Continuing the design theme, in this article we would like to write a few words about how to design an app icon. Why do we think that icons in your application must be done professionally? Because the icon is the first thing that user faces, the first thing that user begins his interaction with the application. If you believe that your company or service is serious enough and you are planning to enter the market by releasing the application, you are already beginning the creation of style and image of your company.

For small businesses, start-ups and growing companies it is very important to “shoot” right. Desirably for the first time. Custom mobile app icon design can help in achieving this goals.

Read also: Mobile App UX Design for Startups

Come up with design and sketch by yourself, or hire an icon design company? If you feel that you are a talented designer - you can try, but there are several factors that can help tip the scales in favor of the second option. These are time, money, effort and effect.

By hiring a team to design application icon, you get more than one specialist, app icon designer, but a large number of professionals who know their job and can point success vector in the required direction. Thus, only one logo project is developed not only by a designer, but also by managers and, often, few analysts.

The right symbiosis of all these people can deliver a well-done job and the correct market trend analysis can help you be on the top of current trends.

What is an app icon design?

The main term you need to understand when thinking about creating your own icon is what this exactly is and what work it has to do. An application icon is a graphical anchor for your service or product. You might think of it as a teeny part of branding that not only needs to be attractive and show up but ideally, also advise the main substance of your app.

Read also: App design cost

The “logo” word is used carelessly today. Application icons are different from logos. Yes, they both have branding-like qualities, but the goal is different. It’s important for designers: while logos are vector drawings made for billboards and letterheads, icons are raster-based outputs (more often) designed to look good in a square canvas at constant sizes and in concrete contexts. Approaches, tools, work, and therefore the success criteria are different for mobile icon design.

Tips to design an app icon

Now let’s look at some kind of “how to design mobile app icon”. Naturally this is not a direct guide to action but rather a set of rules that we use in our company every day for many years. Believe it or not - it works! So, things you have to know to design icon for mobile app are:

1. Unique shapes and symbols

You’ll always be up against hundreds of other applications whether a user is running through the marketplace or running through their devices screens. Create an icon that would be immediately identifying on a search lists and a user’s home screen.

• Think about what others are doing in your Role activity and then try another path. Always do your analysis - the world does not need extra question mark;

• A symbolic character on a background can be a simple way to go down, if you want to remain unique. Play with several colors and patterns, and challenge yourself to find some new and smart image;

You can look at applications and services like Dropbox, Soundcloud, WhatsApp or Snapchat as an perfect example of recognizable icons and successful branding. 

Read also: how to make an app like snapchat

2. Simpleness

Avoid adding many colors or images in your application icon. Even if you decide to use a diversity of colors and graphics. Best icons concentrate on one item or concept, rather than trying to add all functions in a small icon. You might want to go for immediate recognition - if person needs much time to look closely at the icon details, you will not achieve your goal.

The only exception is games. That category has many popular applications with icons in cartoon graphics, to show the characters and game components. But even if you want to create an icon for the game application, you have to keep it concrete and foolproof.

3. Use no words

You know, extensive words are hard to read in such a small mobile app icon when it’s lying between a large number of other icons. Instead, prefer to handle just the first letter of your service or company instead. Like in applications like Facebook, Pinterest, Uber and Tumblr.

Read also: How to Develop a Taxi App Like Uber?

4. Choose striking colors

Be convinced that your application icon is seen well on a diversity of different backing colors. Using striking colors will assist your application in outstanding both in front of the other applications a user has on the device and against the wallpaper, or background image.

Pick out your icon color sparingly. Blue is the most averagely preferred color in the world, so companies have traded on this and numerous application icons are blue. However, by selecting blue for your icon might be risky due to mixing in with your rivalry.

5. Testing

Create two or more versions of your application icon afore submitting your program to content provider for affirmation. Use a tool like UsabilityHub’s online service Five Second Test or other to store up user reactions anticipatorily.

Testing a new icon in the app store itself - by using a number of application downloads to measure your success - is adventurous because it grabs a week and a half to get your program re-approved. So if you admit a sudden drop upon updating your application icon, it could waste more than nine days to get back to previous version of app icon (if new fails).

6. Size (when size matters)

It’s not a secret that icons have different sizes on various displays. From small in notifications, a little larger on the home screen, to giant in the store. That’s why it’s hard sometimes to come across an image that fits well and drain unaffected by the size.

If you interested, look up the tables of icon sizes for your graphic design icon (Android, iOS).

7. Consistency

Some words to say about creating consistency among the experience of cooperating with the application icon and cooperating with the application it delivers. I feel like good icon design is an extension of the application purpose. Seeing the two support each other will make a memorable impact.

In short: being sure that the icon works kissing-kin with the essence, technical capabilities and design of your application is a big victory.

• To provide consistency among application and icon is to hold the color palette of your interface and icon in line and use a common and severe design language – a purple interface enhanced by a purple application icon (right, huh?);

• Although it’s not always possible, to tighten the connection among your application and the icon is for the symbolism of the icon to directly establish ties to technical capabilities.


It will be recalled that the purpose of this article is not to write a step by step guide to action, but to share some secrets. With the help of the described points, we would like to facilitate your life and work. Because This hints helping us in our everyday work. Hoping that design mobile app icon would be a piece of cake to you!

7 Tips to Design The Perfect Mobile App Icon
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