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If you create an icon in Abobe Illustrator, there is an inherent temptation to scale the design and try to use it at any size.

This doesn’t work with icons. What looks good at 512 px looks like a blurry smear at 16 px. Icons should have a base design that is used as a starting point, but each output size needs to have its own optimised design.

The temptation grows to get illustrative with your icon designs. While a level of realism can add interest to an icon design, it should not supersede its ability to function simply and effectively.

Keep icons simple and iconic. Try not to overcomplicate icon designs. Be wary of placing too many items into an icon design, or overly illustrating an icon.

Glacier Icon Style

Line icons are a direct evolutionary branch of the original pixel art icons, and one of the current popular styles due to their ability to portray powerful imagery using simple shapes and outlines.

Glyph Icons

From a design perspective, a glyph is a visual style where the objects are represented using monochromatic shapes or strokes that can have subtle empty spaces separating their different composing sections. While simple in its nature, the glyph icon can be really effective, especially when used in smaller sizes, since you can depict the object using a minimalist but still comprehensible result. Several glyph icons are used to create infographics – not line icons.

Design for the size the icon will be used at.


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