tilted or stretched to offer a good viewing experience.


The color is another important consideration to have in mind if you are designing graphics for display on mobile devices. Depending on the manufacturer, mobile devices will have different levels of color support. For example, Blackberry and HTC support up to 65K colors while iPhone, Nokia, and Samsung support up to 16 million colors. With color, however, the devices will adjust accordingly, with those having higher displaying better quality.

Image Formats

PNG is the most preferred image format when designing graphics for display on mobile devices. It supports up to 254 partial transparency pixel levels, and this gives you the versatility you need to take advantage of alpha transparency. PNG image format has greater color depths, and such images will still perform well in instances of variable transparencies. Other image formats like GIF are pretty limiting and will always result in loss of transparency leading to poor image rendition on the mobile devices.

Limit the use of text

When working on projects for mobile displays, you should not cram them with a lot of text. This is because it is not easy to read text from such devices and besides, images or pictures work best for mobile devices. Therefore, try to adopt your design in such a manner that you will make the most use of images and only use text when it is necessary. This won’t just work for the mobile display but also, it will enable you to have a quality output.

Test on actual mobile device

While you adopt these tips for creating graphics for display on mobile devices, you must remember to test the design on the actual devices before you can wrap up the design. As a matter of fact, you need to test it in different mobile devices so that you get a feel on how the final design will render. In this manner, you will be in a good position to make adjustments and changes that will give you a satisfactory output across most of the devices. Without testing, however, your design may only show in one website and fail to render properly in the rest, and you shall have failed as a designer.

Consider Using Google Design Standards

Google has laid out a set of standard for graphic designers and webmasters are working on a project meant to display on smart phones and other mobile devices. With these standards, you will get all the information needed to come up with responsive designs that will work just fine on any mobile device. It is also a great resource to learn about new technologies relevant to mobile designs.

These tips should help you going along with your designs meant for mobile displays. You should, however, be on the lookout for more and new tips since this is a fast paced industry.

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