At Reasons To in Brighton last month, designer Jon Hicks took to the stage to share some tips for designing icons. As the man behind the icon design for Skype and Spotify, as well as the author or The Icon Handbook, he had plenty to share.
As he explained, there are two types: iconic and symbolic. Iconic icons represent an object – for example, an envelope sign to indicate email.
Symbolic icons are abstract, and their meaning must be learned. Think of an arrow for ‘play’, or more recently the hamburger icon to indicate a hidden menu.
If you’ve decided to create a bespoke icon – rather than using a free icon – then no matter which type of icon you’re using, there are some icon design tips you should follow.