Illustrate Your Day: An Intro to Symbol Design

Edward Boatman, Co-founder, Noun Project

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5 Videos (1h 28m)
    • Creating Your List of Referents

    • Design Techniques for Your Icons

    • A Crash Course to Adobe Illustrator

    • Designing a Symbol in Adobe Illustrator

    • Creating the Final Product


About This Class

Symbols are incredibly powerful communication tools. They can communicate faster than words, in memorable and powerful ways, and in a universal way that transcends cultural and language barriers. They are the one language we all can understand. 


During this class you will learn how to create these amazing communication tools using vector editing software, and use symbols to tell the story of a day in your life.

What You'll Learn

  • Selecting Your Referents. We'll start off by bubbling ideas for icons we'd like to create and begin sketching them.
  • Design Techniques to Maximize User Comprehension. We'll cover some basic elements of icon design then apply design technique to our referents to create more refined sketches.
  • Drawing Symbols in Illustrator. We'll use Adobe Illustrator to create digital vectors of our icon designs. 
  • Polishing Your Designs. We'll finalize our icons and share them with the world.


What You'll Make

You will start off the class by documenting what your daily routine is. After you think through this, you will narrow down these items to a list of the 20 essential activities or objects that define your daily life. Once you have these 20 referents you will learn how to design a symbol that visually communicates the essence of each one of these concepts.
Once the designs are completed you will create a linear timeline using your symbols. This will serve as a visual representation of your life. 

This class is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about Adobe Illustrator, graphic design, iconography, illustration, and creative storytelling.

297 of 300 students recommendSee All

A well designed and edited set of tutorials to anyone keen to create icons
I love this class! Very practical for symbol or icon design and even logos!
Rick Henderson

I started a one person design studio in August.





Edward Boatman

Co-founder, Noun Project

The Noun Project is building a global visual language that everyone can understand. We want to enable our users to visually communicate anything to anyone.

Humans have been using symbols to communicate for over 17,000 years because they are the one language everyone can understand. Symbols can transcend cultural and language barriers and deliver concise information effortlessly and instantaneously. They allow people to communicate quickly, effectively, and intuitively. And for the first time ever, this language is being combined with technology to create a social language that unites the world.

You can read more about us in Core77Fast CompanyThe New York TimesThe 99 Percent, and GOOD.

This class is taught by Edward Boatman, Co-Founder of The Noun Project and a designer, explorer, and entrepreneur.