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I'm trying to think of a way to visually depict the meaning of "wish" or "wishlist". I'd prefer to stay more on the side of "wish" than "list" as I'd rather avoid an icon of a list.

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what's the context? where do you want to use this icon? That might help you get better suggestions. – Lauren Ipsum Dec 30 '13 at 17:21
Wow, there's not much on the Noun Project for "wishlist"... at time of commenting, the only result is a 'User deals' icon that to me looks more like "slavery and people trafficking"... not a good look................. – user568458 Dec 30 '13 at 17:58
Context is a wishlist on a website. – Keavon Dec 30 '13 at 21:07
There are lots of types of website... Is it an ecommerce site/shop, or a task/to-do/bucket list site, or tickets, or dating, or something else? Is the wishlist for the user to store things for themselves, or is it for their friends to browse when choosing them gifts, or both, or something else? – user568458 Dec 31 '13 at 11:41
Good point. I don't have any specific context so I'm open to all types of answers. I don't have any immediate need but I was curious and thought it could help others as well. – Keavon Dec 31 '13 at 19:35
up vote 5 down vote accepted

If what you want is a button that people press so that they can come back to a product later, that's very similar to 'favouriting' something: storing it to come back to it later.

Stars are very often used here: from a usabilty point of view, a simple star icon will probably get across the idea "Press here to come back to this later" more efficiently than anything else.

enter image description here

To specify that this stars products, or that people can buy you it as a gift, you could combine ideas:

enter image description here

...for example.

Context should be enough to get across whether this is "add to wishlist" or "go to wishlist": if it's next to a product, it's to do with that product, if it's next to your username, "my account", "log out", "basket" etc at the top, it's a page to do with that account.

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For wishlists, I would personally suggest using either a star (already suggested), or a heart.

Since a product you add to your wishlist is something you wish for, and the wish comes from your heart, it can be argued that a heart icon can be a good choice for a wishlist or favourite list.

Add to wishlist - heart with a "plus" icon overlaid, grey background to show not wishlisted yet.
Add to wishlist - heart with a "plus" icon overlaid, grey background to show not wishlisted yet.

Wishlisted - red heart without the "plus" icon.
Wishlisted - red heart without the "plus" icon.

Hope this helps.

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A gift box icon like this would work:

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The box makes me more think of a shopping list (to buy presents)... – Johan.A Dec 29 '13 at 10:56
I would say that depends on what other icons you use. The present will work; if your other icons - such as "shopping" would either be a shopping cart or a shopping bag (such as Google Play store icon). – Benteh Dec 29 '13 at 14:59

I saw Aladdin's lamp for that once (I think on Amazon).

enter image description here

A larger version, from iconshock (commercial, therefore the nag lines):

enter image description here

Personally, I would add stars and sparkles like in the first one.

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Very good suggestion, this would make me appreciate the web designer behind a webshop. Unfortunately it has a downside, what about users that don't know the Aladdin story..? – Alph.Dev Feb 26 '15 at 12:00

you could represent it with a cupcake and a candle (or just the candle)?

When it's not selected it can just be a silhouette of an unlit cupcake (or just the candle), but when it's elected the candle can be lit with a bit more color/form.

lit candle

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A cupcake is a good idea, even without a candle. The lone candle probably isn't as good of an idea. – Keavon Jan 1 '14 at 0:04

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