App Icon – Best Tools and Practices for Creating Awesome App Store Icons

App Store iCon
Tayasui Sketches App Icon

One of the first things potential users see from your app is its icon. Just by briefly glancing at it, someone will make a decision of whether or not to check it out. Because of this, it’s important that your app icon stands out from the crowd.

If you’re interested in learning how to create the best app icon, you’ll want to check out this article. Below you’ll discover the best practices and guidelines to follow when planning your icon along with the top sites and tools that’ll bring it to life.

The Seven Best Practices for App Icons

Audible App Icon
Audible App Icon

Try Using Unique Shapes

It’s natural for people to be drawn to things that are unique and different. You can use this aspect to your advantage by designing an app icon featuring special shapes. By doing so, your app will not only stand out, but help users easily identify it even when it’s in a small form.

Use Proper Scalability

App icons will be small, but could appear even smaller than normal in certain areas, like sub-menus. If you don’t design your app icon with proper scalability, it will make it difficult for users to see it. You’ll need to scale the icon’s design so that it works flawlessly no matter where it appears.

Use A/B Testing

A/B testing is crucial when it comes to creating the perfect app icon. With it, you’ll be able to see what catches the eye of users and makes them interested enough to try your app out. A/B testing allows you to try different app icons on various platforms so you can see which style generates the most clicks.

Don’t Use Text

You should never use text in the icon. This has been shown to not only be distracting but can make your app look cluttered and cheap. In addition to this, the icon will be so small that the text will shrink and might look a little strange. While a few major brands, like Pinterest, use a single letter in their icon, they creatively incorporate it. And it looks clean.

Check How the Icon Looks on Different Backgrounds

For many devices, users now have the option to change their background to a lighter or darker color scheme. If you don’t keep this aspect in mind, your icon might look slightly awkward various background shades.

Because of this, you should incorporate bright colors and borders. This way, it will stand out no matter what background it might be presented on.

Make Your Icon Represent What Your App is About

Another important thing to do is make sure your icon represents what your app is about. You should base your icon on the main aspect of your app.

For instance, if your app is a phone service, you might want to create an icon with a cellphone on it. This way, users will be able to get a general idea of what your app is about without even having to read its description.

Keep Updating It

While your icon might look flawless now, it will always need to be updated to compete with others. By keeping track of trends, you can upgrade your icon to the current market so it looks interesting to potential users. This also helps you to stay relevant in the App Store’s search engine because it shows you’re regularly improving it.

One example of this is Instagram’s icon. When it was first made, the icon resembled a Polaroid camera. Over time, they eventually updated it to look like a 1940s Bell & Howell camera.

The Best Sites and Tools for Creating an App Icon

Messenger Icon on App Store
Messenger App Icon


MakeAppIcon can be used to create icons for both iOS and Android devices. This tool allows you to resize a pre-made icon so it fits the guidelines for these platforms. There are also a few auto enhancement tools available.


This site lets your imagination run wild. Canva provides templates and clip art you can use to create the icon, most of which are free.

However, if you prefer even more options, you can sign up for its premium version. This will give you access to a variety of other tools, including brand visual identity help and custom fonts & logos.


Iconsflow is a free icon maker and editor. This tool provides a handful of clip art options as well as editing tools that let you adjust the icon’s size, shadows, and background color.

Once you’re done creating the icon, you can download it as a PNG, SVG, or ICO. Iconsflow updates its content often so you’ll be able to adjust your icon as necessary.


This app icon tool can be used to create icons for iOS and Android devices. You’ll be able to upload an image to EasyAppIcon and then modify its padding, background, and size. EasyAppIcon also provides a grid that will help you ensure your design is balanced.

Your app icon is much more important than you might think, and is often what will determine whether or not someone tries out your app. By keeping what’s been discussed in this article in mind, you’ll be able to design an icon that not only perfectly displays what your app is about, but is appealing to potential users.

Now that you have your app icon, read about effective iOS app screenshots.