Iconathon Dakar: create icons representing Africa

Saturday, April 8th took place in Dakar the first iconathon of the country and likely of Africa. Let’s go back on this unique designer’s event held in partnership with Kombosa Studio and Deck, whose aim was to initiate the creation of African icons!

Icona-what?

Contraction of “icon” and “hackathon”, an Iconathon – is a one or two-day event in which are gathered graphic designers. Their goal is to work as a team and, in a short time, create icons based on specific local themes.

What is the point of it?

The idea of iconathon came to us when we were working on the subject of street-vendors in Senegal. When creating the various documents of this design study and wanting to make them more visual, we realized that there was no icon representing local street merchants and Senegalese or African people general. So we decided to regroup our flowering designer’s community to start producing icons reflecting the context in which we live.

The goal of such an event was simple: create icons on life in Senegal and make them available to all in an open way.

Intro: history, good practices, font icons & SVG!

After a short roundtable and few coffees, Kofi Latzoo of Kombosa Studio gave us with a beautiful presentation of the history of iconography.

 

iconathon yux dakar senegal

Then Camille, co-founder of YUX shared some good practices and trends for the creation of icons. Finally Daniel, also co-founder of YUX spoke about the collaboration with developers and ideal formats for icons used on the web. He made an emphasis on Fonts Icons, a way to convert icons into normal fonts; and on SVG a vector format allowing developers to change the size and color of icons and to animate them.

Topics

The teams then worked around three themes: informal economy, transport and Senegalese people in general (men, women and children). After a quick brainstorm what concepts or objects each group should draw, designers used their favorite software to create their icons.

 

iconathon yux dakar senegal 3

Results

In less than 2 hours, each participant designed 1 or 2 icons that were, at the end, showcased to all in order to collect feedbacks and improve them afterwards.

The best icons were then shared online. You can see them below or on the YUX Dakar page in JPEG.

Feel free to contact us if you need them in PNG or SVG or if you would like to work on specific icons sets for your organization. After few iconathons when we’ll have homogenous groups of icons, we will share them via creative commons on existing icons banks like Noun Project.

Themes for the next iconathon are already set: cooking and religion!

 

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