AI vs. Human precision: the icon design showdown

3 min readMar 21, 2024


We tested various tools against a real design challenge to see if AI can match human precision and creativity.

In the quest for the ideal icon, AI-generated options are on the table. We tested various AI icon tools within a real design scenario, encountering a mix of frustrations and surprises. Below, we delve into their applicability for future design needs.

Our design challenge

We need icons for a minimalist food app interface, specifically targeting the “drinks” category.

Food delivery app mockup
Food delivery app mockup

Our goal: source AI-generated, decorative outlined icons that resonate with the app’s aesthetic.

The search was for specific icons: an apple, cheese, cocktail, and cake.

The ideal solution? A tool crafting consistent, editable vector icons (SVGs). We sifted through numerous options, focusing on those promising style customization and vector output.

SVG icon generators results

In pursuing the perfect icon set for a food app, we assessed various AI-powered tools, each promising ease and innovation. Here’s a concise breakdown of our findings:


While offering SVG output, NeoSVG’s lack of preset options and inconsistent stroke thickness limit its utility despite a $15 monthly fee.


Akin to an AI-enhanced Canva, Kittl allows significant creative flexibility. Yet, despite these features, the icons lacked consistency and clarity, even at a similar price point.

Magician Figma Plugin

A standout for UX design, this plugin integrates directly with Figma, delivering more coherent and usable icons, especially compared to other tools.


As a no-cost solution, Recraft impresses with its variety and quick, quality outputs. However, inconsistencies like erratic line styles detract from its overall effectiveness.

IconGen and Icon Wizard AI

These tools falter with raster outputs and imprecise designs, demonstrating limitations for refined UI work despite their promotional claims.

IconGen results
Icon Wizard AI results

Iconbot for Telegram

Uniquely positioned as a free Telegram bot, Iconbot offers simplicity and speed, though its output requires further refinement for professional use.

Concluding insights

Our exploration underlines a prevailing truth: while AI tools offer novelty and speed, they often fall short of the meticulous standards demanded in professional design. For now, the reliability of human-crafted icons remains unmatched.

For a visual comparison and deeper insights, we juxtapose these AI-generated icons against those crafted by seasoned designers. They are available for your perusal and use in your projects.

Dive into the detailed process of icon generation on Icons8’s blog.




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