Visual design focuses on app aesthetics through the strategic use of images, colors, fonts, and other elements.
Colors, fonts, icons, illustrations, and many other visual elements have a big influence on your app’s usability. Great apps use strong visual design to heighten the merchant experience.
Whether your app exists on many platforms or is exclusive to Shopify, great branding sets you apart from other apps.
Shopify apps focus on getting the necessary jobs done quickly. Your app’s branding should provide merchants with useful context, but it shouldn’t distract them from completing their tasks.
Learn more about branding your app on the Shopify App Store.
UnacceptableDon’t express your brand by changing the shape of containers or any interactive elements that exist elsewhere in the Shopify admin.
UnacceptableAvoid excessive use of branding elements. This can make your app feel disjointed from the Shopify admin.
Color can provide visual continuity, communicate status information, and give feedback on merchant actions.
Your app exists within the Shopify admin, so you should consider colors that complement the Shopify admin color scheme. Your colors should also respect minimum contrast ratios when used with text or interactive elements.
TipThe Shopify admin background color is light gray (
#F6F6F7). Using the same background color for your app will make it appear consistent with the rest of the Shopify admin.
MandatoryWhen using components with text, such as buttons, cards, or navigation, the background-to-text contrast ratio should be at least 4.5:1 to be WCAG AA compliant. Be sure to test your color contrast ratios to abide by WCAG standards.
CautionChanging the default primary action color is allowed, but be careful that your color choices don’t confuse merchants about an action’s outcome.
UnacceptableDon’t use colors that exist in the Shopify logo in your app. These colors are strictly reserved for the Shopify brand.
UnacceptableAvoid excessive use of color. The Shopify admin is geared towards task completion, and too much color can distract merchants.
Color rolesAnchor link to section titled "Color roles"
The Shopify admin uses certain colors for specific messaging.
These color roles add additional meaning to the interface and reinforce messaging to merchants. Learn more about color roles in the Polaris color guidelines.
Colors like green, yellow, and red have specific roles such as indicating a successful interaction, a warning, or an error. Be careful when using them in your app.
While colors are useful in design, avoid relying on color only to provide context. For alerts like error states, success states, or system warnings, include messaging or iconography that explains what’s happening.
CautionSome colors are reserved for specific roles in the Shopify admin. If your app’s branding and colors are too similar, it can hinder the merchant experience.
UnacceptableDon’t change or reinterpret color roles for existing elements. This can mislead merchants.
Your app icon acts as the main visual identifier for merchants.
The app icon appears in many touchpoints, like in the Shopify App Store, on the Apps page in the Shopify admin, and next to your app’s name in the TitleBar component. For this reason, your app icon should be easy to read at any size.
InfoFor guidance on changing your app icon, go to the App Setup page in the Partner Dashboard.
MandatoryDisplay your app icon only in the app header.
SpecificationsAnchor link to section titled "Specifications"
Adhere to the following app icon specifications:
- PNG or JPG
1200px × 1200px
- No rounded corners
- Transparent background accepted
Preparing your app iconAnchor link to section titled "Preparing your app icon"
1200px × 1200px. This ensures that your icon meets the size requirements.
TipWe recommend using the app icon template to easily adhere to app icon guidelines.
MandatoryDesign your icon to fill 10/16ths (
1200pxicon) of a vertical or horizontal space.
MandatoryDesign your icon to at most fill 12/16ths (
1200pxicon) of a vertical or horizontal space.
CautionTry to leave a 1/16th (
1200pxicon) margin around your icon that’s free of any visual elements.
CautionApp icon elements that reach the edges can make your icon hard to identify.
CautionApp icons will be used on white (
#FFFFFF) and light gray (
#F6F6F7) backgrounds. Take notice if your app icon uses these colors.
CautionDrop shadows and bevel effects don’t render well in smaller sizes. Use these effects minimally.
UnacceptableDon’t use excessive amounts of text in your icon. This makes it hard to identify and read at smaller sizes.
UnacceptableDon’t mislead merchants by using an app icon that you don’t own. This includes any part of the Shopify logo.
TypographyAnchor link to section titled "Typography"
Typography is the arrangement of letters in a way that makes reading text easy and comfortable for merchants.
Polaris typography tokens provide a great way to streamline typography.
Type hierarchyAnchor link to section titled "Type hierarchy"
Proper use of typography can improve the app experience. By creating a healthy visual hierarchy between headlines and copy, you’ll improve legibility and consistency with the Shopify admin.
TipTypography should create a clear hierarchy between headings and text that’s easily legible by merchants. Whenever possible, the title of the current page should be the largest heading size.
MandatoryMake headings visually distinct from the rest of the text, by being either bolder, larger in size, or both. Don’t use underlines for visual emphasis.
UnacceptableUsing color alone to distinguish a heading is not enough to convey hierarchy and can be confusing for merchants that don’t perceive color.
Font sizesFont sizes
Our font size specifications apply to the minimum sizes required for legibility in the Shopify admin.
MandatoryThe minimum size for headings, body text, and text in interactive elements is
MandatoryThe minimum size for smaller copy, like captions and subheadings, is
Icons act as visual aids to help merchants complete tasks. They’re often paired with text to make your app easier to use and to disambiguate certain interactions.
You can save time by using Polaris icons, or create your own by following the Polaris icon guidelines.
TipIcons can help merchants better understand the outcome of an action, or help them understand more technical terms that they might not be familiar with.
CautionOverusing icons can cause visual clutter and make your app harder to use.
UnacceptableInconsistent use of icons in lists and other repeating elements will make your app look broken.
IllustrationsAnchor link to section titled "Illustrations"
Illustrations give your app personality and help merchants understand complex concepts through meaningful visual metaphors.
Following the Polaris illustrations guidelines is a great way to make your app’s illustrations fit nicely with the Shopify admin.