App store icon - Appy Pie

How to Design the Perfect App Store Icon?

Originally Posted By Ryan Mach  | November 24, 2014  | 4-min read
Jayraj on August 13, 2020  

One of the lesser known challenges of app creation is designing an app icon. Many companies don’t take it into consideration until it is too late. It is often a common industry assumption to use your business logo as an icon. However, a business logo is usually not made keeping icon dimensions in mind.

If you are a small business creating an app for the first time, it is more than likely that your logo might not be a very good icon for your app. There are many reasons why a logo does not make a good app store icon or app icon. The simplest reason is the restrictive nature of icons. Icons have a strict size limit and your icon must be designed to those constraints. Shrinking a logo to that level can get difficult and it might end up off proportion and looking poor. Even businesses as large as Facebook had problems adapting to the app market. Its original square off-center f-logo didn’t really look all that good as an icon on a phone interface. To deal with this, you must either design a logo in a way that it will fit a future app icon or you must design a new brand-related icon for your app. Whatever you decide to do, there are various icon making tools that can help you achieve your goal. However, if you want to design your logo and app icons for free, consider checking out our very own Appy Pie Logo Maker.Design My LogoBefore we go on to designing and creating your logo, let’s take a look at some of the design trends for app icons. Here’s an infographic:Mobile App Icon - Appy Pie

Designing an Icon

Designing an icon is quite similar to designing a traditional business logo design. Here’s our guide on designing a logo that you can check out to get an idea. However, when designing an icon, there are small differences that you should keep in mind. Here’s 7 tips that can help improve the design of your icons:

  1. Render your ideas
  2. Begin by drawing your thoughts for an icon, paying little respect to the likelihood that a creator will be making the last picture. There are various approaches to pass on any thought, so examine different decisions. For example, your restaurant app icon could consolidate any number of pictures that show what it does – a fork and knife, a cheeseburger, a smiling waiter. Open your psyche to various sparks. Experiment with your icons. You’ll need to put more thought into it if this icon will also serve as a logo for your business.

  3. Make it clear and simple
  4. Your app icon needs to speak to your brand/website/world. The moment that clients are going to chase down an app in the stores, yours must be the best and cleanest possible icon. It should evoke a feeling of wonder and familiarity. They will choose you over the others only if it appeals to them. Looks always sell and this remains true even for apps.

  5. Don't use the gloss effect
  6. Have you noticed that even Apple is not using its default gloss effect on its icons? Everyone concurs that the icon must be astounding to stand out just enough to be noticed. Applying a standard gloss is a detectably dreadful approach to rise up out of the swarm. In the event that you would like to gloss your icon in any case, we suggest applying the satisfactory gloss yourself and tune it so it looks perfect. A standard uniformed impact is dependably a bargain and it is by definition not enhanced for your icon.

  7. Avoid using too much detail
  8. A standout amongst the most essential leads in icon design is to keep your theme basic and to the point. Icon design is about communicating unmistakably in a kept measure of visual space. App icons measure 57 x 57 pixels on iphones without Retina shows and 114 x 114 pixels on iphones and ipads with Retina shows. However the App Store obliges you utilize a picture that is 1024 x 1024 pixels, these will be shown much more diminutive on devices.

  9. Compare your icon to your top competitors
  10. According to a survey, 49% of the activity on the App Store came from search and most of the time, users download only one app. It's vital to verify that your app icon is not failing to meet expectations contrasted with your competitors. Take a look at the competition and verify if your icon meets their guidelines. Assuming that conceivable, make your icon emerge from your rival.

  11. Diversity between iOS and Android
  12. There is a contrast between an Android icon and an iOS icon. Apple will dependably give your icon adjusted corners after you've submitted it to the App Store. The Google Play Store does not do this. Assuming that you'd like your icon to appear to be identical in both stores, adjust the corners of your icon picture. Utilize a layout in case you're not certain about the definite extents needed. You can discover a few formats here.

  13. Test the icon on your phone
  14. Finishing all the above is obligated to get you most of the way towards illustrating an unfathomable icon however, risks are, you won't know you've struck gold until different people see it. Direction from outsiders can have all the effect. Ask your customers if they like your new icon. Hold a poll before you apply. Ask your employees too. Take everyone’s feedback before you finally approve a mobile app icon.


Creating a good icon for your app is not as difficult as it might seem if you follow the tips given above. Once you’ve created a proper design for your app, the next most likely step for you is to brand your app. We’ve got a perfect blog for you - How to Brand Your App. Do consider leaving a comment if you feel that more tips can be added to this blog and also be a sweetheart and check out our free logo-maker. See ya!

You May Also Like:

Take a deeper dive into the digital ecosystem and start expanding your business with these helpful resources:

Related Articles

Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie