Interview with Icon Designer Kyle Adams

In this episode we had the pleasure of interviewing Icon Designer Kyle Adams. We chat about Kyle's journey in becoming an icon designer, as well as the history and process of creating icons. Kyle also gives helpful tips about becoming better at icon design.

Follow Kyle on Social Media!

 Twitter: @itskyleadams 


Here are some notes from the interview:

  • Icons have been around since the genesis of mankind, before human language or oral tradition. We can find early examples as simple drawings on caves and rocks. Many ancient tribes and civilizations used icons heavily to depict religious and cultural identities as well as observations about the world around them.

  • When designing icons, always establish what the icons are needing to convey. Icons are meant to convey communication without language. For example, when at an international airport, people from all over the world are able to recognize the icons on all of the signage and wayfinding materials.

  • Keep in mind the audience for which the icons are being designed. For example if you are designing for a children’s brand, rounded icons and bright fun colors would be an appropriate style to apply to the icon design. Icons with angular edges and dull or dark colors may not convey the correct feeling and thus would affect the success of the icons.

  • Always set goals when designing icons. Get to know your clients needs and assure them that you are there to take care of all of their icon design needs by conveying your expertise. Setting boundaries and communicating really helps with the efficiency and success of the project.

  • When you complete a project, it’s a good idea to create a case study. Having intimate knowledge of the project makes it fairly easy to make one. Building these case studies can help you monitor your progress and refine your process over time. Having case studies on your site can also help clients see how you think and how you might be able to help them as a design professional.

  • It is not always necessary to re-invent commonly used icon forms. While the style can change greatly depending on the target audience, many icons have become very recognizable around the world. For example, an envelope on a website or mobile device usually mean “email” or “mail”. The main goal should always be centered on communicating in the clearest way possible to the target audience.

If you'd like to learn more about Icon Design, take a listen to our interview with Kyle below and check out his awesome blog:

Kyle also has a Youtube channel with tons of great icon tutorials:

If you are enjoying our Podcast, please subscribe on iTunes!



Interview with Print Expert Marina Joyce

Marina Poropat Joyce has been marketing, graphic designing, publishing and printing her whole life. She fell in love with design and printing early on, and she founded one of the first design-to-print companies in Los Angeles. She recently wrote Designing for Print to explain printing in graphic designer-speak.

Today we had the pleasure to interview Marina and ask her about all things print. We learned a ton of amazing things and hope you do too!

Here are some notes from the show:


Marina’s Kickstarter for her book “Designing for Print”, will be launched at the end of September, be sure to keep an eye out for it!

Check out her website for amazing resources for how to handle print projects: 

Also, sign up to be notified when her book comes out:

  • Find out the process and cost required to accomplish a print project before showing it to your client. This prevents clients from getting attached to a design before you find out if the print is even feasible.

  • Great design is the most important aspect of achieving a beautiful print.

  • Find and build a relationship with a quality printer. You can find printers in your area here:

  • Remember that a print will look much different than what you printed in your home printer.

  • Paper comes in parent sizes, for examples 8x8 is printed on 25x38. You can eliminate print waste by referring to standard print sizes.

  • Use a Color Gamut Diagram to find colors that can work best in both RGB and CMYK. Here are some links explaining this more: here and here.

  • Always be aware of the grain of the paper you are choosing. The grain affects many things including varied stiffness, and achieving clean cuts and folds.

  • Don’t use Photoshop for print layouts, use InDesign :)

  • Always request a print dummy, this is vital in making sure the paper you are choosing will work best for your project.