When I first started brainstorming what I wanted my first vector graphics project to be, I made a list of things that I love to look at. This list included things like flowers, temples, kittens, vintage lightbulbs and cars. While all of these things are very interesting to me, I wanted my icon set to have a retro vintage vibe, but felt like some of the items on my list were a little too cliche or overdone. So, I decided to go with retro camping trailers. It is a dream of mine to one day own the cutest, most retro camping trailer one can find, and since that dream isn’t a possibility right now, I thought that maybe designing my own icons of them would suffice. For now.
I wanted to create my trailers so that they would be cohesive but still individually interesting, but I didn’t know exactly how to do that. So I started some preliminary sketching.
This is my first draft of my first four icons. In order to add individuality to each icon trailer, I decided to have some different accessories, windows/doors, and colors. I set the rules of keeping the same body shape, tire, and style (retro feel), but all else was fair game. After a while, I started to run out of ways to make the trailers different, even running out of colors that I felt looked good with the set. I also struggled with keeping the trailers minimalistic without too much detail. As you can see on the fourth icon, the pink trailer, there is a plant with a bunch of tiny leaves. For my final, I decided to take out that plant and redo it using one big mass/shape with some highlights to elude to the idea of a plant without actually showing every leaf.
This is my final draft of my icons. I ended up focusing a lot more on where I could add some shadows to add dimension, instead of trying to add more “things” to the trailers themselves. I changed the windows to have much bigger slots suggesting blinds instead of having “realistic” sized blinds. There were way too many thin lines, which for some reason was hard for me to break the habit of doing, but once I became aware of how much better my icons looked without them it was easier to not do. I also ended up changing the style of my tires, adding the white to make them look even more retro.
Overall, this first vector project taught me how to use minimalistic designs to my advantage, how to think about how to suggest an idea of something rather than portraying every detail in an object, and how to set my own rules for a design and stick with them.