Before uploading icons to Iconfinder, we recommend you to get familiar with the Criteria for approving icons. Our Content reviewers follow these criteria carefully and one of the things they take into account is aesthetic appeal.
Aesthetics is a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty. Beauty in icon design is very important, as no customer would like to buy ugly icons. They instead would prefer to buy icons that are nice to look at and that will look great on their website, app or presentation. Therefore, creating icon sets with high aesthetic appeal and attention to detail would most likely lead to more sales, as they will increase the curiosity of the customer.
To create a set that is attractive and aesthetically appealing, we recommend to use elements that look harmonious together, which means they match and look good when used together. Repeating design elements and rules (such as rounded or square corners, corner sizing, colors, line weights etc.) will result in a cohesive icon set. Therefore, the first step is to use consistent elements, which are very helpful to create visually appealing icons. Read more about Consistency.
Additionally, beauty is also related to uniqueness. Customers like to see nice icons that are not overly-inspired by other works and that try to do something new. Read more about Uniqueness.
Examples of sets with little aesthetic appeal
The set below, as an example, does fulfil all the other criteria, but it is simply not beautiful. The colors chosen are not good, as it would be difficult to imagine where these icons could be used with their current color theme. Read more about Colors.
This other set has unnecessary gradients and overall does not look beautiful. It is difficult to imagine these icons on a website or app.
Examples of beautiful sets
Below are some examples of icon sets of high aesthetic appeal.
Attractive icons with a simple line and fill combo and a pleasant color mix. Icons from Location Color by Elisabetta Calabritto
Another good-looking set within the filled outline style. Delivery and Logistics set by Iconfinder ApS
Some other useful links tackling the subject of aesthetics in icon design:
Small Elements, Big Impact: Types and Functions of UI Icons
Effects of the aesthetic design of icons on app downloads: evidence from an android market
Iconic Simplicity. The Vital Role of Icons
Check out all our Criteria for approving icons.