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How to Make Your Own App Icon 3 How to Make Your Own App Icon
Review: 5 - How to Make Your Own App Icon

Have you ever wondered how thriving the icons of popular mobile apps are? A recognizable style, branded color, and no unnecessary elements. Thanks to recognizability, users can sort apps not only by functionality but also by the colors of the icons.

So how to design icons for apps?

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Illustration by lia_eye_ for Fireart Studio

Creating an app and coming up with a name for it are very important processes. They come to the fore, overshadowing the icon of the app. But it’s by the picture that users will identify your app. 

Let’s understand how to make an app icon and what techniques can help in this task?

What is an App Icon, and Why is it Important?

First, let’s give you a simple definition of an app icon. It is a picture on the desktop or in the menu of your phone that allows you to open an app with a single touch. Icons differ in brightness, shape, and logos. Take a look at the desktop of your smartphone. Look at how simple and clear mobile applications icons are. Your symbol can additionally be simple and pleasant for the user. Consider it when making an app icon.

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Illustration by Victor Korchuk for unfold

Why is the icon so necessary? It doesn’t affect the application’s functionality in any way; it just gives you easy access to it. The smartphones and tablets of the modern user have many applications installed. Critical applications people will use no matter what their icon is. That’s a fact. Nevertheless, the icon is one of the factors that creates an application necessary.

To get lost in the multitude of programs on users’ devices, you need to stand out. The symbol requires being both simple and recognizable, and this is not an easy design task. 

10 Tips of Designing an App Icon:

If you’re just about designing an app icon, we’ve put together ten simple tips just for you. 

Take advantage of the experts’ expertise to create the perfect icon for your app!

1. Use a unique shape or symbol

Depending on which platform you develop your app for, you have to take its shape into account. On iOS, all icons have the same square format, but on Android devices, for example, you can experiment with the shape. The unique symbol can be the logo of your application or company or some recognizable element of it. 

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Illustration by Denis Rodchenko

Recognize Twitter? It uses a unique symbol, namely a bird. The little blue icon with the bird is very easy to remember, and you can hardly confuse this social network with any other. Think about it – maybe you can use something similar when creating an icon for your app?

2. Make it simple

All icons for popular apps are as simple as possible. You don’t have to be too innovative and use all the design tricks. Save them for the creation of the app mock-ups. If we talk about the application’s image on the desktop, it should be reduced to one or two recognizable elements. No more than that. 

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Illustration by Ivan Nikolow

3. Don’t include words

Do not use the name of the application on your icon. Why? First, because most devices automatically sign apps. There will be a title under the image, so why waste valuable space on the logo with a name? 

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Illustration by Dmitry Novikov

Second, you need to make the icon recognizable. So that users will know it’s your app without even seeing the name of the app. It is the main task of the designer. It’s up to him to create a memorable element for the icon.

4. Choose vibrant colors

How to make your own app icon? You must consider many things. Here is the next tip.

Most mobile device users use a dark or light design theme. So if your icon is not brightly colored, it will simply blend in with the design. And you, on the contrary, require drawing the user’s attention more. To do this, you can use the brand colors of your company or another color that will stand out in contrast to any of the themes. Furthermore, this color should be associated with the functionality of the app.

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Illustration by Icons8

Here we also have the name of the application on the icon. Of course, there are exceptions, like the background color is black or white, such as the TikTok logo. However, this is rather an exception, and besides, the icon looks very contrasting with the application name. 

How to create your own logo app? For example, the icons of social networks have blue elements in them. You might have noticed this if you structure the apps by folder. These are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, and others. So if you are creating a social network, you have every reason to use blue for your logo and mobile icon design.

5. A/B test different version

Few people manage to produce the perfect application icon on the first try. Therefore, to fix all the flaws before launching, we advise you to test for different variants.

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Illustration by Arthur Bauer for zooom

See how they appear for different operating systems. Is it easy to find the icon among other similar apps? Use marketing tools to do your testing. 

If you’ve already launched an icon and come up with an update after a while, that’s not a problem. Many popular apps occasionally improve their icons, so as you can see, it’s pretty common practice.

6. Don’t overload the icon with color and detail

We’ve already talked about simplicity, but we thought we’d clarify it a bit more. If you use a lot of small details on your icon, you will only complicate the user’s perception. Try to focus on one element that will tell the story of your app without words.

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Illustration by HUA

Your app’s icon should be characterized by one word. Snapchat yellow, Facebook blue, Uber black. If you use several colors at once, it will be harder for the user to remember you and distinguish you from your competitors.

7. Look at your competitors’ app icon designs

How do you make your own app icons? Do not confuse inspiration with plagiarism. 

If you notice that your opponents have changed their app icons, you need to analyze how and why they did it. By analyzing your competitors, you will determine which chips are already taken in the market. You can get a batch of new ideas and incorporate them into your icon. Plus, it’s very helpful to learn from other companies’ experiences.

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Illustration by Alexander Shatov

Analyzing your competitors will give you inspiration and new ideas, and a chance to avoid mistakes in creating an app icon. You can analyze a niche and determine which logos look good as an app icon and which ones you should change. This way, your opponents can help you! Analyzing your competitors will give you inspiration and new ideas and an opportunity to avoid mistakes in how to design an app logo.

8. Showcasing your app’s look and feel

It is a tougher task, but one that we have to talk about. The design of the icon should match the functionality and usefulness of the app. It’s a way to convey the right message and call to action visually. Try to create a chain of associations. 

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Illustration by Kevin Moran for Kira

In other words, your app’s icon should match your brand color, message, and company objectives. You can ask people you know to rate how much they associate the app icon with popular companies. The icon is what users remember. So you need to work with a designer on how to make an app logo that will help communicate with your customers. 

It’s not easy, but if you pay enough attention to it, your icon will be an extension of your communication strategy for communicating with your customers.

9. Make it recognizable

To stand out from the competition, you need to have a recognizable style. Take a look at the logos of popular apps. The easier it is to recognize an app icon, the more downloads it will have on all platforms.

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Illustration by catalyst

The designer’s task is to make your icon the most memorable and recognizable among your opponents. To do this, you will benefit from the previously mentioned tips app icon, such as competitor analysis and testing. Only by making comparison can you understand how successful your application icon is.

Recognizable is unique. If your icon is not recognizable, then all other efforts will be in vain. 

10. Make it platform-specific

Depending on which platform you are developing the app for, you should pay attention to the features and requirements. Icons for iOS and Android will differ in size, format, and allowed form. So don’t try to use the same icons for different operating systems. 

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Illustration by Webshocker – Matjaz Valentar

How to create an app icon? Study the requirements. View your phone. Produce an image that is similar on different devices while at the same time meeting all the rules of the operating system. It’s not difficult if you work out the issue with your designer. 

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Illustration by tubik


A mobile app icon is an important tool for achieving your company’s goals. If you take full advantage of this tool, you will get a lot of benefits, and you will be able to interact with your users even more effectively. If you neglect the icon, however, then it turns out that you’re intentionally refusing to make it easier to reach your goals.

Get inspired by our tips to know how to design an app icon. The better the symbol, the more downloads you’ll get in online app stores! We hope these simple, practical techniques can help you achieve your marketing goals.

If you don’t have any experience in how to create your own app icon, we at Fireart Studio would love to help you create a great and recognizable icon. Contact us in any convenient way, and we will discuss your project in detail! We have years of experience in creating successful designs that may be useful to you as well.


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