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Article: 12 Proper Ways to Use Icon Design in Your Works

12 Proper Ways to Use Icon Design in Your Works

Icon designs will improve your digital platforms to engage and communicate with online users and readers.
Find out more on how to use them properly!
Created by ThePolovinkin |

There are some reasons why it is easier to engage and hook your reader in digital media. One of them is the existence of icons. This kind of design element helps attract your audience with some popping colors and visuals. But, creating a proper icon design is not an easy feat. You need to consider some aspects to make it pop out and attractive. Here are some tips for you.


Tips And Ideas To Effectively Implement Icons In Your Digital Media

1. Consistency Is the Key

One thing for sure, there are so many styles, considerations, ideas, and designs for your icon. You can name it flat, simple, isometric, outline, classic, and more. With that number of options, there is a big chance you will be lost in it. So, the best solution is to be consistent. At least, you can underline these three elements: style, size, and color.

1.1. Styles
Yes, you have a lot of styles to choose from. But what is the best to use? The answer is in your hand. The vital aspect is consistency. Try to stick with a single-style design throughout your whole digital media. The uniformed visualization will accentuate the sense of unity and significance, thus making your icon design more effective.

No matter what your choice is, it can be animated, vector, modern, 3d, vintage, or sketch. Make sure they have similarities and feel. This idea also makes your icon choices appear cohesive and well put in one media. Meanwhile, using contrasting or different styles can throw off the viewer's attention. It will disrupt the overall appearance and create an unexceptional dissimilarity.

As long as you are wise in determining the symbol size, there is no problem with a diverse scale. But underline that different sizes can accentuate differing importance. The bigger one looks more necessary, while the smaller one is less noticeable. That is why your icon design size should be thought of carefully.

It gets more important if you are trying to denote some message. The size can create significant meaning and create unbalanced notices. If so, it is crucial to consider using a uniform size or scale. This icon design will create a uniform look, tell the same values, and be easier to follow. It is also effortless to place since you use a balanced element.

1.3. Color
Another element that can state the importance and similarity is the color. You can go with the same color palette to make the symbol relevant. Color consistency can differ based on how you want to emphasize the message. If you are trying to make an icon design that goes along with data, then make it have the same color pick.

The best example is the usage of corresponding icon colors for certain data. You can say that the same color coordination will explain the connection between the symbol and the information. It also works well with some long text explanations. To make it even more meaningful, make sure that the statistical data or information will also look creative.

Created by Woorkshop |


2. Pinpoint the Key Point

One thing that makes icon design hard to implement is how it states the meaning. Creating ones or choosing ones that fit with your media will only be effective if it can deliver the message. That is why your design should signify the key point of a certain message. This idea will help readers get the main information, even just from your visualization.

So, how to do it? If you want to combine text and icons, make sure the symbol or drawing signifies the important information. You can create a simple drawing that makes the media appear more bouncy, easy to understand, easy to read, representative, and relatable. You can use any icon design style or models, but make sure it is relevant.

You can take a look at several Covid 19 safety measurement steps. Most of the design signifies the importance of sanitation with the symbol of washing hands. Some of them also add masks and glove drawings to state the importance of wearing ones. This icon design complements the explanatory texts that explain detailed information.

Created by Vineta Rendon |


3. Iconography To Communicate Stats Or Data

As stated in the first point, an icon can complement stats or data. The idea of adding symbols is to enlighten some infographics content. One thing for sure, the design helps in providing a more visual approach. Then, it allows the reader to visualize and read the content easily. It eventually gives a greater impact when you are trying to deliver data or stats.

However, it is important to note that not all content needs symbols. Some text-heavy content such as book covers and articles will lose their purpose with symbols. But with stats or infographics, your icon design can work as a supportive visual element. It also helps as a label for each point, making your chart easier to read.

Another thing that is worth noticing is that visual logos can create a clearer and efficient design. It is especially true if you use it for written statistics and names. The design will add extra flair, color, and visualization, making it more approachable. And also, underline that you should incorporate a hyper-relevant icon, so it makes sense.

Created by 123done |


4. Animated Icon

If creating or using a simple model is not enough, you can always turn it into animation. This kind of icon design creates a more interesting point and adds attractiveness. It also helps blend the simple touch with a more dramatic aspect. Do you have to make it extravagant? Of course not. A simple tick, twitch, or bouncing icon can attract your audience's attention.

Another thing that makes this idea worth trying is how the moving symbol helps signify the priority. For instance, a small twitching exclamation mark symbol design can tell that there is something important happening. At the same time, you can always get creative with some stimulating animation to make your icon gain more attention.

Created by Sentavio |


5. Choose Ones That Match Your Brand

As much as design and ideas out there, the most crucial aspect in creating effective media is choosing the matching one. It can be any element, including the color palette, the brands, the impression, the vibes, and the target audience. If you use childish icon design for a formal business institution, then it will throw your audience off.

The reasons are the unmatching visualization. Underline the mindset of choosing symbols and models that are matching or compatible. Avoid the idea of creating or using icons just because it looks better or cool in some way. Make it relatable with your content, color palette, or the focus of your media. With that idea, you will create a uniform design.

The best way to do it is to choose the same style. Simplicity can bring a solution to practical yet attractive models. It is also easy to implement in many different kinds of content and media. The consistent, professional, and dynamic style also brings more focus. With those icon ideas, then you can make sure your audience won't get distracted.

Created by Skybox Creative |
Created by Hatch Design Workshop |
Created by BirDIY Design |


6. Mind The Purpose And Placement

Sometimes, deciding the proper icon design will lead you to some experimental process. In this case, you can play with placement and purposes. In digital media, you can get creative with your icon ideas. You can visualize the titles, sidebars, headers, titles, or feature lists. All of them are great places to put your symbol.

