I downloaded an icon pack and there isn't an icon for a certain category in my project.I want to keep my icons consistent with the look so what should I do in this situation? Do I just look for something that is the closest in looks? Also in terms of sizes of the icons, should they be the same width and height? Or is it ok to have one higher than the other?

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There are a few options here. I'll list what I usually do below:

  1. If I am looking to create a new icon that matches the set, first thing I'll do it open illustrator to see if I can grab different parts of the original icons in the set to create a new icon. This works fairly well because I know that the weights and structure will be consistent and will look like it was always included in the set.

  2. if option 1 isn't possible, I can usually find the icon in another set that matches pretty well. Most users will not notice the difference if you choose the second set wisely.

  3. If neither of the above options are possible. I will create an icon from scratch using the weights and fills from the original set as a "template", trying to maintain the look and dimensions as I go.

Also in terms of sizes of the icons, should they be the same width and height? Or is it ok to have one higher than the other?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this one. I'll provide a couple answers based on how I can interpret your question.

if your question is asking about visual use of the icons

Consistency in your design is paramount. Making similar objects visually equal help the user to quickly digest and categorize information. If similar objects (icons) have a different weight or scale, users will perceive the object as being unique to the other objects, which might lead to confusion or a different interpretation of the message being delivered.

if your question is in regards to implementing the icons on the web

Yes you should try to keep the icons similar heights/widths. This makes it easier to implement without having to control the presentation with css.

  • In regards to your last comment about try to keep the icons similar heights/widths. If I do the exact size for example 45 x 45 then sometimes the icon looks a little off. I sometimes need to lower or add more height or width because then one of them will look almost stretched. Will that be ok? Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 20:43
  • Should be fine if you can get it to work. When exporting Icons I will usually set up a grid of artboards at the same size, then fit each icon in the available space. Meaning, I'll scale each icon as large as I can get it in the artboard until it reaches the maximum vertical or horizontal length then center the icon within the artboard. You can use Object > Artboards > Fit to Artwork in Illustrator.
    – bbarringer
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 17:33
  • Sorry, That command wasn't correct. The only way to bit an object to an artboard is with an AI Script like this one gist.github.com/ruandre/7b47cbf2a4c55dac9adb
    – bbarringer
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 17:43

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