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How to Design Mobile App Icons: Best Practices for 2024

By Gaurav Parvadiya | Last Updated On May 1st, 2024

Have you ever wondered why those cute tiny graphics are on well-known mobile apps? Mobile App icons are what they’re called, and they’re more significant than you may imagine. They lack unnecessary fluff and have a particular style and color scheme. Your apps will be easier to find and use thanks to these icons.

Thus, how can one create an exceptional app icon?

Developing a mobile app and naming it are crucial first steps. Typically, they draw greater attention than the actual program icon. But keep in mind that people usually see the icon first. Let’s look at how to create an icon for an amazing app and some helpful hints to get you started.

What is a Mobile App Icons? Why does it Matter?

A mobile app icon is a unique graphic used to symbolize an app on a user’s device. It appears in smartphone settings, search bars, and app marketplaces like the App Store and Google Play Store as the first point of contact for users.

Mobile App icons influence consumers’ brand perceptions and recognition. Creating a memorable app icon helps boost conversion rates. However, as we proceed, app icons play several roles that require careful attention.

App icons are vital to the app marketplace driving user engagement and installation. They dominate search results, featured pages, charts, category listings, tailored recommendations, and other discovery channels. App icons must be well-sized, attractive, and memorable to achieve this.

Guidelines for app icon dimensions vary across different devices and app stores. App developers must follow app store specifications, but users can alter app sizes. App sizes are standardized by these criteria to ensure market consistency. We list the appropriate App Store and Google Play icon sizes below.

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Check out the App Store developer guidelines for app icons and Google Play Store icon design specifications 

Tips for Mobile App Icon Design – Best Practices

Let’s understand the PRO TIPS of Mobile App Icon Design and make it stand out of the rest. Given below tips will ensure your app icon fulfills the guidelines while also makes a unique impact at its first look:

2 different ways to create apps

1. Simplicity Is Key 

Keep in mind that packing too many visuals into your mobile application icon will confuse users and discourage them from using it. Rather than overwhelming users with complexity, concentrate on having a good influence. Your icon will stand out more if it focuses on only one symbol. Recall that emphasizing the primary theme of your app requires clarity.

It could come as a surprise that something as simple as an app icon can have such a big impact on your success. 

2. Embrace Bold Designs for Impact

Color and contrast are important design elements for your own app icon that can greatly affect how visible and appealing it is. Selecting the appropriate color scheme might help your icon stand out from the crowd and grab consumers’ attention. But make sure the colors you select complement the branding of your app.

Equally significant is contrast, which guarantees that the icon is identifiable even at reduced sizes. Your mobile application icon will stand out and be more visible in the app store if you use contrasting colors or add borders.

3 embrace bold designs for impact

For example, take the Spotify app symbol which immediately draws attention with its vivid green color against a black background. Furthermore, the app’s goal is made abundantly evident by its usage of sound waves, leaving little opportunity for misunderstanding.

3. Avoid detailed and patterned backgrounds

For your app icon, stay away from complex and patterned backgrounds. Instead, utilize backgrounds with block colors; these are more aesthetically pleasing and will work with users’ home screens and wallpapers. Using this strategy boosts the possibility that your software will be well-received and easily recognizable across a range of devices.

Your app icon should also align with Apple App Store Screenshots

4. Focus on Symbolism and Typography

Make it a priority to use your brand’s emblem or symbolic element as the focal point of your app icon. This keeps your branding consistent across many channels and guarantees fast recognition among your target audience.

4 symbolism app icons

Look at successful apps that use identifiable symbols in addition to words, like Nike and Amazon. Numerous well-known apps, such as PayPal, Flipboard, and TikTok, show how sufficient symbols or basic logos to adequately convey a brand can eliminate the need for extra language.

5. Keep it high-quality

Users form an initial impression of your application based on your app icon. Therefore, it’s essential to keep the design at a high standard. A well-designed symbol conveys professionalism and authenticity to prospective customers, improving their opinion of the caliber of your programme. Investing in a sophisticated and polished logo can inspire trust in clients by demonstrating a dedication to excellence in product development and design.

6. Avoid using words

Avoid the urge to add words to your app’s icon. The majority of devices automatically label apps, placing their names beneath the icons; therefore, superfluous text might clog the icon and reduce its usefulness. Making a visually identifiable and memorable piece that users can recognise without the need for textual assistance is the main goal of the best app icons. This emphasizes the importance of the designer’s work in creating a memorable emblem.

7. Engage a Skilled Graphic Designer

Consider hiring an experienced graphic designer who knows how to design Apple app icons. Hiring an expert will ensure your app icon stands out from others and stays under the guidance of the app store. Moreover, a competent designer can also overcome scalability and platform guidelines to create an icon that boosts brand awareness and user engagement, helping your app succeed.

8. iOS App Design Considerations

Developers struggling to design app icons for different screen widths can learn from Google and Apple. Developers can find specific recommendations and best practices in Android API Guides For Launcher Icons and iOS Human Interface recommendations For App Icons. These tools clarify and guide app icons to give a great user experience across devices. 

Developers can master icon design and optimize screen size adaption by following these tips. Developers can safely create icons that meet platform standards and user expectations using knowledge from these reliable sources, improving app usability and attractiveness.

Concluding Remarks

A key component of successful mobile app design icons is creating eye-catching app icons. Having a distinctive and memorable app icon is crucial to drawing in and keeping consumers in the millions of apps that are accessible in different app stores. 

It is imperative to integrate fundamental design components like color, shape, and symbolism into your icon design while also making sure it is suitable for various app stores. 

You can build a strong brand identity and differentiate yourself from the competition in the crowded app industry by adhering to these best practices and continuously improving the design of your app icon.

Gaurav Parvadiya

Gaurav is the founder and CEO of Twinr, a tech entrepreneur with a decade of experience and a passion for SaaS. With a Master's degree in Computer Science, he specializes in no-code development, driving innovation in the mobile app industry. When he's not busy growing the company, you'll find him writing about tech, growth, software development, e-commerce, and occasionally sneaking in a game of badminton.

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