Designing Better Icons For Enhanced Website Experience

Saurabh Tiwary | 18th May 2016

Designing an icon for your website can be considered an easy as well as a very difficult task. This is because of the fact that the major difference lies between designing a “Not Very Good Icon” and designing a “Premium Quality Icon”. Designing a legitimate icon is not a big deal. However, achieving a polished icon design demands technical expertise. This article will familiarize you with few simple steps to be followed in Designing Better Icons for your website.

Icon Design

Three Attributes Of Icon Design

    • Form:- In icon design, form refers to the geometric structure of the icon that is not exactly like a geometric shape, but similar to it like, in the form of circle, square, etc. This can be specified by having a rough idea of analysing the edges of the icons.
  • Aesthetic Unity:- The elements in icons that are shared within a single icon and also across an icon set are referred as the aesthetic unity. For example, rounded or square corners, size of corner, consistent line etc.
  • Recognizability:- The objective of any icon design is it’s ability to be perceived instantly by the viewer. If you are designing for an object, the viewer must be able to recognize it as that object.

Now, let us go through few steps that are primarily associated with designing premium quality icons.

Step 1:- Define Grid

  • Choose a square grid of multiple pixels. 32×32 pixel grids are mostly preferred.
  • Leave 2 pixels empty at the border side. Try to avoid using these pixels unless absolutely necessary. The purpose of this no-go-zone is to provide some extra room to the icon design.
  • When placing a circular grid, you can make use of maximum grid space. However, it is good to leave grids empty in case of square or rectangular icons.

Step 2:- Start With Simple Geometric Shapes

  • Starting with the basic geometric shapes makes the edges more precise and allows adjusting of the relative scale of elements within a design quickly. This ensures that you are following the grid and the form.

Some of the various elements you can work out are:-

  • Angles
  • Curves
  • Corners
  • Pixel Perfection
  • Line Weights

Step 3:- Use Consistent Design Elements

  • The icon design targeted for a specific requirement must be consistent throughout. By consistency, I mean one should be able to relate one icon to another.
  • Even though, the major aspects of an icon set are modified, like the style; the elements that build aesthetic unity should still look unified.

Step 4:- Use Details And Decorations Carefully

Icons are used to represent any object or action so they must communicate an object, idea or action. Incorporating details will introduce complexity, which can make the icon less recognizable. The amount of detail you include in a single icon or a set of icons plays a major role in determining aesthetic unity and recognizability.

Step 5:- Make Your Icon Appear Distinct

Icons that are created by most of the designers possesses similar appearance. This is unfair from the creative design perspective. As a creative designer, one should look outside of the icon industry, to architecture, typography, industrial design, psychology, nature and any other area in which we can find inspiration.


This is all about the fundamental ideas of how to create premium quality icons. These fundamentals are technical skills to learn and master them with practice. Remember that to create better icons, it is crucial to begin with the form and gradually work towards the specification i.e recognizability. Also, try to keep your icons consistent throughout.

Oodles Studio is one of the leading design companies with technical expertise in various designing areas be it Logo and Icon Design, Website Design, Mobile Apps UI Design, Video Animation Design etc. Our designers aim to deliver our clients with best in class and cost-effective designing services  based on the client’s requirement .

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Saurabh Tiwary

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