app icon creation / 7 min read

Guidelines for creating an unforgettable app icon

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By Marion / July 14, 2022

With mobile app development becoming increasingly popular, creating an app icon that will stand out amongst the rest is crucial.

Some of the best app icons

Creating an app icon is one of the first steps in designing and launching your mobile app. It can be difficult, but with a bit of creativity, you can create an icon that stands out and attracts users. If you're looking to create an app icon for your latest mobile app, you might wonder what it takes to make a great icon that stands out from the rest.

This blog post will break down all the necessary steps for creating an unforgettable icon, so your app will have that extra touch of creativity and uniqueness.

What is an app icon?

An app icon is the graphical representation of your app on your device. It should be visually appealing and easy to identify so that users can find and launch your app. Your icon should be simple but effective, using a standard design language that is easily recognisable and iconic. Your icon must be functional.

What makes an iconic app icon?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the aesthetics and design of an app icon can vary significantly from one app to the next. However, a few guidelines can help you create an iconic app icon that will stand out from the crowd.

Colourful and playfulFirst and foremost, think about what specific feature or elements your app is centred around. So, for example, if your app is focused on photography, ensure your icon showcases that genre's main features – such as shooting or editing photos.

Next, be creative. Don't be afraid to experiment with different styles and techniques. For example, you might prefer to use a simple image with minimal text or a more complex graphic design featuring lots of detail and colour.

Finally, remember that the target audience is the type of user your app is designed for. Take these factors into account when creating your icon.

How to create an iconic app icon?

Creating an app icon can be a bit challenging, but it can also be fun and rewarding. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

Keep it simple

When designing your app icon, keep it simple and memorable.

Make sure your icon is easy to remember. Try to use a simple design that is easy to identify. Avoid using complex designs or textures that will be difficult to remember.

Icon for app ownersFinally, make sure your icon is visually appealing. Your icon should be colourful and eye-catching but not too flashy or gaudy. You can also use typography and patterns to create a unique look for your app.

Use strong visuals

When creating an app icon, you must ensure that your visuals are solid and memorable. Here are some tips for using strong visuals:

  1. Use a unique design: Your app icon should be different from the other icons on the screen. It will help to stand out and make it easier for people to find your app.
  2. Use high-quality graphics: Make sure your graphics are high quality and easy to see. Try to use bright colours and bold designs to create a visually appealing icon.
  3. Use appropriate fonts: When selecting fonts for your app icon, choose ones that are appropriate for your app's content.
  4. Use your app’s name: If you have a published app name, use it as your icon. Otherwise, you can use a cool symbol or phrase representing your app.
  5. Use a graphic designer: If you don’t have the skills to create an icon on your own, consider hiring a graphic designer to help you out. They will be able to create a design that is both creative and appealing to the eye.

Use recognisable symbols

Make sure the icon is recognisable. You can use recognisable symbols or icons that are related to your app. For example, if your app is about cooking, you might use a cooking symbol as your icon.

Ensure your icon's colours and style are consistent across all platforms. It will help people recognise your app even when using a different device or browser.

Think outside the app store

Be creative when it comes to designing your icon. Experiment with new shapes and styles; you don't have to stick to traditional app store icons like squares or circles. If you can't come up with a design you're happy with, try using a free online tool like Canva to get started.

Once you’re happy with the design of your icon, it’s time to submit it to app stores and other third-party distribution channels. Again, review the design carefully before making any final changes, as there is no room for error when submitting an app icon.

How to make your app icon stand out?

You want to ensure that your icon is memorable and easy to spot for app icons. Here are some tips for creating an unforgettable app icon:

Use bright colours

Creating an app icon that stands out from the rest can be daunting. However, with a little bit of creativity and knowledge of the right tools, you can create an icon that will be remembered long after your app is downloaded.

Yellow is a great bright colour

Keep in mind that your app icon should represent your app accurately. Use the appropriate colours and fonts to ensure your icon looks good in small and large sizes. When it comes to creating an app icon, simplicity is key!

Use clean lines and shapes

Use clean lines and shapes. It will make your icon more visually appealing and easier to understand.

Finally, make sure your icon is easy to customise. For example, add text or other elements to your icon to make it more unique.

Be unique

When designing your app icon, it's essential to keep in mind the primary purpose of your app.

Another essential factor to consider when creating your app icon is the design style of your app. It should be creative and unique.

Finally, test your Icon before you upload it to the App Store or Google Play Store. It's easy to make mistakes when designing an app icon, and it's essential to ensure it looks good before release.

The dos and don’ts of app icon design

Creating an app icon is an integral part of marketing your app. It’s one of the first things people see when they download your app, which can help draw attention to it.

Here are a few dos and don’ts of app icon design:

Do use vectors

When designing your app icon, you should use vectors to create the icon. It will give the icon a more professional look and make it easier to resize or alter in the future.

Another important factor when creating your app icon is to be creative. You don't need to use stock images or fonts; you can create your unique design.

Don’t use stock images

One way to create an unforgettable app icon is to use custom design elements. So, you will need to commission a professional artist to create the icon for you. However, several online resources can help you find a talented artist.

However, be careful not to use stock images already in widespread use. It will reduce the impact of your app logo and make it less memorable.

Do design for multiple sizes

Think about how your users will use the app. Will they be using it on their phone or tablet? Will they be using it offline or online? Once you know how your users will use the app, decide on a design style and size that will work best for them.

Make sure all of the elements of your icon are sized correctly and easy to see. And don't forget to include a unique identifier in your icon—this will help people find your app when they're looking for it.

Don’t forget the app store

Creating an app icon can be a valuable asset for your business. It can help to distinguish your app from others and make it easier for people to find.

Ensure the icon is consistent with the overall branding of your app. Finally, ensure that the icon is legible in small sizes and on mobile devices or in-app stores.


One of the most important aspects of any app is its icon. If your app looks good and has a catchy icon, you're more likely to be successful in attracting users and generating revenue.

This article discussed the importance of icon design and provided guidelines to help you create an unforgettable icon for your app. Then, armed with these tips, you'll be on your way to creating an app that people will love!

Have a question for the team? Design beautiful apps with us – call us on (+44) 207 183 3690 or send us an email

Photos by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash


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