tutorials | mobile, uiux, design

How to Become a Samsung Mobile UI Themes Designer

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Tony Morelan

Senior Developer Evangelist

NOTE: This article was updated on 23 December 2020

If you are interested in designing and selling UI themes for Samsung mobile devices, you must first pass a design evaluation. The design evaluation is where a team at Samsung reviews a set of three design mockups that you create: the screens of your UI theme concept. We call this your “Themes Studio Portfolio Submission”.

Show us what the different screens and app icons look like, and if we like your skills, we’ll give you access to Themes Studio, our free software for building UI themes for Samsung Galaxy mobile devices. Your themes can then be sold globally on Galaxy Store.

Designing The Mockup, Your Themes Studio Portfolio

Using your favorite design program, create three different mockups of a Samsung UI theme. Each mockup must include the 6 required screens: Lock, Home, Messages, Dialer, Contacts, and Settings. If any of the 6 screens are not included in a mockup in your Themes Studio Portfolio, your application will be rejected.

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In addition to the 6 screens, each mockup must include re-designs of the 8 app icons. Do not use the default Samsung app icons. Doing so will cause your application to be rejected.

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Theme Studio Portfolio Starter Kit

To help ensure that your submission meets the requirements, download our Starter Kit to assist with designing the required 6 screens. The starter kit includes a Photoshop template that utilizes “Smart” objects and the Generate Image Assets feature.

For designers not using Photoshop, we have included an example PDF showing the required 6 screens, app icons, and symbols, as well as a transparent PNG of a Samsung mobile device. Feel free to use any design program that you like, just make sure each screen design is 1440 pixels wide by 3040 pixels tall.

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Theme Portfolio Design Tips

Be unique. There are a lot of themes available on Galaxy Store, and the best way to stand out is to create something different. Don’t use copyrighted or stock images. We want to see your talents as a designer to create a custom design. If you use copyrighted or stock images, your portfolio will be rejected.

Cohesive design. Make sure all of your 6 screens in a mockup design feel like the same theme. Adjust and revise your artwork for each screen, but make sure they match the overall design concept.

Nice colors. Design each theme within a specific color palette. This will ensure that your theme conveys a specific mood. For help with selecting a color palette, search online for websites that have color palette generating tools, such as color.adobe.com/create

Careful with fonts. Fonts can be fun, but fonts can also be too crazy. You can use a stylistic font, just choose one that people can actually read, and read quickly.

Simple App Icons. The symbols you design for each app icon should have a clear meaning. Do not place a distracting background behind each app icon. All design elements within the app icon should relate to that specific icon. Refrain from using a common design element across all app icons.

Take a Break. When you are done with your theme mockup, step away for a moment. Do something that takes your mind off of your designs. When you return, you will look at your designs as a whole and not see the specific elements of your theme. Is it cohesive? Do all of the screens within your theme go together? Are the apps and fonts easy to read? Have you designed something unique? If you are confident that your theme mockup is strong, excellent! Time to submit!

Submitting Your Application and Themes Portfolio

To apply to become a themes designer, visit developer.samsung.com/galaxy-themes and click the “GET STARTED” button. This will open the Themes Overview page. If the window is open, the “GET ACCESS” button will be displayed for you to apply and submit your themes portfolio. See below for the open window dates.

To submit your themes portfolio, save the 6 UI JPG screens as a single PDF document and upload with your application.

Submit More Than Three Mockups in a Themes Portfolio?

Sure. In fact, this is encouraged. Keep in mind though that you will be judged on all of your theme designs. If you submit a strong design and a weak design, they will be judged together. Remember, you are being judged as a Themes designer so be sure that all of your mockups in your theme portfolio are equally strong.

Cover Letter

Submitting a cover letter with your application is not required, but it definitely helps. We would love to learn more about you as a designer. Tell us why you want to design Galaxy Themes and sell them to the world. Tell us something interesting about yourself. Share links to other design projects or portfolios. Samsung is looking for great designers to sell their themes on Galaxy Store. Don't say you only want to learn the software or just create themes for yourself.

When Can You Submit Your Themes Portfolio?

Because this is an exclusive group of designers, your portfolio can only be submitted during certain times of the year. We call this the “open window”. For two weeks every quarter, Samsung opens the window for applying to become a themes designer. Along with your application, you will include three mockup designs consisting of 6 UI screens in your themes portfolio.

2021 Submission Open Window Dates:

  • February 10 - February 23
  • May 12 - May 25
  • August 11 - August 24
  • November 10 - November 23

The Review Process

After the submission window has closed, a team at Samsung will take approximately 4-5 weeks to review all applications and portfolios.

Acceptance

If your application has been accepted, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the Themes Studio software and further information about how to begin publishing your theme designs to Galaxy Store.

Rejection & Resubmitting

If your application was rejected, you will receive an email notification informing you about the rejection. You can apply again during the next application cycle. Take some time to address the potential reasons as to why your original theme might have been rejected. Do not submit the same portfolio again without any changes.

Top reasons for rejection:

  • Did not submit the required 6 screens for each mockup
  • Did not re-design all app icons
  • Graphics were not high-res
  • Theme portfolio was not cohesive
  • Theme design was not well executed
  • Theme design was too simple
  • Similar theme already on Galaxy Themes store

Another cause for rejection is the use of imagery that you did not design yourself. It is not allowed to use copyrighted, stock imagery or pictures you find on the internet. Your theme design must contain only custom artwork that you created yourself.

Start Designing!

Samsung is looking for designers that are ready and excited to sell their UI theme designs to the world. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and submit your Themes Portfolio during the next open window!

Follow Up

This site has many resources for developers looking to build for and integrate with Samsung devices and services. Stay in touch with the latest news by creating a free account or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Visit the Marketing Resources page for information on promoting and distributing your apps. Finally, our developer forum is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on all things related to the Galaxy ecosystem.