I am working on creating few images - custom icons and 9 patch for use in my mobile application. For this I am using Adobe Photoshop CC, but I am not satisfied with the resolution (blurred boundary lines) of those images when it is displayed on a mobile phone screen.

My questions are broad but its answer would help me to work in right direction.

  1. Is Photoshop CC right tool for making mobile icon and images? if not then which is best?
  2. Is there any guide or tutorial for making high quality small size basic shapes (i.e. 36x36 pixel) for mobile phones specifically?

I am beginner using tools like PhotoShop.

  • illustrator should work. Also, You might not be using the correct export settings. I would try high quality png. Aug 3, 2014 at 16:50
  • What size are you going for? 36dp? Pixel is not a dimension you develop in. Are you using only one resource or are you creating one for each resolution? How to make basic shapes in not your blur-problem, I think.
    – KMSTR
    Aug 4, 2014 at 14:19
  • 1
    You can't do much with 36 pixels. You may be expecting way too much detail out of such a small canvas.
    – DA01
    Oct 3, 2014 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


At 36px x 36px, you really can't depend on the drawing tools to handle everything for you. At that extremely limited resolution you probably need to be creating the icons pixel-by-pixel and tweaking it all manually.

You could certainly start with a larger image and use the drawing tools...say at 360x360, but after shrinking it back down, you'll still need to do a whole lot of hand tweaking.

Also, remember that a lot of mobile devices have high PPI screens. While the layout of the page may declare the image at 36 points, if it's a 2x screen, you'd actually have 72 pixels to work with (or in the case of the new iphone 6 with 3x screens, you'd have 108 pixels to work with).


You can use a font editor with hinting support and hint your icons manually.

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