Have you ever wanted to know how they make those little icons you click on everyday? Or how about those emojis you add to your text messages? I was wondering the same thing. As I set out to make my icons, I learned that there is a lot more to it than you’d think! Although it may be a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun. So let’s take a look into the design process behind making Icons.

I decided to make cowboy themed Icons. I living in a small town in Idaho, there are plenty of farmers and ranchers so I thought they’d be a great audience. I picked a few shapes and forms that people generally associate with cowboys and then got to work.

icon set 1-01

Making Icons really comes down to knowing your shapes. Each of these images is made with lots of circles and squares and other little lines and shapes! Using Adobe Color Wheel, I chose a Triad color scheme with greens, purples and browns. I thought these colors were visually appealing and still relatable to the target audience.



icon set 1-02The first Icon I set out to make was the cactus. I tried to tie in all three colors with this first shape. I used a serious of rectangles and circles to create it and then using the star tool, I was able to add on the flowers.



icon set 1-03Next came the cowboy boot. This was by far the hardest one to make and I had to use some more complex shape combinations.



icon set 1-04The lasso came next and wasn’t too bad. I used brown again on the lasso since rope tends to be brown!



icon set 1-05Next came the cowboy hat. Typically cowboy hats aren’t purple but I have seen a few. I chose this color scheme anyway because the Icons already had quite a bit of brown and this added a little bit of color to the design.



icon set 1-06Last but not least came the barn. With some help from my peers I was able to add this last icon and complete my cowboy icon set.



I had a lot of fun doing this project. In fact I think it has been one of my favorites so far. Creating icons can be a little tricky in the beginning but with some practice and creativity, it is so much fun. The world is the limit and you can create whatever comes to your mind. The key with creating icons though, is keeping it simple. They’re small so if there is too much detail, it can distract from the overall message you are trying to convey. So have fun and get busy!


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