4 tips for creating eye-catching app icon designs

Mobile phone applications have become seamlessly integrated into almost every facet of our daily lives. We use them to locate the nearest five-star pizza joint, provide real-time snapshots of our bank accounts and pass the time by pummeling pigs with angry birds.

Seemingly, there is an app for everything, if not several. In such a saturated marketplace — one vulnerable to the whims of aesthetically aware and easily underwhelmed consumers — a great app icon design may prevent your mobile masterpiece from joining the ranks of the overlooked and ignored.

1. Keep it simple

As is with most things graphic design, less is more. Your app’s icon is meant to articulate its essence and should do so with an aesthetically appealing, yet simple and informative graphic. Since an icon’s real estate can get quickly cluttered… keep colors, patterns, images and text to a minimum.

Keep it simple apps

For more on simplifying designs, click here.

2. Use color wisely

While a little eye candy can go a long way, an app icon riddled with bright and garish colors will quickly overwhelm the viewer. Avoid patterns and restrict your palette to two or three colors. If you must use a multicolored foreground, a monochromatic backdrop will keep your icon tidy.

Use color wisely apps

For more about how to use color, and how it impacts emotions and behaviors, click here.

3. Limit text

The mobile world has little tolerance for text-heavy apps and an app icon may require no text at all. A simple graphic, like your trademark, should be enough to view what your app does. If your icon does require text, restrict it to one line. If the text doesn’t fit on one line, is illegible or is so small that it is indecipherable, avoid text all together.

Limit text app

4. Be consistent

An app’s icon should have the same colors as the body. If the app’s page features earth tones, your icon should not have neon pinks and greens.

Be consistent apps

We are a culture that highly values outward appearance and an app icon design is critical to making a good strong and lasting impression.

What is your favorite app icon design? Share it in the comments below.

Related articles

The design apps you need to know about
/

The design apps you need to know about

The number of design apps out there is simply staggering. Think of any handy tool—calendars, sketch programs, color palette generators, font references—and you’ll find a dozen apps for it, each with slightly different functionality. What is more, almost all of them are well designed (they are made for a demanding market, after all). So how do…

4 tips to get you started in business card design
/

4 tips to get you started in business card design

If your niche is business card design, or you would like it to be, then this is the article for you. There are many factors to keep in mind before starting the design process and deciding on things like typeface and color. Here are 4 important tips that will help you get started with a…

How to use typography principles creatively
/

How to use typography principles creatively

There are no rules in typography. It can be refined, it can be messy or it can be abstract. With that said, having a grasp of the fundamental typography principles can be helpful in taking typography in the aesthetic direction you want it to go. This article breaks down the three main typography principles –…

Current Design Contests

Designers, check out these contests so you can start building your career.