9 Icon Designers To Be Watching Right Now
Hi, I’m Noah, Senior Icon Designer here at Font Awesome. I’ve always drawn very small — ever since I was young, I would doodle super tiny. I didn’t know why then, but after years of drawing tiny pictures, I think I’ve figured it out: icon sets are like tiny little universes. Through what they depict and how, you can glean a lot about what a product is, how it functions, and how you should feel while interacting with it.
This has led me to keep an eye on the icon scene at large, following along with colleagues worldwide whose work and approach to icons resonated with me.
Bonnie Kate is the OG of Figma icon design. While the rest of us were still struggling with Adobe products, she was cranking out fantastic work and having a much easier time doing it! BK has worked with tons of top-shelf clients, including Netflix, Airbnb, Lyft, Square, Meta, and Stripe. She’s also written a super helpful and comprehensive guide to product iconography. But most of all, her work is cohesive, fun, and meticulously considered.
What first drew me to Martin’s work was his studies of different materials and their application to iconography and spot illustration. There’s so much life and depth to his creations while showing cohesive restraint — attributes to aspire to!
I’ve followed Laura’s work since I first became aware of design and art collective Ghostly Ferns back in the day. Her icons and illustration systems are always top-notch, with a delightful dose of thrown-in fun and personality. I also had the pleasure of working alongside Laura to make icon stickers for FigJam when it first launched!
I’ve long admired Zach’s work, especially his amazing icon marketplace, Flaticons. Perusing through his portfolio years ago emboldened me to try a range of styles when pitching icons to clients and showed me there’s always another clever way to draw commonly-used glyphs.
Helena is a powerhouse of inspiration — her writings about icon principles alone could have saved me so much frustration when I was first starting out! But Helena and Tobias Fried also create and maintain the amazing Phosphor icon family, which was partially responsible for inspiring me to start my own icon side project Chunk.
I’d been aware of Vic’s talents for a bit, but not until we both participated in the A Gallery Far Far Away show at Creative South 2016 and I got to meet her did I really start paying attention. Everything she makes is dripping with personality and handcrafted charm. Also, if you’re a fan of the note taking app Bear, then you’re also a fan of Vic’s, so welcome to the club!
We may love Figma around here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep tabs on what other great design tools are up to. And one of the top contenders is Sketch, thanks in no small part to Prekesh’s work. Not easy to find such an aptitude for both app and UI icons in the same place!
If you’ve used Github for anything recently, you’re probably familiar with Gavin’s work. He’s a product and icon designer with a fantastic portfolio of client and personal projects under his belt (not to mention some great MacOS replacement icons. Slack and Blender are my favorites).
Michael has spent the last 4 years doing the impossible: combing through the complete history of iOS app icons and assembling the best of the best into his new tome The iOS App Icon Book. That alone would earn him a place on this list, but he’s also a prolific graphic and game designer in his own right.