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Prod-use your icon vocabulary

You will need to practice = use some icons and can do a lot with a little amount.

Drawing Icons to set visual ankers are one of the three important elements of a sketchnote. To get into drawing icons, we have to free our minds from complex images. Like you saw, If you think draw a cat, most people are overwhelmed at first. When you relax and think about using simple shapes, it suddenly becomes very easy. Let us do the same with a dog:

dog icon sketchnote

The most descriptive for a dog is probably the head (and an animal body of a 4 legged creature is terribly hard to draw). So using straight lines, circles and U-shapes gives me the result here.

1. This touches the main point of drawing icons. Use simple shapes that you know: lines, circles, triangles, boxes, etc


dog icon samples

Or you even think of a certain element that reflects an association to a dog. Let us say a bone? or a dog hut?


dog icon with words sketchnote

And you don’t even have to let the image shine by itself, you can always add a word.

2. You feel it is not clear enough in quality of drawing or as the icon itself? Add a word and box it together.

In the end it is about combining the alphabet into vocabulary.


That’s already it!

Having seen the basics of creating icons, here is what I propose: Pick a context you want to sketch note in: Let us say business. Then think of the most common 10 meanings you talk or think about: Let’s say team, thread, opportunity, todo, goal

Now find images for these meanings and simplify them. You can try yourself, look if you find some in this tutorial or use Google Image Search. It is about getting inspired and then creating your own icon to use from now on. 

For example: team – thread – protection – opportunity – todo – goal

Either you just create an icon

icons to practice

Now let’s say, we are not happy with the clarity of the icons (maybe due to my lack of skills or due to the icon being too general). So just combine with a word:

icons word practice

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