Iconography

Icons enhance Morningstar products by visually communicating meaning, actions, status, and feedback while helping to reduce cognitive load.

Component icons are used to construct controls and enhance other components.

  • These icons are interactive and generally have multiple states applied to them.
  • Many components—like Buttons, List Groups and Headers—account for the use of icons to enhance their display. See component documentation pages for details on using and sizing icons.
  • They’re available at two fixed sizes: Small and Default.

IP Icons

IP icons represent Morningstar’s intellectual property and should not be used to represent anything other than their established meanings. For example, the star icon represents the Morningstar Star Rating and the style-box icons are used to communicate the investment style of a group of holdings.

  • Some IP icons are only available in the Morningstar Symbols font, see the Typography page for more information

Available Icons

Default Size

alert
alert
bell
bell
bell-padless
bell-padless
bookmark
bookmark
bookmark-fill
bookmark-fill
bullhorn-padless
bullhorn-padless
caret-circle-down
caret-circle-down
caret-circle-left
caret-circle-left
caret-circle-right
caret-circle-right
caret-circle-up
caret-circle-up
caret-down
caret-down
caret-left
caret-left
caret-right
caret-right
caret-up
caret-up
chat-bubble
chat-bubble
check
check
clock
clock
clock-back
clock-back
collapse
collapse
create-padless
create-padless
crosshair
crosshair
cursor
cursor
dash-horizontal
dash-horizontal
dash-vertical
dash-vertical
document
document
download
download
download-cloud
download-cloud
ellipsis-circle
ellipsis-circle
ellipsis-horizontal
ellipsis-horizontal
ellipsis-vertical
ellipsis-vertical
envelope
envelope
exclaim
exclaim
exclaim-circle-fill
exclaim-circle-fill
expand
expand
eye
eye
file-cabinet-padless
file-cabinet-padless
folder-close
folder-close
funnel
funnel
funnel-fill
funnel-fill
gear
gear
grab-handle
grab-handle
group
group
group-column
group-column
group-row
group-row
hand
hand
heart
heart
home
home
home-padless
home-padless
import
import
info-circle
info-circle
info-circle-fill
info-circle-fill
jump-column
jump-column
list
list
lock-close
lock-close
lock-open
lock-open
marker
marker
marker-fill-padless
marker-fill-padless
marquee-select
marquee-select
marquee-zoom
marquee-zoom
menu-padless
menu-padless
minus
minus
news
news
object-plus
object-plus
open-new
open-new
paperclip
paperclip
paperclip-angle
paperclip-angle
pause-circle
pause-circle
pencil
pencil
person
person
person-group
person-group
person-padless
person-padless
person-plus
person-plus
play-circle
play-circle
plus
plus
print
print
question-circle
question-circle
question-circle-padless
question-circle-padless
refresh
refresh
remove
remove
scale
scale
search
search
search-list
search-list
search-padless
search-padless
share
share
stop-circle
stop-circle
text-size
text-size
trash
trash
triangle-fill-down
triangle-fill-down
triangle-fill-left
triangle-fill-left
triangle-fill-right
triangle-fill-right
triangle-fill-up
triangle-fill-up
undo
undo
upload
upload
wrench-padless
wrench-padless

IP Icons

performance-arrow-down
performance-arrow-down
performance-arrow-up
performance-arrow-up
pillar-negative
pillar-negative
pillar-neutral
pillar-neutral
pillar-positive
pillar-positive
quartile-empty
quartile-empty
quartile-first
quartile-first
quartile-fourth
quartile-fourth
quartile-second
quartile-second
quartile-third
quartile-third
sector-basic-materials
sector-basic-materials
sector-communication-services
sector-communication-services
sector-consumer-cyclical
sector-consumer-cyclical
sector-consumer-defensive
sector-consumer-defensive
sector-energy
sector-energy
sector-financial-services
sector-financial-services
sector-healthcare
sector-healthcare
sector-industrials
sector-industrials
sector-real-estate
sector-real-estate
sector-technology
sector-technology
sector-utilities
sector-utilities
size-aggregate-large-cap
size-aggregate-large-cap
size-aggregate-mid-cap
size-aggregate-mid-cap
size-aggregate-small-cap
size-aggregate-small-cap
star-rating
star-rating
star-rating-hypo
star-rating-hypo
style-aggregate-core
style-aggregate-core
style-aggregate-growth
style-aggregate-growth
style-aggregate-value
style-aggregate-value
style-box
style-box
style-box-bottom-left
style-box-bottom-left
style-box-bottom-mid
style-box-bottom-mid
style-box-bottom-right
style-box-bottom-right
style-box-middle-left
style-box-middle-left
style-box-middle-mid
style-box-middle-mid
style-box-middle-right
style-box-middle-right
style-box-top-left
style-box-top-left
style-box-top-mid
style-box-top-mid
style-box-top-right
style-box-top-right
sustainability
sustainability

