Metaphors

Icons should be pictorial and convey meaning through a resemblance to a physical object or function. When designing the icons for your application, focus on creating icons with a professional and premium design that is authentic and uses natural dimensions. Icons should be: 

In addition, consider the following guidelines:

Recognizable

Make sure that the outline and shape of the icon resemble the function or physical object as much as possible. Stay true to the meaning of the icon. Focus on the key outlines of common objects. In most cases, this approach makes the icon highly recognizable. The result should stand on its own, without any explanatory text.

Viewing angle

To help make an icon highly recognizable, design the icon so that it is viewed from one side only. In general, don't use angles or rotations. Icons should not use any 3-D perspective but can be aligned to 45° in order to fill out the focal area. This approach results in a more balanced icon weight.

Recommended

Not recommended

Focus

It is very important to emphasize the meaning of the function or object by setting focus on the correct part of the icon, especially for icons that are composed of more than one object. The focus is set by making an object within the icon heavier than the rest of the parts. In most cases, make the foremost object heavier. Icons treated this way balance equally with surrounding icons.

Level of detail

Icons should be as simple as possible. However, with the high resolution screens of today, you can add detail to make the icons appear more recognizable, crafted, and professional.

Avoid adding detail for the sake of detail. Add detail where it makes sense and where it enhances the readability of the icon. A high density of detail makes an icon cluttered. Not enough detail might make the icon unrecognizable. The golden rule is to keep detail to a minimum without losing the characteristics of the icon.


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