How can I make my graphics look less “cartoony”?

To begin with, I’m a programmer — not a graphic designer, so I’m not very good at making pleasing looking images. But I want some that at least look decent enough for version 1 of my video app, and I came up with a bunch of logos for it. I have one here:

example 1

Here is another:
example 2

I’ve been bugging my friends for feedback, and they seem to think the images are too cartoony looking. I don’t really know how to fix this, so I welcome suggestions from the professionals!


I followed some of your all’s recommendations. The new image is:

example 3

I redid the star from scratch entirely. My friends really like the new look of it. I’m still not sure about the blue border though. I’ve been messing around with it for 3 hours and can’t get something that “clicks” for me.

Oh, and I remember where my idea for the icon came from. I originally had just a star, but that seemed too generic, so my buddy suggested making it like a Hollywood star, and those stars have a little camera in them.


Your current icon is bordering upon iMovie infringement. 🙂 If Apple approved it, then I guess they feel it’s okay. But knowing Apple, things could change.

A Few psychological notations:

  • Curved paths always feel less serious and more friendly. Using
    straight paths for the star would give it more of a serious
  • High contrast also lends to a more professional feeling, especially
    where icon design is concerned. You want things to be equally
    distinguishable at 16px as they are at 256 px.
  • Your shine, or reflection on the center has a couple issues. It’s
    curved the wrong direction for its’ size and it covers far too much
    of the center. You may benefit from looking at real water droplets to see how light plays out on them. There are generally a couple small highlights and a subtle larger highlight, but nothing as dramatic as you currently have.
  • The first thing I saw was “iMovie”. That’s not a bad thing
    necessarily, but if you want to distinguish your app as something
    unrelated to iMovie, you may want to rethink the star with a camera in the center of it.

The more you use curved paths and low contrast the more “cartoony” an icon will seem.

Source : Link , Question Author : Nick , Answer Author : Scott

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