Backpacking Gear Icons

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.

wk-4-icon-sketches-cropped

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.

img_2230

Here was my first draft of six (seven if you count the paddle and canoe separately) of the icons.

icon-set-draft2

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:

icon-set-draft-01

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.

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