Hi icon designers!
When reviewing, I follow Iconfinder’s criteria for icons: http://support.iconfinder.com/en/articles/2529941-criteria-for-getting-icons-approved
I was thinking of posting something about some of the most common bad practices I encounter during my review process. These are not always rejection reasons, but you should take them into consideration before uploading. They will help you design better icons and me to approve more of them faster.
1. Not all icons sets must cover all the styles. When converting sets to other styles, make sure to adapt them to the new style
This happens quite often - many designers always make the same set in all styles. While this is not a bad way of getting stuff organized, it often falls a bit short of making those styles work. What I mean by this is that an icon that started life as an outline on a 64px grid will not necessarily make a good glyph icon without some additional work. Also in reverse, a nice UI glyph at 24px or smaller will not be really good as a 128px spot icon without some additional work.
Similarly, there are very limited use cases for UI icons with a steep gradient smooth style. Avoid converting plain glyphs to gradient icons, as these do not have any practical use (while technically correct)
For these reasons, we are not approving direct conversions from style to style where we see a problem with usability on sets. The most common rejection is the outline to glyph.
We wrote about direct style conversions in one of the Designer reports: https://blog.iconfinder.com/iconfinder-designer-report-q4-2019-99c3e5fba587#6fd9
2. Make text fit the icons, don't just use a font
This would be the second most common thing I see and send back to the designers for revision. Making nice outline icons and then just adding Times New Roman over it, instead of making those fonts from lines is not a good practice. Matching the text with the icon style might take more time, but it makes all the difference. By inserting a font, not only you create inconsistencies, but you also lowering the quality of the design. Whenever you are using text in icons, make sure the text matches the icon style.
However, try to avoid using text in icons. It limits their usability. Read about text and icons in this article: http://support.iconfinder.com/en/articles/2549020-quality-standards
3. Don’t make variations of same icons on different background shapes
Try to not simply add a background shape to icons you have already uploaded and call it a new set. For example, placing icons on a colored circle or square will not add anything of value to the icons. Read about variations: http://support.iconfinder.com/en/articles/2611383-variations
4. Long-shadow icons
Long shadow badge-y circle icons are not selling anymore. Choose to create flat icons instead those were the starting point of the long shadow trend anyways but are much more usable.
5. Tagging all icons of a set with the exact same keywords is a bad idea.
You want your set to cover multiple tags and these tags need to describe what the icon is. This is to make the icons easy to find for customers. If all your icons have the exact same tags, they will be competing against each other among the search results and it will also make the search results less relevant.
6. Gradients on outline icons
Please avoid uploading these outline variations, black or any other fill color outline will suffice, normal users have a hard time changing and customizing gradients. You are just limiting the use of your icons by applying gradients on outlines.
7. Try and leave unexpanded outlines where possible - don't upload multiple outline sets with different line weights
This gives the users a lot of flexibility when using your icons, adjusting the line weight.
All the best from the review queue 🙂