Small Size

alert--s
alert--s
alert-fill--s
alert-fill--s
angle-double-down--s
angle-double-down--s
angle-double-left--s
angle-double-left--s
angle-double-right--s
angle-double-right--s
angle-double-up--s
angle-double-up--s
angle-down--s
angle-down--s
angle-left--s
angle-left--s
angle-right--s
angle-right--s
angle-up--s
angle-up--s
bell--s
bell--s
bookmark--s
bookmark--s
bookmark-fill--s
bookmark-fill--s
caret-circle-down--s
caret-circle-down--s
caret-circle-left--s
caret-circle-left--s
caret-circle-right--s
caret-circle-right--s
caret-circle-up--s
caret-circle-up--s
caret-down--s
caret-down--s
caret-left--s
caret-left--s
caret-right--s
caret-right--s
caret-up--s
caret-up--s
chat-bubble--s
chat-bubble--s
check--s
check--s
clock--s
clock--s
document--s
document--s
download--s
download--s
ellipsis-circle--s
ellipsis-circle--s
ellipsis-horizontal--s
ellipsis-horizontal--s
ellipsis-vertical--s
ellipsis-vertical--s
envelope--s
envelope--s
exclaim--s
exclaim--s
exclaim-circle-fill--s
exclaim-circle-fill--s
expand--s
expand--s
eye--s
eye--s
folder-close--s
folder-close--s
funnel--s
funnel--s
funnel-fill--s
funnel-fill--s
gear--s
gear--s
grab-handle--s
grab-handle--s
heart--s
heart--s
home--s
home--s
info-circle--s
info-circle--s
info-circle-fill--s
info-circle-fill--s
list--s
list--s
minus--s
minus--s
open-new--s
open-new--s
pause-circle--s
pause-circle--s
pencil--s
pencil--s
person--s
person--s
person-group--s
person-group--s
person-plus--s
person-plus--s
play-circle--s
play-circle--s
plus--s
plus--s
question-circle--s
question-circle--s
remove--s
remove--s
search--s
search--s
trash--s
trash--s
triangle-fill-down--s
triangle-fill-down--s
triangle-fill-up--s
triangle-fill-up--s
undo--s
undo--s
upload--s
upload--s

IP Icons

performance-arrow-down--s
performance-arrow-down--s
performance-arrow-up--s
performance-arrow-up--s
pillar-negative--s
pillar-negative--s
pillar-neutral--s
pillar-neutral--s
pillar-positive--s
pillar-positive--s
quartile-empty--s
quartile-empty--s
quartile-first--s
quartile-first--s
quartile-fourth--s
quartile-fourth--s
quartile-second--s
quartile-second--s
quartile-third--s
quartile-third--s
sector-basic-materials--s
sector-basic-materials--s
sector-communication-services--s
sector-communication-services--s
sector-consumer-cyclical--s
sector-consumer-cyclical--s
sector-consumer-defensive--s
sector-consumer-defensive--s
sector-energy--s
sector-energy--s
sector-financial-services--s
sector-financial-services--s
sector-healthcare--s
sector-healthcare--s
sector-industrials--s
sector-industrials--s
sector-real-estate--s
sector-real-estate--s
sector-technology--s
sector-technology--s
sector-utilities--s
sector-utilities--s
size-aggregate-large-cap--s
size-aggregate-large-cap--s
size-aggregate-mid-cap--s
size-aggregate-mid-cap--s
size-aggregate-small-cap--s
size-aggregate-small-cap--s
star-rating--s
star-rating--s
star-rating-hypo--s
star-rating-hypo--s
style-aggregate-core--s
style-aggregate-core--s
style-aggregate-growth--s
style-aggregate-growth--s
style-aggregate-value--s
style-aggregate-value--s
style-box--s
style-box--s
style-box-bottom-left--s
style-box-bottom-left--s
style-box-bottom-mid--s
style-box-bottom-mid--s
style-box-bottom-right--s
style-box-bottom-right--s
style-box-middle-left--s
style-box-middle-left--s
style-box-middle-mid--s
style-box-middle-mid--s
style-box-middle-right--s
style-box-middle-right--s
style-box-top-left--s
style-box-top-left--s
style-box-top-mid--s
style-box-top-mid--s
style-box-top-right--s
style-box-top-right--s
sustainability--s
sustainability--s

Design Approach

Icon Grid

Simple, clear, and consistent icons require the rigor of underlying grid.

