30 Detailed Icon Design Tutorials for Adobe Photoshop

By on Photoshop

We are visual creatures. As much as we like to think we appreciate the inner quality of things, the reality is that we start off judging every book by its cover. It comes as no surprise then that icons have an enormous impact on how we experience the digital world. So as a web designer, the ability to create quality icons is critical to your ability to breathe life into people’s online experiences.

In this post, we have a vast collection of 30 icon design Photoshop tutorials that will help teach you the skills needed to create your own.

You might also like: Top 100 Tutorials for Mastering Photoshop.

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Create a Mobile App Icon in Photoshop

In this tutorial they explain how to design an icon for your mobile device’s home screen.

Create a Mobile App Icon in Photoshop

Create a Battery Core Icon in Photoshop

In this tutorial you’ll be creating a semi-realistic, sci-fi icon that could be used as a battery or dock icon.

Create a Battery Core Icon in Photoshop

How To Design a Realistic Takeout Coffee Icon

With this tutorial you’ll be walked through the process of creating the takeout coffee cup above from start to finish, exploring a wide variety of techniques in Photoshop that can be applied to almost any type of design and drawing.

How To Design a Realistic Takeout Coffee Icon

Create a Detailed Camera Icon

Simple icons are relatively easy to create but more realistic icons can be quite challenging. In this tutorial they’ll demonstrate how to create a detailed Fuji X100 camera icon in Photoshop.

Create a Detailed Camera Icon

Learn How To Create A Photoshop Style Pen Tool Icon

In this tutorial they’ll be showing you how to make your very own pen tool icon from scratch, using Photoshop CS5.

Learn How To Create A Photoshop Style Pen Tool Icon

Create a Cardboard Box Icon in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, they show you how to make a cardboard box that can be used for a number of purposes, such as for icons or for other design purposes.

Create a Cardboard Box Icon in Photoshop

Carbon Fibre Style Metallic Icon Design

Carbon Fibre Style Metallic Icon Design

Design a Detailed Audio Receiver Icon in Photoshop

Here they’ll show you how to create a detailed audio receiver icon using Photoshop’s vector editing capabilities.

Design a Detailed Audio Receiver Icon in Photoshop

Create a Download Folder Icon

In this tutorial they’ll demonstrate how to create a download folder icon using different shapes and reflections.

Create a Download Folder Icon

Make a Glossy Flash Drive Icon from Scratch

In this tutorial you are going to create a Flash Drive image which can be used as an icon or added to your design project.

Make a Glossy Flash Drive Icon from Scratch

Learn To Create A Glowing Google Plus Icon/Illustration

Google Plus is making its presence known all over the internet, so in this tutorial you’ll be shown you how to create your very own glowing Google plus icon/illustration.

Learn To Create A Glowing Google Plus Icon/Illustration

Creating a Set of Digital Painting Icons

In this tutorial they’ll create a paint brush icon, complete with wooden palette and paint dollops. Employing textures, layer styles and a good sense of lighting to create a fun looking icon.

Creating a Set of Digital Painting Icons

How to Illustrate a Realistic Guitar

In this tutorial you’re going to explore how easy it is to illustrate a guitar in Photoshop using tiny shapes, gradients and subtle shadows. Using these techniques and a good reference photo you can create an amazing amount of detail and realism.

How to Illustrate a Realistic Guitar tutorial

Create a Social Media UFO Icon

In this tutorial they’ll demonstrate how to create a completely unique UFO inspired social media icon based on a theme.

Create a Social Media UFO Icon

How To Draw a Vintage Polaroid Camera Icon

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a Polaroid camera icon using lots of layer styles and draw manually with the brush tool to achieve the realistic appearance.

How To Draw a Vintage Polaroid Camera Icon

Create A Camera Lens

In this detailed tutorial you’ll be shown how to create a cool camera lens in Photoshop. The camera lens later could be used as an icon or illustration.

Create A Camera Lens Photoshop icon tutorial

Open Book Icon

Open Book Icon Photoshop icon tutorial

How to Create an Envelope Icon in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you’ll go through the easy steps for creating this nice envelope icon. There’s a light use of the Pen Tool in the tutorial, but most of it uses Selection Tools to create this icon.

How to Create an Envelope Icon in Photoshop

Draw a Roll of Camera Film

In this tutorial they’ll demonstrate how to create a roll of camera film using Photoshop.

Draw a Roll of Camera Film icon tutorial photoshop

Detailed Vintage TV from Scratch

In this tutorial, they’ll show you how to create a detailed vintage TV from scratch using Photoshop’s vector editing capabilities. The detailed step by step guide will help you to understand the process of its creation.

Detailed Vintage TV icon from Scratch

Creating a Set of Digital Painting Icons

In this tutorial you’ll create a pen tablet icon from scratch, specifically the Wacom 12" Cintiq tablet. This model combines touch and pressure sensitivity, which allows users to draw directly on the screen. These capabilities make it a favorite for illustrators.

Creating a Set of Digital Painting Icons

Create a 3D Book Icon

This design tutorial explains how to draw a 3D book icon from scratch with the help of Photoshop, using the Pen Tool, Polygonal Lasso Tool, and Gradient Tool, among other things. A strong proficiency in drawing shapes is needed to complete this tutorial.

Create a 3D Book Icon

Iconic Retro-Modern Ball Chair

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create this iconic piece of furniture from scratch in Photoshop.

Iconic Retro Modern Ball Chair

Professional Buddy Icon

In this intermediate-level tutorial, they’ll show you how to make this awesome icon from scratch using Photoshop. You will need basic knowledge of Photoshop and familiarity with the Pen Tool.

Professional Buddy Icon photoshop tutorial

Electrical Outlet Icon

In this tutorial, you’ll be making use of vector masks and layer styles in Photoshop to create the high quality electrical outlet icon below.

Electrical Outlet Icon tutorial photoshop

Radar Icon in Photoshop

In this tutorial you’ll be shown how to create a Mac style radar icon in Photoshop. This could also be achieved easily in Fireworks or Illustrator.

Radar Icon in Photoshop

Create a Microchip Icon

In this Awesome Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to show you how to create a isometric microchip icon using basic drawing tools and transformations.

Create a Microchip Icon photoshop tutorial

Design a Sleek Google+ Icon

Design a Sleek Google+ Icon in photoshop

Cute Twitter Bird Icon

In this tutorial they’ll demonstrate how to create a cute Twitter bird icon in Photoshop.

 how to create a cute Twitter bird icon in Photoshop

Detailed Gauge Icon

Detailed Gauge Icon

Star Trek Style Communicator

In this tutorial, they’ll draw a retro Star Trek style communicator. they’ll combine layer styles and lots of manual drawing. So, prepare your Wacom to boldly go where no Photoshop tutorial has gone before.

In this tutorial they'll draw a retro Star Trek style communicator

Detailed Briefcase Icon

Follow this step by step guide to create the below briefcase icon in Photoshop. You’ll build the rough outline with basic shapes, then add depth and definition with various layer styles such as Inner Glow and Stroke.

Detailed Briefcase Icon


If you would rather create your icons in Adobe Illustrator, this collection of tutorials is what you need.