Creating a buzzing bug icon set.
The idea was to create a bug icon set of 12 icons. From the start, I wanted to design them to look cohesive and simplistic, while still highlighting the defining features each bug possesses. It was all about finding my own style and turning these creepy crawlies into something unique.
The icons had to be colorful, lively and uniform, all while displaying the clarity of each individual bug. Every icon was to fit into the set, but also be able to stand on its own.
To start out, I wrote down as many bugs with defining features that I could think of. I took to my sketchbook to turn all the ideas in my head into a tangible form. From there, I was able to choose my favorite ideas and expand on them a little more.
The sketching process helped me to embrace a specific style and rules that each icon would follow. After sketching out new ideas and trying variations of each icon, I was able to narrow it down to three specific styles. Through the feedback of my peers, I was able to select one style to stick with throughout my designing process.
Taking the ideas digital, I really tried to give each icon its own unique feel, while remaining consistent. With my sketches to guide me, I design each icon to a rough draft point.
Through feedback from my peers and mentor, I was able to alter some minor issues. One of the main concerns was the slight gap in between the head and the body on some of the icons. This was necessary and quick fix for me to work with.
Some had a hard time determining what bug my dragonfly was. This was less than ideal for me. I knew that in order to make this style work, I needed to make sure it was absolutely clear what bug each icon represented. After discussing with my mentor and taking a step back, I knew I had to break some of the rules I established for my icons. I knew that I needed to keep the head the same size as all the other icons to keep that consistent feel. One rule that I needed to break was to make it longer than the others. A dragonfly’s key features are in the wings and body, so I had to let those features shine. In doing this, I created a new icon that left the audience with no doubt. This new design had a longer body and wings, with legs attached to the body and subtle details to the wings.
Next, was to meet the concerns of the spider. I knew the legs on the spider’s body didn’t quite match the idea that I had. The way it looked in the draft had the spider looking very flat. I loved the look of the mantis legs and wanted to convey that in my spider. But how would I fit 8 legs on that small body? Through some back and forth in the design process, I made the decision that 4 legs on each side was too hectic. After asking around and taking a break from that icon, I thought to take out a leg on each side. As soon as I did that, had me wondering why I didn’t just start with that to begin with!
Lastly, I realized my icons were all looking a little flat. I noticed that the shadows on my icons weren’t really making sense. That’s when I remembered the shadow details I had on the scorpion. I loved that look, so what if I added that style to every icon? One by one, I tested it out on each icon. Through some trial and error, I added highlighted and shadows to each icon, making them look shinier and bolder.
That brings us to the finished product where I present to you, the Buggin’ Out Icon Set. Through all the fine tuning of these icons, I was able to achieve my original objective of creating 12 cohesive icons in a bug icon set. By keeping the head and eyes consistent with each icon, they all follow similar rules that helps them remain a set. Although, each icon has the ability to stand on its own without having to rely on the others to determine what it represents. I know that this process has helped me to find my own style and help me determine how I want to design in the future.