Are You Designing The Icons Right Way?

Are You Designing The Icons Right Way?

Every designer these days is thinking about implementing new trends and techniques into their designs for both website or apps. The most intricate and important element of the apps are its icons which are used to represent the app on mobile phones and app/play store.

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A great icon design will not only catch the eyes but also help you get more business conversion. But creating it is not just putting a logo in the box, it is much more than that as they need to stand apart from all the other icons and because of so many limitations there is.

So, if you are stuck while designing the icons, then ask yourself whether you are designing them the right way? Here are some pointers; using them will help you easily get through.

Icon can be many things and not just an image

When you are thinking of an icon for your app, don’t just think about putting an image, it can also be a letter (single word or two) or a logomark or a combination of both. The miniature version of the brand’s logo can also be used as it is more known amongst the people. But whatever you use, make sure that is visible and can be recognized.

Another problem with using an image in the icon is that reading an image in a smaller size is hard especially if it’s a raster image, and may merge with all the other apps on your mobile.  For eg, the icon of Netflix with a big ‘N’ against a black background is easy to sort and also we immediately associate it with Netflix.

Try to avoid using words

In most icons, we don’t see words and the reason behind this is that there is no room for an icon which has so much to read. As a rule, you should avoid using words in them and only use it if you have some text in your logo, but most companies avoid using text in that too.

An icon should be designed in a manner, that even without text it creates an identity for itself and gets recognized.

Also Read: Professional Logo Design Tips for Small Business

It should be legible

Legible means able to read and recognize. It is very important for an icon to be legible, no matter whether it has text or an image. It should be easily visible to people so that when they read it, they immediately associate it with its brand. It should represent its brand like Microsoft office has a different icon for its elements for word and excel which are easy to recognize.

Develop a simple logo or symbol

An icon needs to have a symbol that is simple, unique, and easy to recognize. Now, you must have a logo for your brand, its snippets can be used as the icon or you can go for a graphic representation. If you don’t have a logo yet, you can easily create one with Canva’s logo maker. Make it memorable and this can be done by creating a logo and building a brand with the thought process of involving the icons in it too by having an iconic symbol.

The icons must have vibrant colors

You don’t want your icon to blend with all the other options available, so don’t use primary and common color choices like blue or green. Use vibrant, bold and contrasting colors so that your app stands out on any type of background.  The icon for Instagram uses a mix of 3-4 color and just stands apart from the rest of the apps.

Scale down the icon’s size

The icons are usually considered as small things on our phones or laptop, but with new technologies, their bigger size is usable too. So it is important to make an icon that is big in size and usable for other formats like billboards etc. and then scale it down to fit the icon space of your mobile app.

Use vector format to design them

The icons should always be created using a vector based format system as it is easy to scale them or change their size. It lets you make any changes now or in future, and you can save the image to be printed out later in any format you want for any screen.

Don’t get stuck in a trend

Nowadays, the trend is to use flat designs and having a single background which works well but has become boring and old. So if you can create something unique which sets apart from anything, then don’t get stuck with any trends.

Be iconic in creating your icons and design it well using these tips, don’t get stuck with trend if it doesn’t go well with your brand and do what is best for your brand’s name. Think well about colors, visual recognition and user interface standards before actually getting started with the designing process.

Also Read: 5 Simple Business Card Designs that You Would Love to Steal

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About the Author: princekapoor

Prince Kapoor is seasoned Marketing Analyst and Blogger. With his skills, he has been helping fellow marketers and brands worldwide. You can reach him out on

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