Effective icon design can be the difference between great brand awareness and a brand fail.
Top-notch icons promote businesses in such a way that at a glance you know what they do or get a taste for the ‘feel’ of their brand. The key to a good icon is to ensure the design is simple and recognizable.
Tips for creating great icons:
Be aware of your audience and remember than some icons will be more obvious than others depending on the market and background you are targeting. If the icon is immediately recognized at a glance by your audience, then you have achieved your icon goal.Research your icon and know what you are designing before you start sketching. Start by developing some keywords and develop a visual style mood board for your design before you put your pen to paper.Avoid obsolete metaphors in your icons, sometimes icons aren’t relevant and will be lost to your audience.Test your icon in a group setting and don’t be offended if you get feedback that you don't like. Testing icons in a group environment are essential and can be a little daunting however it is key to ensuring your design gets the cut through you’re looking for.To create effective icon design you may look for a designer who focuses not only on the audience, size, perspective and style, but also works to create a design, which seamlessly fits your project.
Here are a few things that you should look for in a quality icon designer:
Find a designer that approaches icon design holistically - picture a square peg in a round hole, it doesn’t work does it? The same can be said for icon design. All the elements of an icon design need to work together in harmony. While a design could be brilliant, does it speak to your audience and work with the look and feel of the rest of your marketing adequately?Always choose an icon designer that considers your audience – we’ve all worked with people who are focused on their own desired outcomes, regardless of what your target audience wants, a designer who takes into consideration all cultural differences, environments and gestures will provide an icon design that fits your market and resonates with your audience.Your designer should create an icon that fits your space. Ensure your designer understands what you need and where you want to use it — every pixel makes a difference in an icon design.
When you’re in the market for an icon designer, choose a designer that keeps graphic design simple — over complicating the design of your icon can over illustrate an icon and lead to issues. Less is more in icon design.
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