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Icons for Your Website

What should a website that is instantly eye-catching and attractive to the viewer consist of? Above all, the text – the company name, the offer, other important information – and the graphic elements. These can include photographs and short videos. But there is more to it. The page can also be filled with icons. Although they are not an obvious choice, a great number of companies, no matter what industry they are in, opt for them. Why? Is it worth doing this? If you want to find out, read on!

What Are Icons?

In fact, these small graphic elements are so popular, especially in advertising material, the Internet and instant messaging, that there is no need to explain their essence. Each of us has encountered them millions of times, and used them even more often. But, for the sake of completeness, we’ll remind you that these are nothing more than little pictures that may symbolise:

■ emotions – e.g., a smiling face;
■ a service – a brush on a renovation company’s website means a painting service;
■ a product – in an online shop with a range of baby products, a teddy bear can mean toys whereas a baby suit can mean clothes;
■ company values – the green leaf stands for ecological production;
■ a folder – e.g.,a “bin” on computers;
■ an app – a disc representing a music player on a smartphone;
■ a program feature – the magnifying glass in Word indicates the “find” function.

These types of graphic elements have different functions. Sometimes they are intended to facilitate navigation on the website, sometimes they have an informative function, and sometimes they add variety to the aesthetics of the design.

Why is it Useful to Include Icons on a Website?

There are several reasons why you should consider enhancing your website with icons. Above all, they increase the attractiveness of your website in terms of information and aesthetics. They incorporate wite space, a space where the eye can rest from the text. Moreover, they convey information to the recipient in a concise and simple way and are pleasing to the eye.
They also make the interface easier to read and the site layout harmonious and legible. In addition, they liven up the look of a portal, especially one without photos.
Icons on the website, which are created in a consistent style and colour pattern, can be used to build visual identification of a given brand and play a marketing role. They also attract the attention of recipients, who get acquainted with the website through the so-called scanning, i.e. they browse the content without reading or paying much attention, noticing mostly the graphic elements.

What Kind of Graphics Should You Use on the Website?

Here, as in every other aspect of design, moderation and order are important. There should not be too many icons. If they appear in large numbers, on every sub-page, the overall website can acquire an unprofessional character.
How about the order of icons? Well, they should be arranged in a thoughtful, harmonious manner. Ideally, they should appear in the same positions on each sub-page, e.g., at the very top. The user will then quickly get used to this layout which will make it easier to find their way around. Icons should not be placed directly next to long texts, as it is easy to overload the recipients with information. It is best to place them where they will be well displayed, i.e., at the top, middle or bottom of the page.

Appearance of Icons

Icons are graphic elements, so their appearance is of great importance. What should you keep in mind when designing them for your website? Above all, style, colour and a clear message are important.
The style should be uniform. Avoid experimenting too much and creating, for example, one very detailed graphic and then juxtaposing it with minimalist images. This will look neither aesthetically pleasing nor professional.
Colour is an important tool in design, as we have already mentioned a number of times. It also matters when it comes to icons on the website, as it often translates into their visibility. Be careful that the graphics do not blend in or “clash” with the background. Apart from that, you can experiment virtually to your heart’s content. You can choose between multicoloured or monochromatic graphics, with or without gradient. Whether they are white, black and blue or pink, keep the convention uniform.
A clear message is also important. Icons on a website should accurately communicate a specific piece of information. The moment the user sees them, he or she should already know what they mean. Therefore, there is one rule: the simpler the better.

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