Design, Uncategorized

Sewing Icons

This week’s assignment in my Visual Communications class was super fun. I will admit when I first read that we had to design icons ourselves from scratch using Illustrator I was pretty intimidated! But as I have taken some of the new things I have learned i.e. shapes builder, rounding corners and the like, I found that I could actually pull things together and I think they came out great!

Seriously, I’m actually pretty proud of them. My hobby is quilting and that’s the first thing I thought of when I read this assignment. I thought how cute little sewing icons would be! I also wanted to use color, but not too much color so that they looked cohesive. I chose my favorite colors, aqua and pink which I think play well together. I knew that I would need another neutral color and of course half of my object have silver metal components, so grey it was. I then used a darker grey for additional details.



Part of the assignment which helped in learning more about how Illustrator works was to save our icons in different sizes. These little cuties are 60 px X 60 px. They would be perfect as actual little icons. It was really good to shrink them down and see what little tweaks needed to happen. I did have to mess with line width afterward. Especially on the spool of thread. It was just a giant blob of color.

Then we had to enlarge them to 400 px X 400 px. This is where you can see any mistakes that were made. I did have to mess with the scissors and the needle a bit to take out a few kinks. I think the hardest part is not continually tweaking. I think I could work on these for hours and hours. At some point you just have to say done! I will go through each shape and break it down a little. Starting with the button that is obviously just a bunch of circles and the easiest icon to make of the set.

This tool may not be familiar to everyone but is indispensable to every quilter. It is a rotary cutter. It has a sharp, round blade that is used with a straight edge ruler to perfectly cut fabric. I made circles for the blade a rectangle body with rounded end and joined them with the Shape Builder.


For the scissors I drew ovals and rectangles and joined them with a shape builder. The blades are lines that I used the Width Tool to make the sharper ends, keeping it rounded to match the rest of the shapes. Then a circle in the middle as the connector bolt.


For the thread I made two rectangles and then rounded the edges and pulled two sides down to form the shape. Then I drew lines and rounded the end. Then I used the Distribute Objects Align tool. to evenly space them. The loose thread is just a painted line.

The sewing machine was the object I was the most worried about but it came together more easily than I thought it would. Three rectangles with various rounded edges and then details added. 

The needle was a line that I used the Width Tool with. At the top I added an oval. This one actually took some time to get right. The width was tricky and joining it at the right angle was too. The thread is just a painted line with rounded ends.

So that’s it! I hope you like my little icon set. There may have been easier ways to accomplish what I did, but what I did was using the knowledge I have right now. I look forward to learning more in both Illustrator and InDesign. And I love my little icons! 🙂



Reverse Engineering

Basic CMYK

Maybe it’s because I live near the ocean and surfing is a major sport here, but this poster really caught my eye. It’s simple yet bold and seems to have a lot of the design principles and color that I want to address as I re-engineer it and break it down.

Original designers:

Advertising Agency: Imelda Ogilvy, Slovenia
Creative Director: Jure Požun
Art Director: Branislav Milošević
Copywriters: Jure Požun, Bor Kolarič

Breakdown of why it works:CONTRAST – There is really nice contrast between the soft, cool aqua and the warm, bright, bold orange. Set that off with the white font color (that also coordinates with the ice cream) and it all looks enticing.REPETITION – The repetition is with all the lettering being the same color. Although they used a few different fonts, the “2013” and “Taste” are the same. I do think that is one improvement that could be made. There are too many font choices, I think they could have gotten away with two and it would have looked more cohesive. ALIGNMENT – The main picture of the ice cream surfboard is right in the middle and a focal point of the design. The lettering is grouped to title and then information. They are centered together but then aligned to the left and to the right. The text also aligns nicely with the sides of the “surfboard”.PROXIMITY – The main focal point is set off enough from the lettering to make it stand out. The lettering is nicely placed away from each other to have the title stand out and then the information in another spot. This makes it easy to read and you know where to look on the page for the information you need.COLOR – The color combination they chose are complimentary colors. Orange and aqua are opposites on the color wheel so they look just awesome together. They stand out from each other but are complimentary. Aqua is reminiscent of the blue waters for a surf competition and orange feels sunny and warm.

The surf festival poster has many great design elements that add up to an eye-catching design. There are contrasting, complimentary colors, text that is alignment in a readable way, and proximity of that text from the picture that helps it stand out. The repeated color of the text helps it’s readability and cohesion within the design. All in all the design is successful and fun.