In this article I'll be providing helpful tips to remember when designing a Icon including the planning, sketching & finishing stages to ensure you end up with the perfect Icon Design!

Planning

When creating an icon, first decide what type of icon you want to create, that is what you plan to use the icon for. Will it be for a specific business type? Or will it be used for a particular topic? Deciding what topic and purpose your icon will have will make the icon process a lot quicker and smoother.

Realistic vs Minimal vs Cartoonish

Realistic Source | Minimalist Source | Cartoon Source

Before sketching out some ideas, decide what style of icon you are going for. Do you want the icon to be very realistic and detailed? Do you want the icon to be minimalist and simple? Or do you want the icon to be cartoonish and quirky? 

Sketches

Once you've decided the type and style of icon you want, start drawing out rough sketches. Make sure the design is recognisable and its purpose easy to identify. Don't sketch a complicated & over detailed design, as the icon will most likely be small when viewed.

Vector vs Raster

Once you've drawn out some sketches, choose your best icon idea and scan it in to the computer. It's now time for you to decide if you want to create the icon in Vector Software (eg. Adobe Illustrator) or Raster (eg. Adobe Photoshop). Choose which ever one is easier for you, but if you plan to regularly change the size of your icon go with a Vector software so the icon won't pixelate when enlarged.

Final Outcome

Once you've designed your icon, save it in PNG format so as the background will be transparent, as well as saving the original document.