Pictures say more than words: how icons make brand properties accessible.

What is a brand icon?

The term icon comes from Greek (eikon) and means “image”. Icons are therefore symbols that visualize processes, product properties or objects, e.g. in apps, on websites, but also in print products. Since the human brain can process images better than texts, icons are wonderful brand ambassadors: well designed, they make brand performance quickly understandable and accessible.

From Brand Profile to Brand Manual.

Branding Process

Systematic visualization

Depending on the brand personality, the stylistic spectrum ranges from modern minimalism to friendly, playful, humorous iconographies. However, this is not to be confused with richness of detail because these impair visibility and clarity, and that is the main task of the icon. So that they remain recognizable in different applications and sizes, they should be reduced to their simplest form and express essential features. The development of a design system guarantees design consistency that runs through the entire icon set. For example, icons can be derived from the proportions of the typography used in the brand design or corporate design in order to create a consistent design language, rhythm and character.

Systematic derivation of the icon set from the proportions and angles of the word mark

Icons give character

Ultimately, creating iconographies is about creating consistency: each icon should match both the other icons in the set and also have references to the brand itself. The icons may appear regardless of the brand presence or application for which they were originally designed, and then you may have to represent the brand alone. As branding agency we develop icon systems that meet these requirements.

Brand Icons FAQ

  • What is an icon?

    The term icon comes from the Greek (eikon) and means image. Icons are symbols that visualize processes, product features or objects, e.g. in apps, on websites, but also in print products.

  • Are icons part of corporate identity?

    Icons are part of corporate design and therefore part of corporate identity. They should be embedded in the existing design system in order to pay attention to the consistency and recognition value of the brand.

  • How do you define an iconography design?

    Iconography design is part of brand design and should have similar stylistic characteristics. Depending on the brand personality, icons range from modern minimalism to friendly, playful, humorous icons.

  • Why are icons important as part of brand design?

    Icons are important because they make central processes, characteristics and services of a brand quickly comprehensible and thus accessible. They provide orientation and efficiently convey key brand messages.

  • What should be considered when developing an iconography?

    The icon should focus on the most essential features and be reduced to a simple form so that it remains recognizable to different applications and small sizes. A clear assignment of what the icon is about is the most important characteristic of an icon.

    Maurits den Held

    Maurits den Held

    Creative Director

    030 403 664 76