Noun Project
Published in

Noun Project

Adrien’s extensive Noun Project collection maintains a consistently friendly, warm, and rounded aesthetic.

Mastering the Basics of Icon Design with Adrien Coquet

Hi Adrien! Tell us a little about yourself — how did you get to where you are today?

Graphic Designer Adrien Coquet
Adrien’s Panama typeface.

Of all the art and design forms that can express ideas or emotions, what drew you to icon design in particular?

How do you decide what icons to create and what subjects interest you the most?

What tools do you use to create your icons? What software functions and tricks are the most helpful?

Walk us through your process of how to design an icon.

How to design a minimalist icon in Adobe Illustrator: start by using the pen tool or line and shape tools to draw a basic figure in your Illustrator artboard. Adjust each anchor point into the desired configuration.
The next step to design a minimalist icon is to add a stroke to your shape in the stroke panel. For consistency, design your icon with identical stroke weights and rounded tips and corners in the stroke window to give your icon more visual weight.
Use the shape builder tool in Adobe Illustrator to combine different sections of your icon. You can add a new stroke to the shape you have created, then outline it by going to Object, then Path, then Outline Stroke.
You can also hold down “alt” or “option” on mac while using the Shape Builder tool in Adobe Illustrator to subtract, rather than add, parts of the shape. This can help make a visual gap in your icon to better accentuate the shape and make your icon design clearer.

Here are some other handy tips and tricks I frequently use in Illustrator:

What would you say are the most common mistakes people make when designing icons?

What are a few things every designer should do to create a more polished, professional icon collection?

Establish style conventions as you go: using similar sizes, stroke weights, miter limits (how pointy or smooth your corners are), or other common elements like a reflective shine, can make even disparate concepts appear unified and cohesive.

Are there any particular designers you like to follow today, or other resources you turn to for inspiration?

What’s up next for you?

View more of Adrien’s work on Noun Project, his Website, Behance (or jam out to Adrien’s Soundcloud).

Follow our Creator Spotlights or Tutorials for more creative inspiration.



Building a global visual language that unites us.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store