Why to [icon]

One late summer day in Amsterdam, we were working on a project for a 3D printing client. We were struggling with a series of metaphors – how could we illustrate verbs like to level or to extrude or to preheat or to slice? Furthermore, what metaphors effectively communicate these verbs to engineers operating laser sintering machines? The idea for to [icon] was born.

Oriented for action

We design interactive things, which means that our icons usually represent verbs like to create or to read or to update or to delete. These are common and have some fairly standard metaphors. But what about actions that are less common? to [icon] explores a range of metaphors for verbs both common and uncommon.

Achieving pixel perfection

Designing for screens of many resolutions means that you need icons that work at large and small scales. We design all of our icons to be pixel-perfect. Most of our icons are designed at 32px, though some of our more whimsical series are designed at 64px.

About achievingpixelperfection

Beyond black and white

Typeforms have to be only positive and negative space, but icons don’t have to be. We’ve taken our forms to the next level with overlapping shapes and colors, all easily editable to fit the palette of any design.

About themorethebetter

The more the better

We think in systems, and our icons reflect that thinking. Each icon has at least 99 friends that were created using the same visual system so that they can be used side-by-side without dissonance. And we’re constantly adding to the collection! Follow us on Twitter to get updates about when we release new icons into the wild.

All icons are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, see license and credits for more information.

to [icon] is a service of The Artificial and made possible through the support of our patrons.