Geló Tutorial 18 – Create colourful lock screen backdrops for iOS7 / by James Moore

Coloured Lock Screens in iOS7 using Geló

With the release of iOS7 and the new iPhones, it's all about colour in Apple's new revamp. There has been a widely mixed response to the new look and feel of iOS7, but the whole process has generally been a reductive one - simplifying layouts and interface elements. Where everything was once bezeled or polished and textured, we now have spans of empty space, light space, simple text prompts and subtle layering effects.

The minimal clean lock screen for iOS7 has come in for a bit of criticism in its layout and how certain images will obscure items like the time or 'slide to unlock' prompt. I think to a degree that this forces us to think more about the images we use on these screens, and edit our images accordingly.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how we can make the most of all this shiny new screen space, and enhance your images to create vivid, yet simple lock screen backdrops.


First of all we need to think about composition. Before we edit anything at all, we need to think about the image we want to use, and how it fits into the portrait screen format. If you look at desktop screensavers, or indeed the pre-bundled images on the device, the structure of the images are generally simpler with tight crops on shapes and textures in a range of simple tones.


Most screensaver images have a flatter tonal range in that they do not have areas of high contrast. This eliminates clashes with interface elements and helps the image to blend into the backdrop. That said, certain images with areas of high contrast when coupled with a simpler composition can make for really striking images and backdrops.


Another area to consider is colour. Again, many backdrops opt for subtle colours, mixed with a flatter tonal range. Clashy colours, while striking can break up the layout of the screen and make things like icons and text difficult to see. And sometimes solid areas of colour, like high contrast can swamp overlaid elements so they are not easily visible.

One positive aspect to this can be that  the underlying colour scheme of your images does in turn have an impact on other areas of the whole iOS7 experience; in the notifications centre and control centre. And we can make this work this to our advantage, just as Apple intended.

Update the colour character of your phone with Geló

Making your images work

Using Geló we can take an image with varying levels of contrast and complexity and using simple colouring techniques make them into really cool lock screen images. Using belnd modes like the standard over setting we can intensify colour, neutralise tonal ranges and give images a graphic twist.

Or you could try shapes to break images up into something more abstract. Multiple layered edits using a processed image can create patterns and abstract visual effects. I am actually working on layers for Geló so you need to save out and reload for now.

Take a look at the example images above and see for yourself how you can create striking lock screens with your photos. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Download Geló today and try it for yourself. Your colours with your images.