Icon Design Tips

Image Credit: Kem Bardly

 

Tips For Developing An Effective Icon Design

If you are creating a custom website design you need custom icon as well. The approach you use to develop an effective icon design will determine how successful you are with this process. Every icon design must take into account certain principles such as its form or structure, aesthetic unison and recognition. Start with the general guidelines as you head on to the more specific ones. The following tips should help you develop a suitable icon design:


Determine The Underlying Structure Of The Icon

When an artist is sketching an item, they usually start from the largest and simple shape and then continue to refine the drawing by adding more detailed areas. In the same way, icon design should begin from the simplest shapes. You can then continue to add detail in order to best communicate the concept that the icon will represent. Always come up with a few basic shapes that will define the icon design form.

Icon Forms

Image Credit: Kem Bardly


Choose The Design Elements Wisely

A good icon design will have elements such as the color palette, size of the corners and line weights chosen wisely. The elements should be repeated during the design to create cohesiveness. Come up with a list of common elements that you are going to use in your icon design.

Icon Design Elements

Image Credit: Kem Bardly


Ensure The User Understands What Action It Depicts

An icon is recognizable when the user can quickly tell what action it depicts. If it is an idea, try and look for properties or elements that users usually associate with that idea. Whatever you are trying to portray with the icon, users should be able to identify it at a glance. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of having an icon.

Icon Action

Image Credit: Scott Lewis


Opt For Simple And Basic Styles

To create icons that are very versatile, choose a design that is simple and basic style-wise. Icons that can blend with different settings are more marketable. It would be easier for the programmer to select the icon if they feel like it blends better with the rest in the page.


Have A Consistent Light Source

Shadows in icons give them a realistic depth that the objects normally have in real life. You need to ensure that details such as the source of light are consistent all through. If there is a mismatch in terms of the light source, the overall quality of the icons might be tampered with.
Shadow Icons


Consider Cultural Differences

Remember that certain shapes and colors may not be interpreted in the same way in different parts of the world. It is very important to understand the situations and areas where the icon is going to be used. Use imagery that is recognized universally. For instance, if you are designing icons for warning and traffic signs, understand that these differ from country to country. You’ll really need to pay attention to the elements you choose to design your icon.

Icon design can be simple and quick if you take into account some of the guidelines we’ve mentioned above. Consider looking at examples of icons which have been widely used and get design ideas from them.



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