Citysets is a personal project exploring what defines cities across the globe. A visual guide to your favourite cities — in the form of free-to-download icon sets.
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This project stemmed from my love for travelling — and wanting to develop my icon design skills. The thing I love most about travelling to new places is the different ways people live their lives. Each city has unique people, experiences, history, cuisine and a lot more. Citysets plays on this by visually representing what makes each city unique.
The idea behind Citysets was infinitely scalable — which meant I could work on it as and when I had free time. And because it was broken down logically into cities — each city was a small manageable chunk of work. I started to build out the first set of icons. Being based in London — my first choice was easy enough. I brainstormed around what I thought makes a city interesting. Then further researching a city until I had around 20 icons.
Sketching was important through the process. A pen and paper allowed me to quickly get ideas down. And instantly evaluate the success of different metaphor. I tried to focus on the simplest form of each icon — stripping out unnecessary detail.
I defined guidelines through the process. This helped to keep each icon set consistent. I documented things like the stroke weight, corner radius, gap size, terminal cap and stroke angles. The icons were built on a 32 pixel canvas. Making sure horizontal and vertical strokes were aligned to this grid. I designed and refined the icons in Sketch. Then copied the icons into Adobe Illustrator to export — which gave extra SVG flexibility.
I quickly built out a microsite to hold the icon sets. The site was super simple. It let you one-click download all icons. And also served as a nudge for people to share the icons on Twitter or Facebook. I built a separate page for each city where you could get a closer look at the icons and learn about the contents.