This Graphic Designer Is Speedrunning Vector Icons

Watch Marc Edwards create lightning speed iconography.
June 19, 2017, 10:00am

Designing iconography for apps and websites gets tedious. Most require the same basic templates—a heart is heart, except when the client wants a very specifically-shaped heart—but need to be redrawn to fit the style of whatever icon set you're working on.

For the sake of shaving some time off these tedious little icons, designer and Illustrator wizard Marc Edwards recorded speed runs of several simple designs. He's collected more than 20 gifs of him cranking out symbols.

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"Due to this repetition, I've always been interested in trying to work out optimal ways to create them," Edwards wrote on his blog. "This is to save time, but also as a fun challenge."

Whatever floats your vectorized boat, designers. Set your timer and see how long it takes you to quick-draw these common icons.

Some are predictably simple, like the symbol for WiFi.

Others take a few more tweaks, like this cute planet.

It's a heart! No, wait, it's a bean! Because sometimes you're just thinking about those beans.

This is a heart. Three points and a stroke, done. Edwards writes that he likes this method for its versatility: If you like more rounded or chunkier hearts, just adjust the bézier control handles.

Settings cogs can be simple, or more detailed in a few extra seconds.

"Sometimes, it's possible to get away without having to construct the shape manually," Edwards wrote, about the radioactive symbol design. "Dashes can be very helpful, especially in cases where a circle needs to be divided into equal portions."

The paperclip, however, requires manually drawing the shape and rounding the edges.

A precious snowflake, made using Illustrator's appearance transform panel. "This is great for kaleidoscope-like effects, and an incredibly quick way to build a snowflake that can be edited in realtime."

Coffee cup's looking pretty tight, and then bam, he hits it with the warp for a wiggle-steam effect.

Edwards makes a quick cry-laugh emoji that's somehow still less fucked-up looking than the Samsung stock emojis. He wrote, "I'll admit I practised this one a bit before recording the video. No edits though!"

If you're ready to try your own speed runs, Edwards made a series of open-source templates for various design programs, here.