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9in x 6in pirate themed icons

These images sketched and digitized by me

Project Specifics

For this project, I was asked to create an icon set, of 4-6 icons, of my choosing. I chose a pirate theme. I chose to make a sword, parrot, treasure map, pirate flag, and a skull with an eye patch.  Along with choosing a theme and color palette, I was also asked to make the icons into three different sizes: 9″x6″ that included all the icons, 60 pixels by 60 pixels of each individual icon, and 400 pixels by 400 pixels also of each icon.

Photography Attribution

These 60 pixel by 60 pixel icons were created by me.

These 400 pixel by 400 pixel icons were also created by me.

Target Audience Analysis

My targeted audience of the icon set was young children who enjoy pirates and the ocean. The main message I wanted to communicate through the design is to bring a sense of whimsy and fun through the icons themselves as well as the color palette. This design appeals to the target audience through a playful color palette. The color palette is consistent with colors commonly used with children illustrations and other colors associated with pirates and the ocean.

Design Analysis

There were several main design decisions that were made once a theme was chosen. I needed to choose 4-6 items that would fit that theme. A pirate sword, parrot, eye patch/skull, pirate flag, and treasure map came to mind almost immediately. I created a sense of cohesion with the design principle of repetition. Colors were repeated and unified the icons, which will be discussed more in depth in the next section of this blog post. The inclusion of the circles behind each icon bring another element of repetition and cohesion by ensuring that the icons are all sized proportionally roughly the same. The only issue I had was in resizing my icons to the smaller size of 60 pixels by 60 pixels, the dotted line on the map didn’t translate well because of the condensed sizing.


The next design decision that I made was to choose a color palette. I specifically was looking for a color palette with a warm undertone, but reminiscent of pirates and the ocean. This is the color palette I ended up choosing and creating on my own. I stuck with the neutrals of black, white, gray, and brown. I added in a golden yellow, medium green, red, and teal blue for visual contrast.

color palette swatches

Repetition of the two dominant colors of teal, the dark brown can be found on every icon.  Other repeated elements include the use of black, white in the pirate flag, the skull with the eye patch and the eye and half of the parrot’s beak. The red was used in the treasure map and the parrot. The yellow is used in the parrot’s beak and wing, and also in the map.  The blue color in the treasure map is also repeated in the parrot’s wing. Using this repetition kept the colors consistent between the icons, and helps create cohesion. All the colors in each icon create a visual contrast to help visual interest.


In conclusion, this blog post has discussed the design principles of visual contrast in colors, and the use of color for visual interest and cohesion. Repetition has been used through color, icon sizes, the shape and color of the background. The color palette is consistent with the theme and target audience.