No doubt, you can find some well- designed vector icons that are inexpensive and easily available online. Thousands of high – quality free and premium icon sets are available.
But before you choose anyone, you must aware of the difference between “not quite good enough” and “premium quality” icons as it has a great impact on the design.
In this article, we will discuss principles of effective icon design in six steps including the basics of sound icon design, consistency, legibility, and clarity.
Three Attributes of Effective Icon Design
Icons that are well-designed follows a methodological approach to the three major attributes that make up any design. Even if you are creating a single icon, consider these attributes in an iterative approach.
Structure or Form
The structure is the most basic part of an icon. The most successful icon designs follow simple, recognizable patterns or forms. The primary geometric shapes – circle, square, and triangle – create a visually stable foundation for icon designs.
The character of an icon is made up of the elements that are shared within a single icon and across an icon set.
The “identity” is the soul of an icon which makes it unique. Identity determines whether or not it “works”. Character and Identity often overlap. Identity elements shared by several icons become part of the Character of a set.
The Six Steps
ALWAYS START WITH A GRID
Here is a guide to help you create the underlying form of each icon design. Avoid putting any part of the icon in “no go zone” space unless absolutely necessary. The purpose of this space is to create some breathing room around the icon.
START WITH SIMPLE GEOMETRIC SHAPES
Start your icon designs with the major shapes like circles, rectangles, and triangles. Start with the shape tools in Adobe Illustrator.
BY THE NUMBERS: EDGES, LINES, CORNERS, CURVES AND ANGLES
Inconsistency in corners, curves and angles can diminish the quality of an icon.
Pixel-perfect alignment is important when designing for small sizes. Aligning the icon to the pixel grid will make the edges perfectly crisp on straight lines and more crisp on precise angles and curves.
USE CONSISTENT DESIGN ELEMENTS AND ACCENTS ACROSS ICONS
The elements that build aesthetic unity can still tie the set together.
USE DETAILS AND DECORATIONS SPARINGLY
Icons should quickly communicate an object, idea or action. Too many small details will introduce complexity, which can make the icon less recognizable. The level of detail is an important aspect of aesthetic unity and recognizability of the in icon set.
MAKE IT UNIQUE
The number of talented designers is creating high-quality icon sets every day. But many of them rely on the trends or the styles of the most popular designers. As a creative web designer, we should create something out of the box by exploring some other areas such as architecture, typography, industrial design, psychology, nature where we can find the inspiration.
Hope this article you create premium quality icons. For more details see here. Master in web design practice.
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