I love hiking and backpacking as well as visual communication. I noticed a lack of icons on my personal hiking blog, so I wanted to create an icon set of backpacking gear. There are a lot of sets available online, but never exactly what I wanted to present. I wanted to present backpacking icons in a more realistic and geometric way rather than line art.
Here are my first sketches.
These were quick sketches to get an idea of the feeling I wanted to convey with these icons. I quickly realized that I didn’t want to convey the idea of backpacking itself (ie. Campfires, trees), but rather of the gear involved. I started making longer lists of gear and toyed with a few ideas. I then started looking at images of real equipment to base my sketches off of.
Here was my first draft of six (seven if you count the paddle and canoe separately) of the icons.
I wasn’t satisfied with this. The icons felt too bland, and the perspectives were all over the place. I wanted to have a unified feel to the set. I loved how the flashlight turned out, and decided I liked the idea of geometry playing a bigger role. The paddle and canoe looked very simple and I hated the perspective. As well, my water bottle was misshapen and odd-looking.
After much tweaking and sometimes starting back from ground zero, I finally arrived at this:
I completely changed the water bottle. This is more geometric now and fits the set more. I added a shadow on the right half of each object to add a little more depth and detail. I know there is so much more to improve, but I now have a realistic icon set for my blog.