Settings Aesthetic Icon: How to Design the Perfect App Symbol


Hey there, tech enthusiast settings aesthetic icon. Ever wonder how some apps seem to nail that perfect icon design that makes you want to tap it? You know the ones – they’re beautiful, minimal, and evocative. As an app designer, creating an icon that captures the essence of your app and draws people in is crucial. If done right, a thoughtfully designed icon can convey your app’s brand and functionality instantly. But with so many apps competing for attention, standing out in the sea of icons isn’t easy. In this article, we’ll explore how to design an esthetic settings icon that wows your users and gives your app the stylish first impression it deserves. By the end, you’ll have the skills to craft an icon that’s minimal yet meaningful, and helps set your app apart.

What Is a Settings Aesthetic Icon?

A settings aesthetic icon is a minimal design representing the ability to customize options and preferences. For an app, it signifies a place where you can make changes to suit your needs.

What Makes an Effective Settings Icon?

An effective settings aesthetic icon should be:

•Simple and minimal. Focus on a single, bold image like a gear or tool to represent functionality. Too many details will make the icon look cluttered.

•Symbolic. Use an image that intuitively signifies “settings” or “options” like a gear, wrench or toolbox. This communicates the purpose instantly.

•Memorable. A unique shape, color scheme or style will help the icon stand out and stick in users’ minds. Think of how many apps use a basic cog icon—yours needs to be distinctive.

•Scalable. The icon should look clear and sharp whether it’s displayed small on a phone screen or large on a desktop monitor. Simple designs with high contrast tend to scale the best.

•Representative of your brand. Match the icon’s style, color palette and level of detail to your overall app design and brand image. This creates a cohesive experience for users.

•Forward-thinking. Anticipate how trends in minimalism, material design or other esthetics may change over the next couple years. An icon that looks fresh today may appear dated sooner than you expect.

With some thought and attention to these principles, you can design a memorable settings icon that communicates functionality, strengthens your brand image and stands the test of time. Users will appreciate an icon that simplifies their experience in your app.

Examples of Popular Settings Icons and Their Design Elements

When designing an icon for the Settings page of an app, you have a lot of options to choose from. The most recognizable symbols are:

The Gear

The gear or cogwheel is probably the most ubiquitous settings icon. It’s a simple metaphor for adjusting components or “tuning” your app. To make it unique, try adding visual elements inside the gear like arrows, switches or dials.

Dots or Lines

Three vertical dots or three horizontal lines are also popular choices. They represent a menu or list of options in a minimalist way. For extra visual interest, you can stack multiple dots or lines on top of each other.

Wrench or Tool

A wrench, screwdriver or other tool symbolizes making manual adjustments or tweaks. These are great if your app has a technical or mechanical theme. Tool icons tend to be on the more literal side, so stylize them to match your app’s visual style.


Up and down arrows are simple but effective icons for raising or lowering something – like volume, brightness or notification settings. Crossed arrows also represent navigation or switching between options. Arrows are a great choice if your settings control primarily sliders, toggles or steppers.

In the end, the best settings aesthetic icon for your needs depends on your app’s overall visual design and functionality. But by using familiar metaphors, keeping it simple yet meaningful, you’ll create an icon that is both esthetically pleasing and intuitive to users. Your app’s settings options are important, so make sure the icon that represents them is equally well-designed!

How to Choose the Right Visual Metaphor for Your App’s Settings Icon

Choosing the right visual metaphor for your app’s settings icon is key to conveying its purpose and resonating with your target audience. Consider the following tips:

Keep it Simple

A settings icon should be minimalistic and straightforward. Focus on one strong visual metaphor to represent configuring options. Avoid cluttered or busy designs which can confuse users. A single cogwheel, wrench or gear are popular, simple choices.

Use Meaningful Metaphors

Select a metaphor that intuitively signifies adjusting preferences or settings. A gear, dial or switch metaphor implies tuning or configuring. Arrows pointing in different directions suggest options or directions. A toolbox represents tools for customizing. Choose a metaphor that fits your app’s purpose and functionality.

Consider Your Audience

The icon’s style, color and level of simplicity depends on your target users. An app for children may use a fun, colorful metaphor like building blocks, while a productivity app would opt for a more serious metaphor in muted tones. Think about what would resonate most with your audience and match their expectations.

