What Stops Me (And Probably You) From Publishing Regularly?

What Stops Me (And Probably You) From Publishing Regularly?

Hey! How are you doing? Hope everything is well! You may have noticed that I haven’t been as consistent with my output as I used to be. Every now and then I find myself skipping my weekly blog updates or putting a blind eye to the “Discover the best icons of the week” series. Of course this influences me negatively on both professional and personal levels because I’m that type who believes that consistency is the key ingredient when it comes to progress. I’m certain that you need to be persistent if you want to go forward and get better at something. But staying persistent is a hard job in itself, let alone when you feel accountable for delivering the best content about icon design. The responsibility is huge and the last thing I want to do is disappoint you guys. Since I have been struggling with keeping up with the schedule, I thought it would be productive to analyze why I have been delaying the work, and share my thoughts with you to help all of us be more obligated in the future. So let’s take a look at the issues that stop me from publishing regularly. By no means I’m trying to complain here. My aim is to examine the problem and suggest solutions to overcome them, because I know that a lot of people struggle with the similar issues. I’ve distinguished three main problems: 1) Not preparing work in advance Since I don’t prepare any articles in advance, I don’t have any buffer to rely on, which means I have to write all the articles a...
8 Tips For Creating Icons For Great User Experience

8 Tips For Creating Icons For Great User Experience

You, as an icon designer, should not forget that nine times out of ten the icons you create are going to be used in some context rather then on their own. It could be an app, a website, a flyer, a book, a sign at the airport, etc. This means, the icon will make a huge contribution to the overall user experience. And great user experience is something you don’t want to underestimate. Your job is to make sure that your icons make it as pleasant and easy as possible for potential future users. So, that being said: What should you keep in mind when designing icons to assure great user experience? Does it convey the right message? Icons should communicate a very clear and easily understandable message. Make sure you avoid icons with conflicting meanings. Does it communicate with the target audience? If you don’t have the specific target audience, you have already lost. Every app, website or service has their target audience. You should create icons that will talk directly to that audience. Icons don’t have to be too sophisticated The icon’s meaning has to be as clear as possible. This means no hidden connotations, nothing too complicated that could mislead the user. It should take a couple of seconds to recognize and understand the icon. Design icons within the context If it is possible, always check how your icons looks like in the context they will be put in. Icons may look really nice and distinct on white background, the real question is though, is it as clear and good on a cluttered website or on...
Tips On How To Create a Responsive Icons

Tips On How To Create a Responsive Icons

What are responsive icons?! You might wonder. Although the responsive web is an absolute norm right now and the first responsive icons appeared a couple of years ago, not everybody knows what they are. The fact that they are not so widely spread these days raises a few questions. Are they really necessary? Do they provide good user experience? In today’s article we will analyze pros and cons of such icons, as well as what you should have in mind when creating them. What are responsive icons? First things first, responsive icons, just like the responsive web, react and change depending on what screen size you’re using to look at them. To put it simple, it’s a set of usually 2 to 4 different variations of the same icon. Basically, what changes is the amount of details used in the icon. When your screen gets smaller, the icon loses some of its details. But why are responsive icons so important? Everyone who has designed at least a few icons in their career knows that if the icon looks good on 128px grid, it won’t always look as good on 32px. It requires a lot of skill to create an icon that will look equally good in different sizes and will still deliver the message clearly. And this is where the responsive icons step in. You take one icon and create different variations of it to look good in different resolutions. So, implementing responsive icons is a little bit like cheating to make them look good in different resolutions and screen sizes. The best way to understand how they work...
Icon Grid: When And How To Use It? + BONUS GRIDS

Icon Grid: When And How To Use It? + BONUS GRIDS

Grids, oh, mighty grids! I think this is the most requested article of all times. And yet, in my opinion, grids are overrated. Yep, I said this. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a great grid is the essential part of a wonderful icon set, but it’s definitely not a necessity. I’m getting a lot of emails from people that haven’t started their first icon set just because they don’t know how to set up a grid. Oh, come on! Let me tell you a secret: you don’t really need a grid for your first icon set. It’s a great practice to create some icons on the grid, but before even thinking about creating your own grid you should make thousands of icons to understand what to take into consideration while making the grid. So what is icon grid exactly? Icon grid is most commonly created using the guidelines placed precisely on the artboard. But it is not just about the guidelines, of course. Think of an icon grid as a set of rules made to keep consistency throughout the icon set. Well laid out structure where your icon set is going to be constructed. People often confuse construction guidelines with icon grids. I’m talking about the guidelines other designers show in their works to demonstrate the process or thoughts behind a certain icon. I think people are obsessed about knowing what is going on behind the scenes of other people’s works. That is why when you put up a work with visible guidelines, it will most likely get more attention than the exact same work but without the guidelines....
How Simple Your Icons Should Be?

How Simple Your Icons Should Be?

Recently, I came across a very fascinating urban legend about Ernest Hemingway. While spending time in a bar, he bet his friends 10 bucks that he could write a six-word poem that would make readers cry. Hemingway came up with this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” No need to say he won the bet. There is another great story written by Frederic Brown in 1948: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…” This genre is called Flash Fiction. It really strikes me how much meaning can be put into just a couple of words. It is breathtaking that the whole story with climax and epilogue fits into a sentence or two. Everything is cut to essentials and thought through — there is no room for anything excessive. This looks a lot like creating icons. Little pictograms that hold an enormous message. This is one of the main differences between an illustration and an icon. Illustrations are like 500 word poems, while icons remind the aforenamed 6 word flash fiction. Emphasising what truly matters and removing everything unnecessary to pass along the message may be a difficult task. Some icons should look super simple, and simple isn’t easy. So, how do you know what’s the right amount of details you can use for one icon? It was the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery who once said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. The smaller the icon is, the fewer details it needs. Icons that are made...
New Year Resolutions – How To Achieve More in 2016

New Year Resolutions – How To Achieve More in 2016

Hey! Hope you’re doing well! This is my first article this year, and it will be a little different. January is usually the time when you reflect on the past twelve months and look into the future. So this time we’ll be talking about setting up goals and achieveing them in the upcoming year. You may remember from my Dribbble success story that I’m one of those people who make New Year resolutions. People often laugh and don’t take us seriously. Frankly, they have a point — every January gyms all over the globe are packed, and then dead empty on February. It seems that people make New Year resolutions just to break them. People in general are lazy, and if you want to achieve something, you need to fight your laziness every single day. I want to believe that I’m a person who can control his life, make conscious decisions and follow through on them. I’m not saying that I complete all my resolutions, but defining them definitely helps me to turn my career and life to the wanted direction. You could never reach your destination if you don’t know where you are going, right? So this year instead of being lazy and making fake promises to yourself, let’s build a system that will help you reach your goals! Here are a few simple rules that keep me motivated in pursuing my goals:   Write your resolutions down! One of the most important things is to write down your resolutions (preferably by hand) and put this list where you can see it every single day. If you keep...

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