Do you like staring at a blank canvas every time you start a new project in Figma?

I’m guessing you’re not a big fan right, but it’s a practice that you’ve possibly followed from time to time?

Wouldn’t it be better if you could kick-start your design projects faster, and get your head into that free-flowing creative space instantly?

Well my dear friends, this is where a Design Starter Kit can come to your assistance.

And in Part Two of this short Tutorial Series I want to talk Icons. And lots of them!

Let's do this...

PS: If you want to get up to speed, check out Part One of this Tutorial Series here.

Icons. Icons. A good Starter Kit needs Icons.

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Every good Design Starter Kit needs a great set of Icons right from the get-go!

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Like I mentioned in Part One, the core elements of a powerful Starter Kit are –

  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Elevations & Shadows
  • Icons

Other Core Components such as a Buttons, Inputs, Modals etc… are a close second, and I’ll be touching more on these in Part Three.

Find a lightweight, but varied Icon Set for your initial build.

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For my own Starter Kit; Cabana for Figma, I wanted a fairly substantial, but not oversized Icon Set.

I aimed for something that had a varied amount of icons to choose from, was not too quirky in its style, oh and had both Fill and Line options available to me, and that’s why I settled on the superb Open Source set; Eva.

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Of course, the Icon Set will most probably change at some point due to the project you’re working on, and the assets you’ve been provided, but for a plain ol’ Vanilla Icon Set that is there for you to use on say, personal projects, or early stage comps, a set like Eva is perfect.

Oh. Before we move onto the last section. Another Open Source Icon Set that I highly recommend, and one that I’ve used many times in the past, is the beautiful Feather Icon Set by Cole Bemis.

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Eva not your thang? Go with Feather. Accept no substitutes!

Want to organize your Icons better? Get yourself an Icon Organizer pronto!

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My weapon of choice when adding Icons to my own Kit is IconJar. Have used it for years. It just works, and works well. Cannot recommend it enough.

From their blurb…

IconJar leaves digging through your design resources folders behind so you can use icons without hassle. Your personal icon organiser is always just one click away and offers you everything you need to get the job done.

IconJar is Mac only, but if you’re a Windows user do not despair, you have the awesome Nucleo to call upon, another app which I highly recommend.

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Blurb alert…

Nucleo is a beautiful library of 29689 icons, and a powerful application to collect, customise and export all your icons.

Back in my Kit, and on a Main Components page that I’d created earlier, I simply dropped in, one by one, icons from the Eva Icon Set.

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The cool thing with IconJar is that it will insert your icons with a 24pt Bounding Box already applied, which aids alignment and visual consistency within your designs.

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Then, it was just a case of attaching the Primary Base Color Style that I’d created previously…

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…choosing a naming convention to aid with categorisation of my Icons (similar to what I’d created in Part One)…

  • Icon / Alert Circle / Fill
  • Icon / Alert Circle / Line
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…and then simply converting it to a Component (Alt + Cmd + K).

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Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Now, this part will seem a little time-consuming, and entering the realms of mundanesville, but I’ve yet to find a Figma Plugin that can help automate this process in some way, so manual it is for the time being.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

Get the key elements in place, the sometimes time-consuming, and mundane out of the way, and then you can dive into the really fun, and juicy stuff, which is coming up in the next part.

Thanks for reading the article,
Marc Andrew.

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