Sitting down to design four icons from scratch was a challenge that was incredibly foreign to me. I was worried that a lack of artistic ability would end up keeping me from performing as well as I wanted to. I decided to pick a theme for my icons that I was passionate about and familiar with. That’s why I decided on computers.
When I began to design I found it difficult to make the shapes of the items I wanted. I went to a friend of mine who does a lot of design and he gave me the advice to keep things simple and stick to basic geometric shapes. Soon after my mouse came together in a way I was really satisfied with. After that I got into a real groove and discovered that my next biggest hurdle was finding objects that I could design and have people know what they were. My monitor looked like a TV and my webcam looked like a target. I needed things that people would recognize. The final four icons I settled on all had a similar design and were the easiest to recognize.
The cool thing I discovered in this project is that less is more. While I designed my laptop my teacher suggested a slight modification. I originally had drawn out a frame around the laptop screen and he suggested just one block of color. I was amazed at how well it worked and how much stronger my design got. After that I removed a lot of colors and lines in my other icons.
Colors are always interesting to choose for me since I’m colorblind. I decided to pick something bright and fun for my accessories because the word accessory makes me think of options. I think of a million different ways that people can express their individuality. When I looked at pictures of mice and jump drives I saw a million different designs so I wanted a color to reflect that. On the other hand I wanted a stark contrast to the more essential hardware parts of a computer. I know there is a lot of ways to express through these as well but my designs made me think ‘business’ so I decided gray would reflect that nicely.
I am proud of my icons. I think that I proved something to myself. I showed that you don’t need artistic ability to keep things simple, even a colorblind person can still have meaning in their colors, and sometimes it’s best to change course instead of plow through a brick wall.