Keep it Consistent

Whichever visual metaphor you choose, use it consistently throughout your app’s interface. Apply the same style, color scheme and level of minimalism for a cohesive experience. This helps users instantly recognize and understand the function of the settings icon. Consistency builds familiarity.

Test and Refine

Get feedback on your settings icon designs to determine what resonates most with test users. Make refinements and try different options by adjusting the style, color or metaphor. User testing helps ensure an intuitive, meaningful settings icon that matches expectations. Continually improving the icon will provide the best user experience.

Following these tips will help you design an simple yet meaningful settings icon that intuitively resonates with your target audience. Keeping it minimal, using appropriate metaphors and testing options with users leads to an optimized icon that helps people instantly recognize and access your app’s settings.

Design Principles and Best Practices for Creating a Memorable Settings Icon

Designing an memorable settings icon requires following some key principles. The icon should clearly convey the function and purpose of the settings menu. It needs to be simple yet recognizable, with an esthetic aligned to your overall app design.


An effective settings icon communicates its purpose instantly. Use universal symbols that are unambiguous, such as a gear, wrench or toolbox. Avoid cryptic or abstract designs. If using text, choose a simple word like “Settings” or “Options.”


A simple icon with minimal details is most impactful. Remove any unnecessary elements. Aim for an icon that is straightforward, minimal and utilitarian. Too much visual noise will make the icon hard to process quickly.


Design your settings icon to match the style and esthetic of your overall app. Use similar colors, line weights, and level of minimalism or skeuomorphism. This helps to create a cohesive experience for users. If your app icon is round, keep the settings icon round too. Consistency builds familiarity.


Design your icon in multiple sizes – at least 36px, 48px and 512px. The icon should be just as clear and recognizable at small sizes as it is large. Simpler designs scale the best. Test your icon at all target sizes to ensure it translates well at any scale.


Inject some brand personality into your settings icon design. Use signature brand colors or unique stylistic elements that tie it to your overall visual identity. A dash of creativity helps to make the icon more memorable, as long as you don’t compromise its clarity or simplicity.

Following these best practices will help you design an settings icon that is clear, simple, consistent, scalable and full of personality. Crafting a memorable icon is key to providing an intuitive user experience in your app. Keep iterating and testing with users until you have an settings icon you’re proud of!

Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Your Own Custom Settings Icon

Designing your own custom settings icon is easier than you might think. Follow these steps to create an icon that matches your app’s esthetic and helps users intuitively navigate to the settings screen.

1. Define the Purpose

First, determine the primary function of the settings icon. Is it to adjust app preferences, change account info, or toggle features on/off? Understanding its core purpose will guide your design decisions.

2. Review Existing Icons

Study settings icons from popular apps for inspiration. Look for elements commonly used like gears, sliders, tools or switches. See what you like and want to emulate. But don’t directly copy another icon—make yours unique!

3. Sketch Some Concepts

Put pencil to paper and sketch 3-5 rough concepts. Simple shapes, lines and doodles are fine. Consider including:

  • Gears or sliders to represent adjustments
  • Wrenches or tools to signify settings
  • Toggles or switches for on/off functions

4. Refine and Digitize

Choose your favorite sketch and refine it, then use design software like Adobe XD to digitize and polish your icon. Clean up lines, align elements and ensure consistent stroke widths and spacing.

5. Test and Get Feedback

Show your icon to a few potential users and ask for their impressions. Does it clearly convey “settings”? Are there any issues with how elements are positioned or sized? Make final tweaks based on feedback.

6. Export and Implement

Export your icon as .png files in multiple sizes (at minimum, 16×16, 32×32 and 128×128 pixels). Add the icon to your app in the top toolbar or navigation menu to link users to the settings screen.

With some time and practice, you’ll be designing custom icons that enrich your users’ experience in no time. Let your creativity shine through—you’ve got the skills and tools to make a settings icon perfect for your app!


So there you have it, the key ingredients to crafting an appealing yet simple settings aesthetic icon. Keep it minimal, make it meaningful, and ensure it intuitively signifies what it represents. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating an icon that delights users and makes your app stand out. The details matter, so take your time and get creative. A thoughtfully designed icon can go a long way in providing a great first impression and overall experience. Now get to work and make something people will remember!

Leave a comment