Expected Trends of Web Icons Design in 2011


Icons represent the products or services of the websites, instruments of applications or serve as pointers and separators for various interfaces. They are important design elements and change their appearance and style according to the new tendencies in web design on the whole.

We analyzed some last obvious trends in web icons design and would like to share them with you below. Hopefully you will find them helpful for revitalizing your websites/applications layouts.

Cleaner look and feel

People love cleaner, fresher, minimal interface much more nowadays. They are after keeping all important details and getting rid of irrelevant information. So it’s recommended to overload the website with stylish decorations making it look messy but to use the benefits of usability instead.

Blank, lighter spaces allow the website to breathe freely, they are not the signs of lacking imagination any more. This feeling can be achieved by using the calm pastel color palette and subtle texture of background. Nice hierarchy and navigability are the right-guess in modern business websites design.


Vintage web icons

Vintage was a preferable trend within the last couple of years but its popularity seems to decline nowadays. Though vintage aesthetic is still being widely used and honored. But it is more often represented more by the fonts than by the shapes and textures. Vintage icons are even expected to be out of fashion in a couple of years. Design is getting simpler and cleaner every day, so there won’t be any place left for the sophisticated vintage twirls soon.




Simpler concepts with elegant details

The modern icon concepts are often not too complicated since all the importance is given to the details. The pixel design, neat corners, crisp shadows makes them look superfine. Pixel objects tend to have less textures which quality may suffer depending on resolution. Simple interface implies front perspective and less tricky details.

Front perspective is especially helpful for viewing icons on iPhones and similar devices since they don’t support 3D yet.Many of Internet users enter the web world through their small lovely devices so keep in mind that simpler images built with front perspective will show up better on their mobile devices.



Larger  icons

The era of  72 dpi resolution and small icons seems to come to an end soon. As we know Mac OS X has a maximum icon resolution of  512×512 pixels.  Besides, a lot of modern monitors support 300 dpi resolution so it’s high time to start making the icons larger and louder, shouting about your company and its goodies.

You might have noticed the tendency of many websites to upgrade their designs with larger icons, headings and buttons. 24X24 is considered to small already.

Big icons may be created using both vector and pixel formats. But you will encounter big vector icons more often today. They are quite simple and sketchy and often use standard natural colors.


Rounded corners

Pleasantly curved, rounded corners are applied to the majority of web icons today. They impart icons a soother and calmer look and feel. Moreover, a new revolutionary method of creating rounded corners is becoming popular – that’s CSS3 scripting language. And this makes the implemention of the rounded corners even easier. The secret is pretty easy: the rounded looks more friendly and trustworthy which is of course appealing.



Social bookmarking icons of today

Unusual, catching social bookmarking icons are the trend nowadays. These icons are being more often used than the icons of any other kind. So their popularity is incontestable withing the last couple of years. Cartoon and humorous, light-minded social icons are as frequent as serious and clean-styled ones. They are drawn using the bigger sizes than earlier, too.



Back to natural colors

The year 2011 promises the renewal of the natural colors we used to play with when we were kids. This means the good old 12 color’s palette and reserved mixtures. Too bright, psychedelic, oxide tones are not so appealing nowadays. Sepia and other vintage color schemes are out of date. Such colors as clear blue, shiny yellow, green and red shades are more beloved by the today’s audience.

Keeping in mind the recent trends regarding web icons design you will be building brilliant modern interfaces which will lead more returning visitors to your websites. Stay inspired!


An expert columnist working with IconDemon.com, enthusiastic about exploratory and creative writing and professional web design.


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