ICONS! We all are highly dependent on them.
How? Well, on the way to this blog, you might have clicked several icons. Everything was done by clicking on several icons, from opening your computer to navigating around and reaching this website.
Every icon represents the value of the whole which can't be neglected, thus it is an important part of web design. A user could easily understand some action on a computer or mobile through the icon. It's easy to remember too.
Think of the time when you are opening Facebook. Every icon is replaced by a long sentence on the navigating button. Half of the time will go by without understanding what's written on the screen.
Now you know that it is unimaginable to be without icons. In this blog, I will tell you a few things that you should consider before creating icons for your website, especially if you are a designer.
What is the difference between a logo and an icon?
Before we get into what to remember while creating icons, let us clarify a few things. Do you think logos and icons are the same? This leads us to the question of what exactly is an icon and how can you differentiate it from a logo.
It is important to note that logos and icons are not the same. Icons are everywhere if you look around, but for now, let us just consider the ones in the digital world.
Yes, you might take a look at your desktop screen, and you would notice that maybe Adobe Acrobat shows the Adobe logo as an icon. However, it is important to know that 'Logo' is something that represents the whole company or organization.
Icons are what a company or organization uses to further elaborate its content. Icons support your concept, idea, or action.
Icons are nearly often created in quadrants and scale to certain proportions. This allows them to fit within square App icon dimensions and/or provide uniformity when building website actions. They tend to be quite small in size.
They have many similarities but in a layman's language. However, I would conclude that a logo represents the brand and an icon represents actions, ideas, concepts, or analogies.
A small icon in a website cannot be ignored by website designers just because of its small size. An icon may represent a whole chunk of information that will help users navigate further in the website.
Research has shown that when icons are used correctly, it enhances usability, are easily remembered and improve the design of the whole website. And if icons are misplaced or made incorrectly, it could cause user confusion, and they tend to immediately leave the website.
Therefore, before making an icon, it is important to note that an icon cannot be kept unclear of its intentions. It can be a huge mistake for the website design if not given the attention it deserves. Doesn't it now make a lot of sense that small things matter?
Things to keep in mind before creating website icons
There are a few things that should be kept in mind before creating website icons:
KISS - Keep It Simple & Schematic
This principle is used by all designers. It's better to keep things simple than to overdo them. Rather than developing a photo-realistic representation to speed up recognition, reduce the number of graphic features and concentrate on the icon's essential properties instead.
Color may assist keep your icons consistent with your brand or attracting attention to key activities or features for your consumers. By having a distinct color icon for an active state, color can help people navigate the site better. The use of more than one color in an icon might make it difficult to read.
A website doesn't need to use a separate color for each of its icons. Icons are not logos, as I had previously stated, but their primary objective is to convey a notion in a concise and clear manner rather than mislead consumers about where to click. Make sure you only use one color that the website owner has approved.
Icons should have space to breathe in them. Do not jumble up elements; rather, make clean-looking icons that will also make the elements amplified.
Make icons clear and appealing using white space. A favorable visual experience for users is further enhanced by the utilization of white space. Because icons must be reduced in size, the use of white space is essential to preserving the design's formal integrity.
One of the problems of developing icons is making them seem and feel coherent. Inconsistencies in your icon design might cause confusion and damage the brand's visual credibility.
The uniform qualities of all the icons in a set help them to coexist, even if they don't appear alike. Establishing criteria for your icon design guarantees consistency and quality.
All icons should bear some resemblance. Similarity does not refer to their substance but rather to the aspects like stroke size, pixel*pixel size, alignment and positioning.
Work on a grid
Here is my last but important tip that you must not miss while making icons. When it comes to designing icons, the grid is a must-have tool. You can better grasp dimensions, make judgments, and organize your design by working with a grid.
Where can you find free icons or inspiration?
There are many free icon sites where you can easily find free icons. But if you want to make something new and different from existing icons( which would be used by many), you could use them as inspiration sites for icons.
Some of the free icons website names are:
- Flat icon
- 1001 free downloads
In a crux
There you have it! In this blog, I have explained the difference between an icon and a logo and a few things you should know before creating an icon. You must have also noticed that I have shared a few resources that can help you make icons or get inspired.
I hope you would have understood the importance and cruciality of icons. Next time you'll see them with a different view and surely thank a designer for making life easier.