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Icon Design Trends You Shouldn’t Miss Out

by Anne Carton Tweet - in App Icon Design

Icon Design

Last updated on March 22nd, 2023

Icons are everywhere in the physical and digital world today. These smaller images can be found in a wide range of places — from traffic signals to digital space. They come in various forms, ranging from traffic signals to digital emojis. But the digital world has plenty of them, with almost each web page having them for navigation and other purposes. Graphic designers consider some trends while creating icons. Some icon design trends emerged in the current year that designers should follow to stay relevant in the design industry.

Our brains process images thousands of times faster than words — several studies have revealed this secret. That is why images are included in text-based content such as blogs. Using images, we can instantly convey a message and brand value. Compare that with reading thousands of words to get the message.

Icons are also images users can see to know which action to take and what specific process to complete. So, just as you see an icon, you can take action accordingly in a quick time.

But an icon in the digital world is also a way to make an impression on a brand’s potential customers. So, for instance, a web design icon must also look unique, just like a logo, business card, etc., to stand out.

In terms of software applications, an icon is often known as a function, program, data, or collection of data on a computer system. The icons are smaller as they are meant to indicate some function to the users.

What is the icon design?

Icon design is the way to create graphic symbols that users can see as representing some function or an abstract motive. A good icon design can instantly communicate an idea or action to the users. Due to its tiny size and space, an icon often has fewer details and is a simple design without any complexities involved.

Why are icons important?

Icons are everywhere in today’s physical and digital world. An icon describes an action that people need to take. So, all emojis that we send to our friends to express our varied emotions or icons for sending emails are all icons.

An advantage of icons is that they work as facilitators between users and machines. On seeing icons, users know what action to take, which helps them interact with a computer.

Some studies have pointed out that icons help increase software usability and applications. Icons also reduce the lengthy navigation process of everything, including applications, software, etc.

Icons are thus powerful tools that users can use to connect with a device or software. In this way, an icon can express complex design ideas and simplify them as visuals.

How to create an Icon?

Here Is What You Need To Consider When Designing An Icon:

Before you design an icon for your brand, make sure that you have a look at many other icon designs. Your icon must look unique so that it stands out and helps in driving potential customers’ attention. Moreover, your icon design must also be unique to avoid plagiarism and trademark violations.

Create a mood board to project your design ideas and share them with others. Many such ideas in one place will spark inspiration to create unique icons.

Pick the right design elements: Depending on your brand personality and message, you should choose the suitable elements to design the icon. So, find out if a line-based icon design will suit your brand the best.

Choose the right size: Make sure that your icon falls into the correct size category. Designers use these sizes as per the design requirements. For instance, the app icon design size differs from other icon design sizes.

Here Are Different Icon Sizes You Can Consider:

Small Icons:

  • 12 x 12 px
  • 16 x 16 px
  • 24 x 24 px
  •  32 x 32 px
  • 48 x 48 px

Medium Icons:

  • 64 x 64 px
  • 96 x 96 px
  • 128 x 128 px
  • 256 x 256 px

Large Icons:

  • 512 x 512 px
  • 1024 x 1024 px

Some Prominent Icon Design Trends For 2023

Like other graphic design items, such as logos and business cards, design trends are also evolving in icon design. In 2022, icon design has changed significantly compared to previous years.

The designers experiment with different elements to come up with unique design ideas. You can even categorize an icon by design after knowing what design trend it follows.

Here Are The Major Icon Design Trends For The Current Year

01. Minimalist

The Minimalist design trend is popular among graphic designers to convey a brand’s personality and message in a simple way using fewer elements. Iconic designers also follow minimalist design principles of conveying a message with minimum design efforts.

Most icon designs make good use of lines and monotone colors only but with a twist to stand out.

02. Hand-Drawn/Doodle

Hand-drawn or doodle designs give icons an earthy and unique look. Such icons help grab attention immediately. You can also create icons in doodle style, which can be a plain artistic drawing. Such an icon expresses ideas and actions effectively.

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03. Circular Icons

Circular icons are trendy designs today as most businesses incorporate them for different expressions. A circular shape is symbolically known for perfection and completeness. It also gives a professional look to a app or website design.

04. 3D Gradients

Another trend that most designers follow is to create icons that give the impression of being 3D designs. The designers are using gradients to create three-dimensional effects. These are also popular icons. Mostly, such 3D icons have shades of bright or dark colors. With the 3D effect, your icons emerge from the suffice and look alive.

05. Illustration

Many icon designers are using illustrations to their advantage to stand out and create an impression. The designers and brands also use illustrations to convey a concrete idea. But most illustrations depict scenery and general images. This is contrary to the hand-drawn sketches that convey individual ideas.

06. Abstract

Through a single symbol, an abstract icon conveys multiple concepts and emotions. Such icons are useful when sending out numerous brand signals to the target audience. So, the icon will represent your brand’s personality and values.

The designers have come up with a wide range of abstract icons to incite curiosity for a brand.

07. Line Style

Line-style icons are minimalistic icons. The difference here is that line icons have lines paired with brand colors in shapes. So, the combination of lines and colors helps in grabbing the viewers’ attention. These simple icons can convey a brand’s personality and message effectively in a unique way.

08. Hovering Design

Hovering icon design is another popular trend with designers today to create icons. These icons have a transparent background, so they look like they are floating. That gives these icons a fun twist, which makes them engaging and exciting symbols to watch and use.

So, these are the icon design trends you can consider when designing these smaller pieces of design for digital platforms such as websites. But flexibly follow these trends. Put a thought behind it and give a twist of your own to the trend. That measurement will help you create a unique design.

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Wrapping Up

Icons are useful in taking action on a webpage or any other digital platform. A carefully designed icon not only helps users to take the intended action but also conveys a brand personality. Many trends prevail today in designing icons, including minimalist design, line style, hovering design, hand-drawn, circular, illustration, and abstract designs.

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Anne Carton is a small business consultant, designer and an enthusiast blogger working with Designhill, one of the fastest-growing custom design marketplace. She has authored several blogs, articles and editorials on various topics related to interactive content, concerning design, social media strategies, growth hack strategies, digital marketing and e-commerce. Facebook | Twitter

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