If you add one in the headers, it helps to add personality and charm to a website or even your work. If you have content with a long list, adding an icon will help encapsulate the point and signify the key message. Offset heading and section design can also stimulate a separation between different sections, especially in a website.

At some point, you can also place the symbol design and define clarity. All you have to do is design some symbols that are easy to recognize and fit. If your content is text-heavy, a simplistic and small icon design helps solidify the message. It also lightens the content, makes it more attractive, and is filled with variance elements.

Playing with the placement also helps create diverse impressions or attractions. One thing for sure, you can do this idea based on your content. If you are looking for a less common design, try to put the icon on the right side of your text. Changing the model can add a fresh impression and look. However, it can also turn into a big mess.

Another fascinating idea is to vary the placement. This is your work, so get creative! A little bit of experimentation, trial, and error is pretty common in the design realm. You can change the placement and make it vary. If done right, your content will appear more interesting, dynamic, and different. But again, be careful with these icon design ideas since they can look messy.

Created by Made by Made |


7. Uses Background

Believe it or not, some icon designs come with simplistic line shapes. It does add a dramatic touch and an easy-to-digest idea, but at the same time, it can be very lacking. In this care, you can always add a background behind the symbol. It means you can add any shapes or any solid ideas to make your icon pooped out and easy to look at.

This kind of addition also helps you create a contrasting attraction between one to another design element. If you are wise enough, a simple spherical shape behind your symbol can make a big difference. However, you can always play with many options. There are a couple of or even never-ending creative ideas that you can explore and try.

How about the asymmetric background design? How about creating icon designs that play with the scales and transparency? You can play with all of the elements to make your icon design dazzling. Whatever you love and enjoy, you get endless inspiration. However, make sure that your icon design does not distract and overpower the essential message of your content.

Created by Anatolii Babii |


8. Background Images

If you think deciding the most appropriate and effective icon is only about it, then you are wrong. To make it easy to recognize and work as it is supposed to be, you should consider the uses of images. In digital media, images work as another element to enhance attractiveness. But at the same time, it also signifies the message.

So, how to make both aspects go hand in hand? Then you should think of how to present imagery in your design. To avoid an overpowering image or icon design, you can use photos or pictures as the background. This method brings a welcoming effect for the reader. It also helps build an atmosphere plus forming a deeper connection with your brands.

Since the images fill up the background, you have to be smart with color choice and placement. Uses transparency, contrasting color, and placement to make your icon or message easy to read. It is also crucial to choose the best design that fits well with the atmosphere set by your background, or else it will ruin the overall look.

Created by Good Stuff No Nonsense |


9. Cropped Images

Another innovative way to incorporate images is cropping design. In this part, you can play with a lot of shapes and patterns to mold your images. What makes this idea a great way to try is how versatile the implementation is. The varying shapes such as circles, triangles, squares, or asymmetrical models will keep your audience interested.

It is also easy to match your icon design. If you use some abstract shapes to crop pictures, you can do the same with your icon models. You can also play with dimensions, placements, arrangements to the color palette. It will create a significant change of appearance as long as you are smart in doing so.

If you are adventurous enough to play with your design, try the titling model. The titling ideas combine some shapes that contain images, and the rest are contrasting block colors. Titling ideas work the best with geometric shapes, which is also a great choice for your icon background. It is simple but also easy to recognize.

Created by |


10. Uses Collages Images

Collaged images gain more attention in recent years. The aesthetic model is also applicable to your icon design. The distinctive look of dynamic appearance with the enthralling vibes is the main attraction in this design. It is a brilliant way to create a playful, modern, and manipulative look for your website content or brand identity.

If you are trying to use this idea as part of your work, make sure that none of your icons and the collage images' representation overpower each other. Chances that you will lose in choosing the appropriate appearance as well as the images. One mistake in doing so will make the whole work look rumpled. That is why you should be thoughtful in applying this idea.

But, at the same time, the collage ideas also make a unique impression on your work. You can use the old-school ideas by ripping some photos. Then, put them together to make the collage effect. It will bring the DIY touch to your work. What's more interesting is that you can create the same aesthetic for your icon design, so it brings a uniform look.

Created by FLYERWRK |


11. Uses Cut-out

Cut-out images tend to help illustrators signify the main element for the overall work. The idea of the cut-out is to only put the significant bites and cut out the unrelated background images. At some point, this design works best for up-close portraits, such as food photography or other objects. This technique also helps you set the work's tone.

Surprisingly, the method also helps you set your icon models. As you embrace the main tones, you can set out the symbols and graphic representation as well. The idea also makes your work appear less strict or awkward, especially with the rectangular photo shapes. You also have a chance to play around with the placement or scale.

The cut-out images bring a lot more freedom for you to play around with the canvas. It even opens the chance to embrace the white space of your media. Yes, you can put some parts of the images close to the text to add depth and points. There are also ideas to make the cut-out your symbol visualization, making it one of the attractive icon designs.

Created by Alenkakarabanova |


12. Transition

The last tip on presenting icons is using transition. When it comes to websites or digital content, try to make a big entrance with some animation. In this case, the way to do it is by adding image transition. The changing images help your work be more approachable, interactive and offer a better user experience. Even more, it is also easy to adopt along with your icon design.

Created by TITO |



The idea of adding icons tends to be the solution in making more easy-to-read content. It also helps increase the attractive points and add a flair of creativity. However, to make it effective, you have to be consistent, make a unique design, consider the placement, states the point, and complement them with images or background.

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