A STORY TOLD IN 4 ICONS

I very badly wanted to make my usual title pun and song quote with this post, but the assignment calls for a little ambiguity! I figure that my image is going to be easy to guess, but I’ll still play by the rules.

The task for the assignment, One Story / Four Icons is “to reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer, let people guess! The challenge is to find the icons that suggest the story, but do not make it so easy. For icons a great resource isĀ The Noun Project.”

Oops, I made it easy. But I did so to make a design point (and because I’m taking to heart the Ds106 rule that there is no wrong way to do an assignment). The assignment tasked us with using 4 icons to represent a movie. They recommended ‘The Noun Project,’ which is an OK place to get vectors, but I usually make my own. Now, I had every intention of making ‘The Noun Project’ type vectors in Illustrator, but I decided that 4 black and white icons are a little lackluster. And one of our rules for design is that it should be enjoyable.

Once I had my movie in mind, I started researching tidbits about the movie. That’s our step one in the design process- to figure out the meaning of whatever we have to design. I noted the characters’ appearances, their nicknames, and their roles in the movie. Based on that information, I started conceptualizing ideas. That’s step two- give form to the meaning. And rather than having flat icons on a white background, I wanted to give them a home. Icons don’t have to be flat and distinct. Rather, they can be viewed collectively as one unit. This is step three- adding details with purpose.

And finally, we have an end result:

Is it functional? I think so! Is it aesthetically cool looking? I think that’s a check too! Even though the icons are not as simple and hard-to-guess as stock made vectors are, there’s still enough ambiguity in the design to peak interest. And to me, that’s the heart of this assignment- icons that are, well, iconic.

Onwards! To the next design.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Danielle Beard

    This is an excellent post, most definitely threw me off. I love the chalkboard background, How did you do that?

    1. admin

      Thanks! I used a charcoal brush that I got from a Photoshop brush pack, and I just set the color to white. For the background, I used the eye dropper to get the right chalkboard color from the movie in question. On a separate layer I drew some extraneous marks with the charcoal brush, then I used the eraser tool and the smudge tool to make it look like the chalk had been erased. Finally, I set the opacity down to about 30%.

  2. Abby

    I love how you did your icons! It looks super cool

    1. admin

      Thanks! ^_^

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