Icons navigate people by emphasizing key elements. They are the road signs of apps, websites, and technology in general. Here are seven tips to achieve and create awesome icons.
1. Keep it simple.
You may be a creative person but this is not the time to think outside the box. Simplicity is key when it comes to modern design, including icons. If there’s a convention, use it! An icon should be easily and instantly recognized.
2. Be simple but not too simple.
Though being simple is crucial it is important to understand that being simple does not mean poor. Try experimenting with more elements than just one color of shape. Use various shades and highlights of a color etc.
3. Use eye catching colors.
Experiment with colors and choose the ones that stand out so that they will get the viewers attention.
4. Keep sizing consistent
A good way to make sure your sizing of icons is consistent is by using a grid. Make sure the icon is slightly larger than text so it isn’t mistaken as a text glyph. If you are designing a set of icons be sure to make it’s sizing and it’s perceived sizing the same by comparing them in the same document.
5. Do not use words
A creative image or shape can say more than a word.
6. Run your ideas through the local audience.
Especially if your audience is not local to you. Different countries may have different meanings of a certain symbol. For example you may be thinking of using a thumbs up because your idea of a thumbs up indicates a job well done meanwhile in other places in the world such as Greece and the Middle East you’re essentially saying screw you to your customers.
7. Your webcam is your friend
If you’re designing emoji icons try snapping a few photos of yourself facially expressing those emotions. Then work on translating them into icon form.