Icon Design

20 Posts

Icons can range in level of detail, from the simple and symbolic, to those with realism and intricate detail. In either case, they need to be metaphorically meaningful and instantly recognizable. They have to communicate at a glance. We've assembled the best tutorials, articles, and resources we have on icon design here on Vectortuts+ into this Creative Session. Learn how to create functional and beautiful vector icons that will fit seamlessly within your designs.

Posts in this series
  • Icon Design
    Make a Mailbox Icon Using Adobe IllustratorPreview
    Attention! This icon was not created solely for educational purposes. You can see the working process of real designing! We are going to use various professional techniques to create this icon, and I will give you many useful tips along the way. So, let's get down to work, experts!Read More…
  • Icon Design
    Create a Modern Style Icon with a Professional FinishDesign and illustration
    Modern icons are real eye candy. In this tutorial you'll learn how to create a professional level Hard Drive icon with shading and lighting the techniques. You will use the the Path Finder Tool, Free Transform and some basic effects, such as Gaussian Blur and Inner Glow.Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Draw a Glossy Yo-Yo Icon using Adobe IllustratorPreview
    Entertain yourself with this tutorial on creating a glossy yo-yo icon. You will learn how to combine different gradient and object effects to make a hyper realistic and shiny plastic surface. The result is a perfectly rendered and appealing icon that can be made in just one hour!Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Illustrate a Marvelous Violin IconDesign and illustration
    Flex your creative muscle with this cool tutorial on how to create a violin icon. We'll explore how basic shapes and a solid understanding of perspective and volume work together to quickly build a successful icon.Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Create a Hyper-realistic FlashlightPreview
    In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hyper-realistic illustration of a flashlight. This style of illustration is particularly popular for icons and technical illustrations. Although this tutorial is more advanced than others, don't let that dissuade you from giving it a go, you will find it's written in an easy to understand format and the results will be worth the perseverance.Read More…
  • Icon Design
    Create a Stylized First Aid Icon in IllustratorFirstaid200
    In this tutorial we'll use a combination of craft and Illustrator's 3D tools to create a first aid icon. You can use the techniques you learn in this tutorial to create realistic rounded box icons of your choice. This works well for complex icons at large sizes and scales down nicely.Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Create a Golden, Vector Compass in IllustratorPreview
    In this tutorial I will take you through the steps and techniques of creating a golden compass. For this tutorial I’ve used just Adobe Illustrator and a heavy dose of ingenuity. Let's get stared!Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Illustrate a Brain Icon for OSX and VistaPreview
    In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a cartoon style illustration of a brain, then how to convert the image for use as an icon for OSX and Vista. I'll discuss some points about detailing for icon design as well. Let's get started!Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Create a Gearbox Settings Icon Using Simple ShapesPreview
    Much can be done in Illustrator without relying on the Pen tool, as demonstrated by the recent hourglass tutorial. Utilizing only simple, predefined shapes, as well as tools like the Pathfinder and transformations, entire illustrations can be created from scratch. In this tutorial, we'll create an icon suitable for portraying options, settings, preferences, etc., similar to OS X's system preferences icon. So let's get started!Read More…
  • Inspiration
    10 Tips for Effective Icon DesignIcon prev
    Translating the 'iconic' features of an object into something that is metaphorically meaningful and instantly recognizable is no easy task -- particularly when the design needs to be as effective at 48x48 pixels as it is at 256x256! A memorable and functional icon is beautiful, iconic, meaningful and functional. Here are ten wise tips on how to create outstanding icons.Read More…
  • Icons
    60 Free Vector Icon Packs for Design ProfessionalsIcons prev
    Vector icons are a dime a dozen, but how many would you actually use in professional work--or personal work you want to look professional? A very small percent, most likely. That's why we've assembled the cream of the crop here, featuring only icon packs that are superbly good, yet completely free.Read More…
  • Web Roundups
    The Top Ten Icon Design Tutorials on VECTORTUTSPreview
    Icon design is a fun field to get involved in. It requires illustrative skills, which most of the tutorials on VECTORTUTS are dedicated to teaching. Now if your looking to refine your skills with icon design specific tutorials, we have a list of the top ten icon design tutorials on the site. Keep in mind we'll be publishing more in the future as well, as this is an important and popular design topic.Read More…
  • Icon Design
    How to Create a Yellow Submarine Icon with Gradient MeshesDesign and illustration
    While spaceships, rockets and UFOs are all the rage in the icon world these days, submarines have been inexcusably neglected. Let's correct this situation immediately by drawing a fun submarine using gradient meshes, pattern brushes, opacity masks and blending modes.Read More…
  • Illustration
    How to Create a Magic Wand IconPreview
    In this Illustrator tutorial, I will show you how to create a magic wand icon. This tutorial will utilize gradient feathering and some simple shapes. These techniques are easily translated to other icons, illustrations, and logos.Read More…
  • Illustration
    How to Turn Glasses into a Great Geek IconPreview
    In this tutorial, we'll show you how to make a cool, or should we say geeky, glasses icon. You should be versed in Adobe Illustrator's tools to complete this tutorial. You'll learn how to take creative license and create an illustration that uses a photo reference, but differs a bit in the final design.Read More…
  • Illustration
    How to Make a Vector Military Cap IconPreview
    This tutorial will show the intermediate-to-advanced Adobe Illustrator artist how to make a realistic military style cap icon using predominately gradients, blends, and the Gradient Mesh Tool. We'll be using a photo reference to base this illustration on, though utilizing creative judgement throughout the process.Read More…
  • Illustration
    How to Create an Hourglass Icon in About an HourPreview
    With simple shapes, gradients, and vector textures, this simple tutorial will show beginning illustrators how to create an hourglass icon. There is a whole lot you can do without the Pen Tool. We'll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older version should be able to follow along as well. Let's get started!Read More…
  • Illustration
    How to Create an Alarm Clock IconPreview
    With simple shapes and gradients, this easy tutorial will show you how to create an alarm clock icon. We'll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older version should be able to follow along as well. Let's jump into this tutorial, which beginning illustrators will find especially useful!Read More…
  • Illustration
    Make a Headphones Icon Using Adobe IllustratorPreview
    In this tutorial you will learn how to create a realistic image of headphones using simple and understandable techniques. It turns out that to get a good result there is no need to do it in a complex way. This tutorial is easy for any beginner to complete.Read More…
  • Illustration
    Create a Vector Film Slate IconPreview
    In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a vector film slate icon. The tutorial uses some basic shapes, some gradients, and even a blend. Moreover, you can easily customize this tutorial with your own logo or typography.Read More…