Construction & Visual Style

Icons use simple geometric shapes and 1-pixel strokes.

Figure 1. Design process for the gear icon.

The gear icon is an excellent example of a complex icon that is derived from simple geometric shapes. The grid guides the positioning of the shapes. Once on the grid, those shapes are refined and combined. Removing what isn’t necessary allows the icon’s essential form to shine through.

When designing a new icon, always consider it in the context of the entire icon family. For example, the gear icon is more complex than others, but following our construction and style guidelines allow it to harmoniously pair with others.

Do use right angles, a consistent 1-pixel stroke, and square terminals.
Do use right angles, a consistent 1-pixel stroke, and square terminals.
Don‘t use an inconsistent stroke and rounded terminals.
Don‘t use an inconsistent stroke and rounded terminals.
Do use minimal detail to reduce the icon to its essential form.
Do use minimal detail to reduce the icon to its essential form.
Don‘t add superfluous detail to the icon from.
Don‘t add superfluous detail to the icon from.
Do enable “Pixel Preview” and “Snap to Grid” when creating new icons.
Do enable “Pixel Preview” and “Snap to Grid” when creating new icons.
Don‘t place artwork off the pixel grid when creating new icons.
Don‘t place artwork off the pixel grid when creating new icons.

Saving Icon Artwork as SVG

To ensure that icon artwork is optimized to work with the MDS iconography system, always take the following steps when saving individual icons as files.

1. Create your artwork using the appropriate Adobe Illustrator icon template file. Place your icon on the Artwork layer and make sure to save a pre-production version of your file.

2. In the Layers palette, delete all but the Artwork layer.

Layers palette in Illustrator.

3. Outline all strokes, and use the Unite option in the Shape Modes section of the Pathfinder tool to convert the icon to a compound shape.

Pathfinder tool in Illustrator

4. Select the compound shape and set the fill to solid black #000000.

5. Save as an SVG.

Deselect the following in the "SVG Options" dialog:

  • Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities
  • Responsive (Under "More Options")
SVG Options dialog in Illustrator.

6. Optimize the SVG using SVGOMG:

  1. Upload your pre-optimized SVG
  2. Leave all settings at their default
  3. Save your optimized SVG

7. Confirm that the SVG file contains no irrelevant code by opening the .svg file in any text editor. It should not contain any references to Adobe Illustrator, hex codes, or class or id names. For example:

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="23" height="23" viewBox="0 0 23 23"><path d="M20 19.3l-4.9-4.9c1.2-1.3 1.9-3.1 1.9-5 0-4-3.4-7.4-7.5-7.4S2 5.4 2 9.5 5.4 17 9.5 17c1.9 0 3.6-.7 4.9-1.8l4.9 4.9.7-.8zM3 9.5C3 5.9 5.9 3 9.5 3S16 5.9 16 9.5 13.1 16 9.5 16 3 13.1 3 9.5z" /></svg>

The icon artwork is now ready for use in MDS.

Custom Icons

Custom Icons Not in MDS

If your product team uses custom icons that are not included in MDS, you should implement them within your own application using the same SVG sprite method as the System. To ensure that your custom icons are optimized for the MDS, use the saving icon artwork as SVG process.

Adding Custom Icons to MDS

If you believe that custom icons in your product should be added to MDS, first identify one or more additional teams that have a need for the icon. Ensure that your custom icon follows our design approach and prepare your icon artwork using the saving icon artwork as SVG process.

Submit the icon to be added to MDS by speaking to Jonathan Duncan, the iconography segment owner, or by emailing designsystem@morningstar.com. Once the new icon has been reviewed, the System team will work with you to include the new icon in an upcoming release.

Illustrative icons are used to bring meaning and visual interest to a page.

  • These icons don’t provide functional interaction.
  • Pair and build off these icons to make illustrative compositions.
  • They’re useful for marketing, empty states, and other types of content.
  • They can be scaled to accommodate any chosen format.

Design Approach

Illustrative icons are designed on a 72x72px (1x1in) artboard using 1px strokes.

Clear and intuitive metaphors are critical. Be thoughtful with your intent and ask yourself if the icon clearly represents the form of the object or idea.

Consider these icons as a starter set; don’t feel restricted by what’s currently available. If you find that an icon doesn’t suit your needs, contribute a change to MDS or consider a variant set.

Icon Grid

The icon grid is meant to guide, not be prescriptive. Don’t force an object on the grid if it’s optically unbalanced or conflicts with the object’s natural form.

