Are you a designer looking for ways to make your icons stand out in 2022? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best practices for creating impressive icons that will help your designs stand out from the competition. We’ll look at what trends to expect for icons in the coming year, discuss how to make sure your designs are memorable and unique, and provide tips on how to make your icons easier to use.

Keep It Simple

In today's world of digital media, it's easy to get overwhelmed with complex designs. Icons can be a great way to capture your audience's attention, but too much complexity can lead to confusion. The key to creating an effective icon is to keep it simple.

When designing an icon, it's important to remember that less is more. Instead of using overly detailed images or complicated shapes, focus on using simple shapes and colors to get your point across. Consider using basic geometric shapes like circles, squares, and triangles to create an attractive and memorable design. Additionally, avoid adding too many different colors as this can become overwhelming for viewers. Stick to two or three colors that work together to create a cohesive look and feel.

By following these tips, you'll be able to create a simple yet powerful icon that stands out from the crowd and is easily recognizable by your audience.

Go Flat

Flat design has been the trend in recent years, and it doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Flat designs emphasize simplicity by reducing the number of visual elements, using bold colors, and sticking to basic geometric shapes.

Flat icons are often more recognizable because they lack any extra details, which can help ensure that your icon stands out from other designs. When creating flat icons, focus on creating a bold statement with minimal detail. Utilize color and contrast to add definition and texture without overwhelming the design.

When choosing a shape for your flat icon, consider a square or circle as these two simple shapes will be easier to recognize than more complex ones. Additionally, remember that with flat icons, less is more. By simplifying your design, you can make sure that your icon stands out from the rest.

Use Bright Colors

When it comes to designing icons, one of the key elements that you should consider is color. Color has the power to evoke emotions, which is why it’s essential to choose the right colors for your icons. Bright colors will help make your icons stand out and capture attention.

The key is to use bold, vibrant colors that contrast well with each other. For example, if you are using a bright yellow, you could pair it with a deep blue or a deep purple. If you want to go for a more minimalistic look, use a lighter shade of the same color as an accent.

In addition to using bold colors, be sure to pick colors that are visually balanced. If you have too many bright colors, it can become overwhelming and cause confusion for viewers. Also, make sure to pick colors that make sense with the content of the icon. For example, if the icon is about a flower, then you should pick colors that are associated with flowers like pinks and purples.

Using bright colors is a great way to make your icons stand out and make them more eye-catching. Just be sure to pick the right colors in order to create a visually appealing and balanced design.

Create a Negative Space

Negative space is an important element to consider when designing icons. By using the negative space in a design, you can emphasize the shapes of your icon, making it easier to recognize and remember. Negative space can be used to separate elements of your icon, create boundaries, and add depth and contrast. When used effectively, negative space can help create a sense of balance and harmony within your design.

To start using negative space in your design, think about what shapes you would like your icon to contain. Once you have these shapes in mind, use the negative space around them to create contrast and emphasize the different elements of your design. Experiment with different levels of negative space to see which works best for the design of your icon. You can also combine various shapes with negative space to make them look more interesting and recognizable.

When creating a negative space in your design, consider the size and weight of the element you are surrounding. Use the right amount of negative space so that it is not too overwhelming or too subtle. Remember that the most important thing is to create a design that is easily recognizable and will stand out from other icons.

Think Outside the Rectangle

When designing icons, it’s important to look beyond the traditional rectangle. Doing this can help your icons stand out and be more creative. Consider using circles, polygons, or even abstract shapes in your designs to create something that is unique and memorable. You can also add textures or 3D elements to your design to create depth and interest. Experimenting with different shapes and sizes can give you unexpected results that are visually appealing.

Another thing to keep in mind when thinking outside the box is the use of motion or animation in your designs. Using motion can be a great way to add a dynamic element and grab the viewer’s attention. By adding motion to an icon, it can tell a story or evoke emotion, which will help it stand out and make a lasting impression.

Use Vibrant Gradients

Gradients are a great way to add a modern and sophisticated touch to icons. Vibrant gradients can help your icons stand out and provide an eye-catching visual appeal. By combining two or more colors, you can create interesting blends that will draw attention to the icon and make it more memorable. When using gradients, you should consider the color palettes and contrast. Colors should be complementary and not too overwhelming. You can also experiment with different opacity levels for a unique effect. Additionally, remember to keep the icon simple, avoid gradients with too many colors, and make sure that the final product is still legible. By using vibrant gradients, you can easily create impressive icons that stand out in 2022.

Use Contextual Images

Using contextual images in your icons can help you create designs that are meaningful and impactful. Contextual images allow you to communicate a concept or idea without the need for words. For example, an icon of a magnifying glass might represent “search” or “find”, while an icon of a globe might represent “global” or “worldwide”. To ensure that your icons are both informative and aesthetically pleasing, use simple, recognizable imagery that fits the context of your design. If you’re designing an icon for a navigation menu, try using images like arrows or hamburger menus to represent forward/backward navigation. Additionally, you can use images that are relevant to the subject matter of the application or website you’re designing for. For example, if you’re designing an icon for a fitness app, you might use images like dumbbells or running shoes. When using contextual images, be sure to consider the size and complexity of the image so that it still looks good when scaled down to an icon size.

Consider Animation

Animation is a powerful tool that can help make your icons stand out in 2022. Animated icons can grab attention and add a sense of movement and life to your icon design. You can create animations for icons that respond to user interactions, such as when a user hovers over the icon or clicks it.

Animated icons can also help to convey a specific message or provide context. For example, you can use animation to show the progression of an action or demonstrate how something works. Animation can also be used to indicate a state change within the icon, such as from open to closed.

When designing animated icons, it's important to keep them simple and cohesive with the overall design. You don't want the animation to distract from the icon itself or take away from its purpose. Be sure to consider the loading time of your animation and keep the file size as small as possible so it doesn't slow down the performance of your website or app.

By incorporating animation into your icon design, you can create memorable, eye-catching designs that will help your icons stand out in 2022.

Final Words

When it comes to designing impressive icons that stand out in 2022, it's important to remember the basics: keep it simple, go flat, use bright colors, create a negative space, think outside the rectangle, use vibrant gradients, use contextual images, and consider animation. These steps will help you create an icon that will capture the attention of your audience and truly stand out. 

However, designing impressive icons requires skill and knowledge. If you don't have the experience or time to devote to creating your own icons, then it may be wise to hire a UI/UX design agency. A design agency can provide valuable insights into what makes an icon look great, as well as take care of the entire design process for you. With their help, you can be sure that your icons will make a positive impression on your users in 2022 and beyond.