Pixel-snapping in Icon Design

This article discusses pixel-snapping in icon design and whether it is still a best practice given advances in display technology. The author, Helena Zhang, conducted a test of different icon variants exported from Illustrator and Sketch at various sizes and displayed on different devices and browsers. Some of the key findings include:

– Pixel-snapping icons to 1px or 0.5px generally produced the sharpest results, though the importance depended on factors like device resolution and scale. 

– The device had a bigger impact on rendering than the browser or design software. Operating systems influenced anti-aliasing.

– SVGs outperformed PNGs and were more forgiving of non-pixel-snapped icons since they scale vectorly.

– “Sharp” wasn’t always the best metric; sometimes pixel-snapping led to undesirable jaggedness. 

The author recommends using SVGs when possible and pixel-snapping to 1px or 0.5px as best practices. However, icon legibility should take priority over pixel perfection. Real-world icons often don’t strictly follow guidelines. In summary, the article evaluates pixel-snapping recommendations through testing and provides updated guidance for icon designers.