App icon design inspiration is a must-have! You only get one first impression! Your app icon is just that. Though people say “never judge an app by its icon”… well… they do. So how do we make sure this impression is a good one? Being a great app developer doesn’t mean you will be a great designer. Ideally, you would want to hire a qualified designer to do the job, but if you are an indie developer who cannot allocate the resources towards your icon design, we can give you some tips and tricks on where to start.
Graphic design is a complex field, and a lot of elements go into designing an app icon. The colors you choose should give the right impression to the viewer about what your app does. It should also be true to your brand identity. Your icon needs to be recognizable and stand out from the rest even in the small format it must be viewed in. Just because it looks good doesn’t mean it also represents your app…
That’s a lot to think about! But don’t worry. With a few resources, you should be able to get started.
We rounded up two dozen of the best design resources to help you with your icon, from inspiration to execution, as well as a few bonus destinations for getting feedback on the design you do come up with.
Jump right in!
Galleries for App Icon Design Inspiration
So you’re just getting started and you need to browse.
Try these app icon design inspiration gallery sites for paging through design sets and icon possibilities, in the same manner, you’d browse a catalog for new shoes. You need to see a lot of options to zero in on a style you like.
Bonus: if you’re truly inspired, you can often purchase the designs.
However, these icons may or may not be up to date with the trends. You can also browse Pinterest for inspiration, or look through the icon designs of your competitors. Icon designs go through trends just like any other creative aspect of your application. Some applications update their icon as frequently as once a week!
Roundups for App Icon Designs
Need a little more curated inspiration than you’ll find from the gallery sites?
The creators of these icon roundups have done the work for you to narrow down some of the most beautiful, detailed designs out there.
Unlike the galleries, these showcases feature many examples from existing designers and existing apps (so don’t steal them).
- A showcase of 40 Insanely Detailed iOS Icon Designs
- 50 Beautiful Mobile App Icon Design, Vol 2
- 23 stunning iOS app icon designs
- Stunning App Icon Designs
- 35 Most Beautiful App Icon Designs For Your Inspiration
- 20 Flat Mobile Icons Designs for Your Inspiration
- Realistic iOS App Icons & Sketching for Inspiration
- 50 Beautiful Mobile App Icons for Design Inspiration
Maybe browsing isn’t your thing… and that’s fine.
Many of us may feel inspired but have trouble translating that into a design that works. These articles give concrete, actionable tips for creating your icon, from general design best practices to actual step-by-step instructions for creating icons in Photoshop.
- App Icon Design: six tips from Apple on how to create better icons
- How to Design Better App Icons
- Create an app icon using Photoshop in 20 easy steps
- 10 Tips for Designing Icons That Don’t Suck
- How to Create Icons for Your Android App
Templates and Generators
You’re ready to put metaphorical pen to paper? Great! Unlike with other artistic projects, you do have some specs and requirements to hit.
These template and generator resources can help you ensure you’ve got the right sizes and formats for your icon.
Get Feedback on Your App Icon Design
Evaluation is a key stage of any creative process. Icon design is no exception. These destinations provide some support for getting feedback, but you can also enlist your colleagues, friends, the guy next to you at the cafe if you’re brave.
Do they like the colors?
Does the icon seem to fit the actual purpose of the app? Does the icon remind them of anything?
We hope these resources helped you conquer one of the deceptively tricky aspects of getting your mobile app out there!
Did we miss any? Feel free to share in the comments.
Remember, app icons are one of the most important aspects of App Store Optimization, so don’t neglect your icon.
You can also find all of your competitors’ present and past app icons along with when they were updated on our ASO Intelligence Tool and Ad Intelligence Tool respectively. Compare the timeline of the updates to the category ranking of these apps and their downloads to find out if they found success with these icons. You can also see their full creative sets. If you would like to see it for yourself you can sign up for a demo.