Minimalism is not a style. It is an additude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction against noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. These are 36 beautifully designed minimal icons for our new e-commerce project. Enjoy :-).
LET’S SEE SOME GOOD DESIGN PRINCIPLES
FIND YOUR AUDIENCE AND DESIGN ON PURPOSE
You will have different considerations if you’re designing an intranet for a small company, rather than for a product that may be sold internationally. When creating icons, cultural considerations are important. Symbols may differ for common elements you may use for your designs. Icons, like all elements of good design, must have a clear purpose. Before you even think about what sort of icons you want, you need to ask yourself: why? If your answer is “because they’re pretty”, then you should think twice before steaming ahead. In a visually overcrowded digital world even the prettiest icons will soon lose their lustre without meaning or purpose.
SIZE AND TYPE
If you go vector and make your icon in Illustrator, there is an inherent temptation to scale the design, and try to use it at any size. This doesn’t work with icons. What looks good at 512px looks like a blurry smear at 16px. Icons should have a base design that is used as a starting point, but each output size needs to have its own optimized design. The promise of nascent technologies, such as SVG and icon fonts, is yet to be realised, so for now we have to think about size and scalability. Most icons are output as .png files, which allow for pixel perfection and are a significant improvement on their predecessor, the .gif.
DESIGN SIMPLE AND ICONIC
With operating systems now having icons that scale to large sizes (512px by 512px is gigantic for an icon), the temptation grows to get illustrative with your icon designs. While a level of realism can add interest to an icon design, it should not supersede its ability to function simply and effectively. Whether you’re designing a 16-pixel icon or a 16-room house, getting a sketch pad out is a vital part of the creative process. Once you click that mouse, you’re constraining your creativity to the available hardware and software. Of course, without hardware and software, designing for mobile and web platforms would be impossible, but don’t start digitally.
5 DESIGN MISTAKES
- Too many elements in one icon
- Insufficient differentiation between icons
- Unnecessary elements
- Lack of unity of style within a set of icons
- Unnecessary perspective and shadows