Enhancing Your Message with Icons

Katie Donlan
Enhancing Your Message with Icons

When it comes to communications, icons are a powerful visual tool that can speak just as loudly as words. Icons are a useful tool in your marketing arsenal that can be used to support both communication and branding.

The Nature of Icons

Merriam Webster defines an icon as “a usually pictorial representation.” In graphic design, icons are used as symbols that represent a larger idea. They are visual tools that can be stylistically derived from a logo and made to match other brand elements.

ARMStaffing Icons
For a client, we designed a logo and custom icons that are inspired by the simplicity and curvy line art of the logo.


They can cross language barriers or even be universally recognized (think of road signs or mobile icons). They can directly link to a single idea, but they also have the ability to compress a complex concept into one simple picture.

This is highly valuable in marketing, with studies showing that 90% of information transmitted to the human brain is visual. Not only is it much more palatable to modern audiences to present information visually, it’s also more effective, as it increases retention of information by 29–42%.

How Icons Can Be Used 

There are a number of ways icons can simplify messaging. They can be used to break up sections of text, or in lieu of text altogether. They can also be used as labels that categorize information—all making information easily digestible for viewers.

We used icons to divide sections of our website and make navigation easier for users.


Whatever their function, one of the main benefits is that icons can help unify communications when used across platforms. From presentations, to websites, to brochures, to apps, to trade show booths—if used consistently to present information, icons start to become part of a product’s brand imagery, helping to reinforce that visual identity. And when they are used consistently across a range of communications, they become a part of the ecosystem of elements that work together to deliver messaging in a concise and familiar way.

Give your audience a break by enhancing your communications with visuals! Download our free set of icons to help get you started:



Here are examples of some icons we’ve created to support our clients’ communications. What kind of custom icons can we create for your brand?

  • MillerKeystone Example
  • Federal Student Aid Example



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