Choosing best colours for your next icon set

Choosing best colours for your next icon set

Howdy, guys! Here’s a little icebreaker before you read any further:

Okay, as cheesy as this was, it showed that colours are the power. They can make the icon or break it in the blink of an eye. That is why choosing the right colours for your icons is so important – using proper palettes, you can transfer the message on a subconscious level.
As everything in the icon design, choosing the perfect colours for each set has its own secrets. And I’m about to reveal some of them for you right now:

Know The Context

It all comes down to where your icons are going to be used. There are two main things to consider before you start:

  • Where the icons will be used;
  • Who are they aimed for.

Here’s how it works: you’re creating icons for a mountain biking website. If it’s not the internet rookies who entered the website by mistake, all the content will be viewed by mountain bikers. Obviously. Google is a treasury of the images on mountain biking. Take a look at some of them, and you’ll start noticing certain colouring patterns. Use them for your own colour palette.

Use The Brand Colours

Do I even need to go into why you should stick to the existing brand/logo colour palette if your client has one?

Just a reminder: icons play an enormous role in the brand identity and messages they deliver. If you feel that the brand colours are too pale and weak to speak as loud as you need your icons to, I would suggest you go for different shades of the already existing palette.

Understand The Meaning Of Colours

Surprise-surprise, colours have meanings too! Even basic knowledge in colour theory could make a huge difference. When you need to squeeze a huge message into a small icon, every small detail matters.

Use the power of colours to strengthen and convey the message of the icon. You can easily find tons of articles on colour theory on the internet. I have collected just a tiny bit of them for the lazy ones out there.

Blue is a calming colour. It also stands for security, professionalism, and trust.

Green means eco. It is often paired with the shades of brown to give that additional earth vibes. It is also associated with freshness, success and money.

Yellow is all about good emotions. It is an optimistic and sunny colour.

Orange goes side by side with yellow – it is also a very warm and cheerful colour that is often used to describe self-confidence.

Red represents everything associated with our most physical needs, and our will to survive – danger, passion, love, heat.

Choose The Right Colour Palette

Depending on the style of your icons you can decide to make them monochromatic, use the shades of the same colour, or choose the colour palette with different matching colours – this one is often used to create flat icons.

Matching colour palettes that look really cool are pretty hard to make, though. My advice is to use two to five colours throughout the whole set. If you are struggling with creating a matching colour set, try pre-made sets. Check the http://www.colourlovers.com/ and https://color.adobe.com/ for some inspiration. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colour schemes, modify them and use in your sets.


Never ever underestimate the power of colours. The correctly chosen colours make your set look more cohesive and stylish, and they also deliver the message way better! So choose wisely. Know exactly why you have chosen one particular colour over the others, and this will take your icons to the next level, trust me!

Stay awesome, space jedis!


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This