Hello! I hope you are not hungry because you are about to see a lot of donuts!
First thing is first we need to explain what this project is for. The assignment was to make icons. Now, what is an icon? When you just google the definition is saying that it is, “a person of thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.” An easy example I think of straight away is the apps that are on your phone. If you have an iPhone it could be, the settings, calendar, photos, camera, clock, weather, maps, social media, and many other options. Below is a screen shot of my phone to make things clear. Each little icon represents something and communicates it. This way it is faster than having to read words and it can also be used by people who speak different languages.
My audience for this project is focused on the age group 12-35 women. The location is within the United States, mainly the west coast but also could go to the East Coast. The interest of these girls is delicious food that also has a social media presence. They want to be able to take a picture when they go to this place and post it.
The icons I created were made for a donut shop. They could have an app and just use one of my designs for it, but I made these icons to be used on their menu board. I am a very visual person and when I go to a restaurant and their menu board has the icon on it, I am able to process the information better verse me just looking at a board with all words. The main idea is just to be able to find things quickly.
Designing Towards Your Audience
Since I am designing towards women who are trendy and are on social media a lot, I wanted this to be bold. Also, I knew I needed to make the subject something they would post about. By following any “bloggers” and social media influencers I knew one category they love to post about besides clothes. That category is food. I wanted the donuts to look real but also look like it is a vector based design and flat. The colors are very saturated because I wanted them to have the hierarchy when placed on a menu or a poster.
Main Design Decisions
The main thing I stressed was making the donuts look very similar. The way I achieved this was I decided on my base of the donuts. What size I wanted it to be in comparison to the hole in the middle. Once I got to what looked good, I went onto the frosting. I wanted to add some dimension so it would not look bland. I worked on making the frosting of glaze have some light hitting it. Once I had the main design I created copies of it and changed the colors to create more donuts. Even when I switched to the rectangle donuts I kept the same style. By keeping this style, it unifies the donuts even though they are different shapes and sizes.
Principles of Design
The main principle I used was texture. The brush stroke I used was a watercolor brush. I used this for the details of the donuts. Doing this over and over again on unified them together. Then the next important principle would be the color. All the donut bases are the same color. I just changed the toppings on top.
Icons need to be able to scale well. They can be smaller than a penny or larger than life and still look good! Here are the donuts in 60 pixels by 60 pixels and then by 400 pixels by 400 pixels.
Sometimes it is easier to have pictures showing you all the steps of creating. Here is the process of making the icons.
Maple Bacon Bar
Direct Selection View
The main thing I took away from this was to remember that the icon will scale. A design may look very good when it is at 400 pixels but when it is scaled down to 60 pixels things can be lost it in. You have to keep it simple but also well designed. Another thing I would like to encourage is to get to know Illustrator very well. There are many tools that will help you and cut down your time by hours!