Icons are the traditionally small graphic elements that are used to provide information at a glance.
In terms of branding, icons can be used for almost any project from logo design to buttons to infographics. It's important to understand the value that custom icons can bring to your brand.
"An estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018." - Source
Icons are the top visual communicators, in order to ensure your audience reads and engages with your content you have to meet them at a visual level. Still not convinced? Keep reading.
1 | Reinforce Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is a powerful factor for any creative business. Brand recognition boosts sales, grows engagement and increases brand loyalty.
One of my top tips in improving brand recognition is utilizing custom brand graphics. The use of icons are especially great for brand recognition as they can communicate messages quickly, grab attention and can be used in a multitude of ways. For example, blog category icons can be used on your sidebar, social media graphics or archives page.
2 | Simplify Communication
As a creative entrepreneur your business is constantly communicating messages. You are informing your target audience about your services, showcasing your expertise and communicating call-to-actions. Wouldn't it be nice to communicate a few of these messages a little more effectively?
Of course it would, that is the importance of icons. Icons are great for simplifying communication and sending messages to your audience. Icons can break up text, be used as buttons or categorize steps to easily educate your audience.
3 | Grab attention
Visuals, especially icons, are great for grabbing the attention of your audience.
Your website is filled with content from blog posts, service descriptions or about pages. High-levels of content can be easily broken up with the use of icons to improve attention rates. For example, think of a services page. You probably share your process or a few steps to book your services. Well, wouldn't it be easier if you could demonstrate this process with the use of visual aids? Look at how Nesha Woolery utilizes icons for her design process:
4 | Stand out
Custom brand icons can also diversify your brand identity from your competition.
The way your target audience experiences your brand helps you stand out. "63% of consumers say they have engaged with disappointing brand content and 23% said they wouldn’t read that brand’s content again after that". - Source.
The use of icons can improve your brands visibility, understanding and audience preference. By adding icons to your website, logos or content upgrades you are using these simple graphics as branding leverage.
5 | Endless Opportunities
Once you've decided to start utilizing custom icons the possibilities are endless.
One of the things that is so beneficial about icons is that they can be easily used on multiple formats. If you create icons for each of your blogs categories, for example, you can use them as buttons, on blog and social media graphics, saved Instagram story covers, opt=ins, content upgrades, etc. The possible locations depend solely on your creativity and available resources.
Which of these five reasons did you find most surprising? Let me know in the comments!