I'm making an icon for an Android app I'm developing. Android comes with icons for a lot of things, but I had to make my own to symbolize vibration being off. I'm using the same color, and when I look at them side by side on my computer they look the same. When I look at them on the phone, though, my icon looks more washed out. Is there a technical reason for this, or is it a psychological thing, and what can I do to make them look the same? Does it have to do with the transparency, and if it does, how can I figure out the right value?

Stock Android icon My icon

Here's a screenshot of them on the phone. They're next to eachother and towards the bottom of the screen:

enter image description here

  • 1
    The answer is likely based on how Android renders icons by default. Someone here might know the answer, but I have a hunch you'd have better luck posting this on StackOverflow.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 6:25
  • I can't say for certain, but I'm not too optimistic that that would be the reason. Android makes me provide the image files, even for the default icon. I'm not telling Android "Go look for the default sound-is-on icon," but rather, I had to download the icon from the developer website and put it into the project myself. So I know that the file I uploaded is the one the app is using. Unless they have some weird algorithm that detects that it's a default icon and automatically increases the transparency or something, it shouldn't be treating the default one and the one I made differently. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 6:49
  • But I'm still a noob at this.. Please correct me if my thinking is wrong :) Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


I think you might be better off using a black icon and reducing its opacity to 50%. Or, perhaps use solid #6d6d6d as opposed to what you seem to be using (#858585).

  • I will try this and let you know! So that I know for next time.. how did you arrive at these numbers? Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 7:34
  • It looks a lot better! It's just a little too dark now. I think you're right that the opacity is the issue. Is there a way I can figure out what the exact value should be? When I use MSPaint or Illustrator and load in the PNG's, they gave me the RGB #858585 with 100% opacity that you mentioned I was using. I'm guessing there must be some way to find what the actual color and transparency are from the PNG's? Or would I need the .AI file with the right colors to know for sure? Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 7:53
  • I just created a black square in Photoshop (although Illustrator would be just as good) and reduced its opacity till I got something that looked right. Android tend to use specific opacities and in fact it seems as though it's #333333 at 60% opacity. Try that; I'd be interested to see if that works.
    – KJP
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 8:20
  • Yes! This looks perfect! Thank you so much!!! This was driving me crazy! Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 8:38

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