Icon designers must be trained to make the most of any icon in a brand. Fortunately, most designers follow a set of icon design concepts to tap into their style and communicate with an audience. For new designers, you might not already have your own list of concepts. However, we have put together a list of concepts and examples that you can get started with right now.
Of course, icon design concepts will vary from client to client. To ensure a unique approach for each client, the designer must take a few steps to get his or her creative ideas flowing. First, the designer has to research the client and their target audience, learning about the brand direction and strategy. Next, the designer must research the client’s competitors to find out how to stand out in the industry. Finally, it is time to use the icon design concepts below and incorporate them into the overall brand identity. Or, you may be creating your own native mobile app and need an icon for that. Either way, these tips will help.
Types of Icons
The various types of icons give a designer several options. Icons can be simple, realistic, cartoon-like, 3D, flat and other types. Depending on your client and industry, you may want to go with a modern design like clean, simple and flat. With the latest release of Apple iPhone’s iOS design concept, many companies are moving towards flat icons to complement the overall feel of the platform.
Use Bright and Contrasting Colors
Designers use color to emphasize a feeling. The concept of color should be used to have your icon either jump out to a user or subtly suggest an action. For example, mobile gaming app icons use contrasting colors to jump out to users. On the other hand, many icons for actual mobile use are placed strategically in the interface. When working on a clients’ icon, make sure that the colors will complement the brand.
Keep It Simple
Have you ever heard the phrase “keep it simple, stupid”? If not, now may be the time to learn it. Keep your icon logo design simple to get the best reactions from potential users browsing the App Store, just as you would keep namespaces simple. Start by designing an icon with the underlying shapes that will create the image you have in mind. Then, add detail as necessary to create a finished product. But it is important to keep the detail to a minimum. Only use as much detail as required to convey the image you are representing. This is crucial for icon design best practices.
Think Symbols Instead of Images
Symbols are the primary purpose of icons. The concept is to use symbols instead of text. When incorporating symbols into a brand, the combination should be seamless. A great example is Casino.com and their use of a relevant symbol within their branding strategy. The symbol concept is used to communicate their brand and instantly identify with their target audience.
Remember Size Applications
Sometimes designers forget that small icons might get blown up at some point. Whether it is a video games trade show or convention event, that brand icon concept might end up being 25 feet tall. When creating a icon design concept, take a moment to see if the icon will look good on a mobile device or full-wall banner at an event. Just like configuring MTU, this is one aspect that many icon design professionals forget.
If you want to design an icon that will attract people to your application, you are going to want to make sure that viewers can read it easily, if you choose to use words at all. The right icon design will make people aware of your brand and act as a constant reminder of it, as well. People look at their phones constantly every single day. That means they will also be reading your icon design every single day. So in order to meet these two criteria, you have to be certain that whatever font or font size you are using, it is easily read by viewers browsing through their app store. As long as they can read it, they will be sure to remember your brand now and many years down the line, just as many have remembered the Gamecast NCAA app.
These icon design concepts are just enough to get you moving in the right direction. The best designers will continue to improve on their own concepts and style. Most importantly, they ensure the success of their clients by creating concepts that truly communicate with target audience.
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