When making an icon or a logo it might be very tempting to push and reduce it to the limit to achieve the absolutely minimal symbol.
For example: tiny photo of a floppy disk -> cartoonish picture of a floppy disk -> stylised floppy disk icon -> flat/metro/modern floppy disk icon -> solid blue square.
Is there any non-subjective way of deciding where is the line between skeuomorphism and ultra-minimalism?
PS: I am asking this as a developer who has to design GUI and occasionally icons and who is interested in identity design.
PPS: shouldn’t there be an “art-direction” tag?
I’ve designed minimalist icon sets and there are three factors which, together, make for a pretty clear indication of where the line should be. In order of importance:
- Usability (which, ultimately, is what icons should be for) – the most important line is the point beyond which where more minimalism makes it slower and less automatic to see what the icon is supposed to be, in context. Three important notes:
- If you don’t already, test your icons on people who aren’t involved in the project to make sure they really do look like what you want them to. Don’t just guess, you’re too close to the material to reliably make this call.
- Test them in context
- Remember that people don’t look directly at icons and study them (and if they have to, you’ve failed), they need to be something that catches the right users’ eye and is obviously what it’s supposed to be while the user is not lookng directly at them.
- Consistency – you want your icons to have the same level of minimalism, which typically means, having the same level as whatever the most difficult to represent item in your icon set is.
- Any additional brand style requirements – does you brand style favour sharp angles or curves, geometric perfection or the organic look, etc etc?
Typically, you’ll need to be very slightly under the level of minimalism required to make the most difficult item in your set simple and clear, in order to be able to make the set consistent with the rest of your brand style.
Source : Link , Question Author : Den , Answer Author : user56reinstatemonica8