Use the keylines to help maintain consistent proportions. These represent the most common shapes and proportions found in our current icons: Circle, Square, Tall, and Wide.

The illustrative icon grid, including keylines and guides for maintaining consistent shapes and proportions.

Taller icons tend to hit the top and bottom outermost keylines and are often slimmer in width.

An example of a tall icon utilizing the top and bottom outermost keylines.

Wider icons tend to hit the left and right outermost keylines and can be shorter in height.

An example of a wide icon utilizing the left and right outermost keylines.

In some cases, icons may need to extend beyond the keylines in order to fix proportions.

An example of an icon extending beyond keylines to fix proportions.

Use square butt-cap and miter joint strokes.

Proper configuration of strokes in Adobe Illustrator.

Construction & Visual Style

Formal Relationships

Look for similar curves, shapes, or patterns of detail within the existing icons that can further inform the visual language.

Replicating curves, shapes and patterns unifies the visual language of our icons.

Systemic families are conceptually linked ideas. It can be helpful to consider visual anchors to strengthen their meaning as a group.

While using visual anchors can help strengthen a group of related icons, remember to remain true to the icon. For example, the courthouse does not have a door because adding one took away from its optimal visual clarity.

Stay true to the visual nature of the object when deciding to use sharp or rounded corners.

In this example, sharp corners work best to represent the true nature of a piece of paper, while rounded corners maintain the true nature of a credit card.

When do I use breaks?

Use breaks to heighten moments of depth and overlap, show dissimilarity between material, or to add texture.

There can be instances where these rules don’t apply. Use your best judgement and always consider if a break helps or hinders the clarity of the icon.

Don’t arbitrarily use breaks for design flourish. Be thoughtful in its application.

Do use to show the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional plane.
Do use to show the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional plane.
Do use to show dissimilarity, like the fabric of a flag against the solid material of the flagpole.
Do use to show dissimilarity, like the fabric of a flag against the solid material of the flagpole.
Do use to show overlapping and layering to create a nice moment of texture.
Do use to show overlapping and layering to create a nice moment of texture.

Visual Styles

You can apply visual styles (i.e., color, gradients, shapes) to add cohesion and personality to your icons.

If you are applying a treatment to your icons, maintain the same treatment throughout your product’s experience (example: presentation, article, interface). Only deviate where it makes the most sense.

Best Practices

Scaling

Content icons can be scaled appropriately to fit the needs of your chosen format.

Be aware of the icon’s size and adjust the stroke width to match its proportion. It’s important to maintain a light and thin aesthetic when scaling.

In digital format, the minimum stroke width is 1px.

Consider using “Scale Strokes & Effects” in Illustrator to automatically retain stroke proportions while scaling.

When paired in line with text, the icon’s stroke must be proportional to the weight of the type.

Examples of adjusting an icon’s stroke weight to match paired text.

Available Icons

Our current set of standard illustrative icons.

IP Icons

Our current set of IP illustrative icons.
Do use illustrative IP icons to represent the idea of our IP data.
Do use illustrative IP icons to represent the idea of our IP data.
Don‘t use within real-world examples such as tables, charts, research, or other data-driven needs. Use <a class="mds-link" href="/visual-language/iconography.html?tab=component-icons">component icons</a> or the <a class="mds-link" href="/visual-language/typography.html">Morningstar symbols font</a> when referencing our actual data.
Don‘t use within real-world examples such as tables, charts, research, or other data-driven needs. Use component icons or the Morningstar symbols font when referencing our actual data.
Do use standard icons for generic, non-proprietary metaphors.
Do use standard icons for generic, non-proprietary metaphors.
Don‘t use IP illustrative icons for generic, non-proprietary metaphors.
Don‘t use IP illustrative icons for generic, non-proprietary metaphors.

Custom Icons

What if the icon you’re looking for doesn’t exist?

If your product requires an icon that doesn’t exist, you’re encouraged to create the icon and contribute it to the system for others to use. Please reach out to Jonathan Duncan to request a review with the Visual Design community.

Saving a Custom Illustrative Icon

If you’re creating a new icon or saving an existing icon, discuss the best format to save your icon with your team. You should consider the medium (print or digital) and the final size.

Contributing Icons to MDS

If you believe that custom icons in your product should be added to MDS, first identify one or more additional teams that have a need for the icon. Ensure that your custom icon follows our design approach, and prepare your icon artwork using the appropriate process to save it (mentioned above).

To submit your icon to MDS for review, speak to Jonathan Duncan, the iconography segment owner, or email designsystem@morningstar.com. Once the new icon has been reviewed, the MDS team will work with you to include the new icon in an upcoming release.