Icons are everywhere, whether we notice them or not. They are the universal language that guides us; not only through physical spaces such as airports or hospitals, but also virtual spaces such as websites and apps. Icons have a multitude of uses within design; they can be used to communicate ideas in an aesthetically pleasing way (left), and can also be used to dilute complex concepts to make them easier to understand (Right)
The pictoral symbols in iconography can be literal (a picture of a house meaning “home”) or more metaphorical such a cog meaning “settings”.
Since the invention of the personal computer over 40 years ago, icon use in design has constantly increased. Over this period, the design of icons has evolved. Designers have learned that a strong icon translates a concept in to the most simple form. When viewed for the first-time, the meaning of an icon should be instantly recognisable. Proof of this below shows the Microsoft Office icons gradually decreasing in complexity and increasing in clarity through the years. The icons are now refined to a only few lines and are instantly understood.
Why have icons professionally designed?
Introducing icons to your designs will make content easier to digest and more memorable. Icons will reinforce text, giving the reader a preview of what is to come. It’s also an international form of communication for businesses based around the world.
Which side of the below would you rather read? It’s shown that it takes users only 0.005 seconds to form an opinion of your website and decide if they’re going to stay. 38% of the ones that stay will stop engaging with your website if a page has an unattractive layout or content. If however, the text is broken up in to smaller chunks with strategically placed icons, making it more visually appealing, they are way more likely to stick around!
There are many free icon resources out there. However it is important for your site to remain on brand, and when icons are free you don’t get to choose the style, variants, or sometimes even colour. You might also be looking for icons that represent niche or complex concepts that can’t be found on free resources. That’s where we come in.
Shown above are icons designed for Protrius and Phoenix Datacom who approached us for very specific icon sets to display on their websites. These icons inform users of their services whilst staying true to their brand aesthetic. They also make the pages more interesting to read.
If you’re interested in having a set of icons designed? Reach out to the Kino team at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the contact page of our website