Icon Snack 01 : Introduction
Behind the scenes: SketchTricks icons design
first appeared on my newsletter.
This is my first edition of Icon Snack — where I will share a quick tips, tutorials or even show you a behind the scene (BTS) of my icon projects.
Last week I had an opportunity to create an icon for SketchTricks. For an introduction, I will give you a quick behind the scene on my process. Enjoy!
Sketching is an important and crucial step for exploring the shape before I go way too far and waste time to work on something that my client don’t even like. After I send it to my client and get the feedback — I draw another batch, usually me and the client feel an improvement along the way.
Draw it until you capture a certain message that you want the client to see. Communicate early and intentionally.
2. Context-based grid
Before determining the grid, it’s always good to see where my icon will be sitting on. Here are some questions I usually ask to my client:
- Ask client about the size needed — if you can get this. Great!
- However, most of the time the client have no idea about the size. I usually ask for a screen mockup where the icon will be placed. It’s always good to know where and in what context the icon will be used
My icon will have a direct relationship with the copy side by side. I use 320px because this size covers almost 90% in a relationship with the copy.
Tip: Working on the smaller scale is saving you time!
I aware the final icon will be 320px. However, I work in 160px (50%). Why? Well, I’m exaggerating, but compare the effort to draw on the paper with draw on the wall.
Good to know:
Scale down an icon often makes the icon fuzzy due to odd placement and other problem. Always work from smallest possible size, scale up won’t cost any problem as long as your icon is pixel perfect.
After sending my sketches — we bounce ideas and discusses it until we happy with the direction. It’s time to take my sketches into Illustrator. The goal of creating wireframe is to show specifically the shape and style briefly to your client in vector version.
Focus and pay attention to the shape and metaphor. Carefully examine it. Throw it when necessary.
This is where the “fun” part of designing an icon. I start to play with the color, weight, tint and shade. When it comes to color, I really like this website called htmlcolorcodes — very useful and handy. I was a big fan of Adobe Kuler until they change it.
Well, explore and explore.. There is no magic button, there is trial and error. And here is how my artboard looks like.
When you think you’re done, sleep with it. I often find myself noticing some spots that can be improved in the next day.
And, global swatches is always handy.
Bonus: Process Video
Marko is a happy client:
Budi’s work speaks for itself. He’s capable of quickly achieving project’s goals. Not only that he learns about you, your business and project goals, but also provides easy to follow process upfront, so you know exactly at which stage the project is and what are the next steps. He’s not afraid of feedback and makes sure it’s aligned with project’s vision. Along the way he’s showing concepts and provides his thought process behind it so you’re able to go with the one that makes the most sense and iterate on it if needed.
Well, this is my first series — let me do quick introduction.
You can call me Budi. I have been creating and working in icon industry for about 4 years. Fortunate enough, Yahoo and many other companies like Palantir, DBS Bank & Marvelapp gives me an opportunity to help designing their icons.
A few years ago, just like many of you — I am struggling to find a good resource that makes me decide to share my knowledge with you. My goal is creating an online class where I can share all my skill and knowledge of icon to give you an insight on what I’m thinking when I work on an icon project — which I will start recording it next month. 🎬
Like this article will support me to write and share more design ideas.