I'm trying to come up with an icon that would be understood to mean "upgrade" - the user should click on that icon if he wants to upgrade his application/subscription/whatever to a "premium" level.

I've searched the web but all I've found were either icons that included the text "upgrade" or icons that I, at least, would not understand to mean "upgrade".

So how can I convey the "upgrade" message with an icon?


@closevoters See this meta answer (highest voted there). I'm not asking for you to select between icons. I'm asking for the icon "idea" that conveys the message of upgrade.


4 Answers 4


Level up icon

Ok, on a more serious note:

I envision a badge or certificate-looking seal with an up arrow to indicate "Upgrade".

Something like this:

Upgrade Badge/Icon

  • The badge is a nice idea. It certainly conveys some sense of "premium". Thanks.
    – ispiro
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:24
  • No problem. Glad I could help. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 21:03

From my experience, it's almost always best not to use an icon without text if there isn't already a very, very commonly used icon for the desired action.

I was once running a comprehension test on potential users for the Waze gps app and almost no one could say what one of their icons was supposed to communicate because they had never seen it before.

  • Thanks. This is good advice. Unfortunately, I can only accept one answer.
    – ispiro
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 20:09

It's best to use an icon that people already know.

The Apple Store uses this: Apple Store Update

The App Store uses this: App Store Update

Note that they both include a text label.


Is this icon helpful?


Arrow: Shows files needs to be downloaded.

Plus: Shows files are new.

Horizontal Bar with three white circles: Shows an electronic system where new files will be downloaded.

enter image description here

Let me know if that works.

  • Nice idea. Though about the little circles - I'm not sure they'll be clear when the icon is shrunk to size. But still a good idea. Thanks.
    – ispiro
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:23
  • Its a good point but it helps sometimes. Also I wanted to know which file type are you planning to use. If you want I can send you a file for high resolution. I am not sure uploading here and downloading will decrease the quality of file.
    – Tanmay
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:39

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