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Interviewed: Vincent Le Moign

About his workflow and more

As icon lovers ourselves we obviously love icons but there’s always a team or someone behind the icons you’re using. Today we’ll get a small look into Vincent Le Moign ‘s kitchen. In case you are not familiar with his work, he designed the very popular Streamline Icons that you must’ve seen in the wild somewhere.

We think it’s very important to look further than the pixels people create, therefore we are going to interview people who inspire us in order to learn about who’s behind all the eye-candy.


Q. Hey Vincent, thanks for your time. Can you please tell us something about yourself?

Hey Davey! I’m a french entrepreneur living 100% of the income generated by my digital products: interface icons, but also vintage ornamental vectors.

Before that, I was a interface designer for more than 10 years. I started designing icons for my own needs and I grouped them in an archive file that I used in my various projects. That file became larger and larger, and in 2010 I decided to share it with the community for free. It was one of the biggest collection you could find at the time, with… 260 icons :-)

The feedback and traffic was so huge that I decided to work on a premium collection, and try to make a bit of money as a side project. That’s how I’ve launched my first icon collection: Minicons.

Since then, I’ve launched more collections and the increased income allowed me to stop to work for other as a freelance, and to focus only on my projects. Which I love a lot more! As a perfectionist and control freak, it’s great that i can spend ton of time polishing, fixing, tweaking.

Q. You designed one of the most popular icon sets out there, what was your motivation for this?

I guess you are talking about the Streamline icons, which is a massive collection of iOS icons. I wanted to offer the largest choice of icons to the designers and developers, and also give them maximum flexibility. It was the first icon collection that introduced the possibility of changing the stroke width, so you could adapt them to your needs: icons or illustrations.

Once I start a collection, I have this “collector syndrome” and I cannot stop adding icons to make the collection more exhaustive.

Q. What does your usual icon design process look like?

As I have already 3000 icons in the Streamline icons, they serve as reference for the new collection. We reuse the same metaphors and organization for the new collections. But if I need to add a new icon, i will start by typing the object/concept name in Google image. Then I skim through the results to get inspiration. It also give me an idea about what is the “cliche” or standard visual appearance for this object. As icon designers we work with a “cliche” visual skeleton of an object that everybody will recognize. Then we apply our style, like a skin, to the top of it.

For designing icons, I use Illustrator (as all the professional icon designers that I know). I’ve tried to use Affinity Designer, but it still needs a few features to be able to compete with AI. An essential tool to be more productive is the “Vector Scribe” plugin. My friend Scott Lewis wrote a detailed article on how it will help you to be a more productive icon designer.

Of course, I use a grid (almost always 24px) and I usually draft icons before vectorizing. That’s the coolest part! Sipping a coffee and drawing icons in a coffee shop :-)

Q. Even while Streamline got this big you keep working on new projects, what are you working on now?

First of all, I’m not alone. I’ve got 3 great designers working for me in Thailand (I was living in north Thailand – Chiang Mai – for 5 years). They design some of the icons, and work on organizing, polishing, checking quality, etc. Actually in an icon collection production, at least 50% of the time is dedicated to the finalization and exporting in various file formats. A very boring and draining task…

I’m working on 2 huge collections, each one will get 4000 icons.

The first one is “Nova”. That will be the biggest icon collection following the Google Material Design style. It’s not a carbon copy of Google icons though, we tried to inject our own touch. You can see a first preview here:

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The second is my favorite: “EGO” icons. A collection of angular icons with a unique and futuristic style.

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You can have a look at some Dribble shots here

I’ve also written an article explaining the research and conceptual process for creating this “EGO” collection: https://medium.com/@webalys/how-to-create-a-collection-with-thousands-of-icons-5051a613511c

Thanks for giving me the mic ;-)
I’m very impressed by the great job you’ve done with Iconjar. It’s a great way to organize my icons, and I plan to make all my icons available as .iconjar archives.


Follow Vincent on social media: Dribbble  •  Twitter  •  CreativeMarket

 

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