Aside from your logo, color scheme, and typography, icons also play an essential role in branding. It can be a 50 x 50-pixel version of your logo, social media logos on your website, and the buttons you use on your apps.
No matter where you need to use your icons, they should be on-brand. Otherwise, your audience, customers, or app users will have difficulty associating those icons with your brand.
7 Steps to Creating a Recognizable Brand Icon
According to EpicPxls, an icon is an image that represents a function, application, or other meaningful entity.
You know what button to press to turn a machine on and off because you understand how a power icon looks. As such, your brand icon should be something that your audience can easily understand.
Listed below are seven steps to ensure that you are choosing the right icon for your brand:
Brainstorm for ideas and concepts
Before you can start designing a logo for your brand, you need to have a concept first. Brainstorming is the initial step that you need to take to achieve that goal.
Although you do not want to be too obvious about it, you want the icon to showcase your brand essence.
Also, the concept should be based on your final goal. What do you want your audience to think about your brand? What is the next step that you need to take?
These questions will help you with the brainstorming process.
Write ideas that you can think of without being too judgemental about them. At this stage, you only need ideas. You can choose to be selective later on.
Keep it simple
If you have an icon design that’s too complicated, you risk confusing and even losing your audience.
They’ll usually have a hard time understanding what your brand is all about, and as a result, they’ll quickly move on.
Moreover, simple designs are a lot easier to scale up and down across marketing mediums, both online and offline.
Think about the color palette
Ideally, the color of your icons should be in line with your brand colors.
This ensures that all your icons are visually similar, cohesive and boosts brand recognition.
Also, pick 2–3 brand colors for your icons. To create more visually dynamic icons, take out every color, use shades and tints to create a much more diverse color palette.
Make it recognizable
Before we jump straight into creating icons, you need to ensure that these icons make sense.
What you can do is ask someone to browse through your icon sketches. If they do not know the relevance of some of the sketches, you need to ask what makes the most sense to them.
Often, we run the risk of being too close to our company and products. So much so that we often forget how our clients and customers do not have that same level of understanding. Some things are pretty apparent to us but not as clear to them.
Try to avoid text
One thing that you don’t see in icons is texts. That’s because there isn’t enough room for texts to be legible in an icon. It defies the purpose of using icons, either.
As a general rule, try to avoid texts altogether unless it’s already part of your logo. Even the text you’re using as part of your logo should be considered well before using your primary logo.
The way you design your icons should be relevant. That way, it is easily recognizable.
It would be best to consider how many icons are used in context to the devices they appear on. Most have a line of descriptor text underneath the actual icon block.
Decide on your design standards
There are several ways you can diversify icons. Before creating them, you need to develop a few standard rules on how these icons look.
Will your icons be filled or outlined?
Will it have a background?
Will it be hand-painted or illustrated?
Will shadows be included?
You need to develop several choices, so take your time browsing through various icon styles before ultimately choosing what you love.
Save your icon in a vector format
In terms of scale and size, another critical consideration is the format. Your icon needs to be built in a vector-based design.
A vector image gives you the freedom to make significant changes to your icon. This can include the color, dimensions, and more.
That’s because the reality is that you will need multiple versions of the icon fit for several devices.
Developing a brand that can stand out from the rest of the competition has something to do with the details that you put into it. If you want your brand icons to be recognizable, follow the handy tips listed above. You’d be surprised at how it can impact brand recognition.
About the Author:
Kevin Urrutia is the founder of Voy Media Marketing Agency NYC. Voy Media thoroughly studies each client and comes up with tailor-fit solutions to bring about the best results.
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