Received good news on Sunday night! Adriaan Tijsseling, the author of blogging tool ecto, dropped a line to tell me my new icon for 1001 (a Flickr photo stream management tool) was used on his latest beta. Alright!
I've been a user and fan of ecto since June, so when I learned via Michael Ashby that Adriaan was looking for some icon and design help with ecto, I dropped him a line. As it turns out, Adriaan found help with the ecto project with designer Neil Dixon. However, he was also in need of a new icon for his 1001 app, a tool for viewing and managing your own and others' Flickr streams. I felt honored to be offered the opportunity, so I immediately agreed to take on the project through the company I work for, MakaluMedia.
So, I began as I usually do, with sketches in my Miquelrius sketchbook. The concepts were scanned and emailed to Adriaan for review. The process went quickly, as one of the concepts in my sketches — an earth with photo streams wrapped round, being viewed by a loupe — resonated with both of us.
From there, I began the icon construction process. At first I tried to sketch the sphere with streams wrapping around it, but soon realized it would be difficult to get right without good reference. The next day I had an idea in the shower — why not wrap strips of paper with black photo blocks printed on them around one of Nathan's kickballs?
So that's exactly what I did — and it worked perfectly! The strips provided a perfect template for re-drawing in Adobe Illustrator. I then copied the vector art from Illustrator into Fireworks, to add color and paste photos into the stream blocks on the globe.
In fact, if you look very closely at the pics on the streams of the final icon, you can make out shots of Adriaan, his friends and several of my own family. It's always fun to see the icon, because even though the little pixelized photos are obscured, I can still remember the moment when each family photo was taken.
I had a blast working on this icon. It always feels great to see a project like this come together, especially when the process leading up to the final art was so much fun! :-)