Tags for icons can be divided into different categories, and each category represents different types of searches. Below are examples of the various types of tags you should try and use to describe your icons.

Nouns

Nouns are by far the most common search term for icons. Noun tags must concretely represent the motif of the icon.

Heart

Multiple nouns

Quite often an icon can represent multiple nouns, which are equally important to different customers.

User, Man, Person

Plural nouns

In general tags are in singular form but, in some cases, the plural form of a tag is the most descriptive.

Users

Cars

Verbs

Some icons represent an action rather than a thing. Dancing, Walking, Talking and Flying are all verbs that can be represented by icons.

Dancing

Walking

Talking

Flying

Imperatives (actions)

Searches for verbs in imperative mood are used a lot in software interface design. Action related icons are often used to describe what happens when users click buttons.

Delete

Download

Abstract Nouns (phenomenons)

Some icons represent a phenomenon. Phenomenons are technically nouns, but represent mostly abstract nouns. Abstract nouns can also be concepts where the understanding of the motif relies of cultural understanding or contextual interpretation.

Abstract icons can include

Security

Power

Love

Traffic

No entry

Some concepts share their descriptive tags with others, making for mixed results. Yet, in high level relevance, all tags are equal. Stop, as an example, can both be used to control a media player as well as a prohibiting a person from entering a room.

Stop

Finally, make sure to avoid non-descriptive and design related tags, unless that's what your icon truly represents. We already have additional filters in place to allow users to search by style. For example, please do not use the following:

  • icon
  • icons
  • svg
  • png
  • vector
  • symbol
  • glyph
  • flat
  • ai
  • vista
  • 3d
  • simple
  • button
  • handdrawn
  • pictogram
  • raw
  • pixel
  • perfect
  • outline
  • graphic
  • smooth
  • photorealistic

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