July 27, 2015
Creating Icon Set!
Iconography is an internal part of any UI design project now a days. Icons have the ability to communicate ideas, functions, meaning in a common visual language which explains clearly to the user without any text.
Completing a set of icons is a hell of challenge. Here are the tips to create icon sets.
Step 1: Research
Before making or creation of icon set of your own, it’s a good idea to see if there’s one that already exists which will suits your needs. So step one is to check existing icons sets, you could have save yourself time and energy not by re-creating what is already out there.
Step 2: Placement & Choice
Placement is about the point of difference between your proposed icon set and one of a thousand existing icon sets already out there. The choice of icons styles is vast and you will need to decide what style your icons are going to be. Whether they will be mono-tone, full color, muti-color, three dimensional, cartoon, realistic, silhouettes, hand drawn, or pixel, pick a style and stick with it.
So once you finalized with style then it’s time to move onto the planning phase.
Step 3: Planning
Planning is simply about deciding what icons you want to include in your set. You will need to consider to whom your icon set will appeal and then create a list based on those parameters.Creating quality icons is time consuming and creating a set of 5000 (for example) will not only take forever, it is difficult for the end user to manage.
Step 4: Stick to one style
During phases 2 and 3 you decided on your icon style. Your specific style will impact what application or method you use to make your icons. However, this is the key point if you want your icons pretty and consistent. Don’t start making any icons until you decide what style they are going to be in. From the moment you decided which style to use, all your set icons should be made in the same style. Don’t let differently styled icons kill the set and demolish the hard work behind it
Step 5: Same Stylistics
Every style has its personality. For example, you can make thousands of different outline icon variations. But picking the right stylistics is just as important. Will your icons be detailed or minimalistic? Is it better to have thick or thin lines? Or maybe mixed line weight? And what about the corners: should they be round or sharp?
Step 6: Size
Maintain the same size of each icon in the set.
Poor attention to consistency can lead to uneven weights, wrong sizes, wrong perspectives or just wrong altogether. After every icon, take a step back and see how it fits with those you’ve already created – it can be easy to pick the odd one out.
Step 7: Color Palette
Select the colors, add them to swatches and try to use only them. That identical color combinations should maintain in all icons of the set.
Step 8: Delivery
You may have chosen to deliver your icon set in a vector format like .EPS, .AI or .SVG.
Iconography like any visual language needs to be clear and concise. Whatever you’re trying to represent with icons keep it simple and clear and your chances of universal understanding will be greater.