At Kaplan, one of many ambitious projects I worked on is creating a system for iconography and spot illustrations. The goal is to have a scalable graphic system that has extended uses.
Researching: Art History Lesson
I can be a research nerd. I studied the ancient Egyptian's hieroglyphics to see how people used to communicate before written language existed. My design mood board also features the works of modernist's painters such as Ellsworth Kelly and Joseph Albers to examine ways of using simple shapes and only a few colors to make something visually interesting.
Sketching: Experiment with Forms
Sketching is one of the most important thing in my process, I'd sketch, refine, and repeat for an uncountable amount of time until I got something I'm satisfied with. I like the surprise it comes with when you review your process and realize how many things actually get into the final round.
The icon is clever, simple, and symbolic. The idea is to use the most fundamental shapes such as circle, square, triangle and combine them to make new shapes.
From raw sketches, I developed the concept into a full set of iconography.
Sometimes your design is loved by one team but not by the other. No ego get shattered but you have to admit that you are a little lost.
When it happens, I'd take a step back to reflect upon my work and try to keep my mind open for changes because I believe good design is constantly evolving.
For the second round, I refreshed the set with thiner line and gradient color (inspired by James Turrell) to achieve a more contemporary look and feel. The icons were also given rounder edges for a friendlier user experience.
Using only brand colors for outlines and gradient solids.
2. FILL STYLE
The bigger picture
The project didn't stop at just iconography, it extends into spot illustrations. I experiment with more complex ideas and animation.