Miniature Art Collection of Icons and Symbols

Icons, Art in Miniature

 

Icons and symbols are miniature pieces of art. Their swirling lines and shapes create iconic images that decorate, illustrate, and identify. These icons can become epic, i.e., the Mac Apple. (See a page of icons on my Blog and a more complete collection at Swim Yellow Duck.)

miniature "pw" monogram with calligraphy border
My “PW” monogram, underwater

I christened my PW monogram floating in the sea alongside a whale as art in miniature and on a lesser scale.

Working from a sketch, I had envisioned my initials inside a formal cartouche symbol, somewhat like a monogram found impressed on an old English manuscript. However, my mind wandered to Lollipop Land as I worked, and soon my “PW” initials were under water watching a whale swim by.

An Iconic Collection

Art from the Free Icons & Symbols Collection
Free Icons & Symbols Collection

I’ve launched a  collection of icons and symbols from my digital doodles for you to use as a resource, gratis. It’s an Iconic Collection of Free Icons and Symbols .

The zip folders include various file sizes in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG, that you are free to download. I’ve showcased some on my Free Icons and Symbols in a gallery on my blog. For a more complete visual reference, check out my Swim Yellow Duck gallery.

purple imperial insignia icon from the Free Icon& Symbol Collection
Imperial Insignia Icon

I tend towards elongated swirls. I think flowers. Many of my icons are flowers and scrolls. In my handwriting, much like stopping to smell the roses, I stop to twirl my letters because I love the curve of a line.

Icon for Christmas in July

Oh, Christmas Tree
Oh, Christmas Tree

If you are one of those who dream of snow on a sunny day in July, you might be a Christmas in July person. It’s a great time to buy yourself a gift because summer sales in July are door busters.

The fun thing about icons in my collection is that you can make them any size and any color.Christmas tree decorated

Cactus Icon

Flowering Cactus Icon from the Free Icon and Symbols Collection
Flowering Cactus

What comes to mind first when you see a cactus? You’re thirsty, an iguana, desert sand, sun screen, a western movie or possibly, tequila … ?

For me, it’s Cabo San Lucas, my favorite vacation spot. Although, anywhere in the tropics with sand and the ocean would suite me well.

I will post more icons from time to time. Until then, happy trails ….

How-to: Add Color To Digital Art in a Click or Two or Three

The art in my folders is, for the most part, saved in three formats, JPG, PNG, and SVG.

Inverted icon in JPEG format and framed withwith green border
JPEG: inverted black & white and added a green border to the bounding box

A JPG image is compressed and set in a white bounding box. There is little you can do to affect a JPG  in two or three clicks. In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can invert the colors, i.e., change the white to black and black to white.  And, you can frame the bounding box.

The PNG and SVG formats lend themselves more simply to editing.

PNG image of a cactus icon colorized and embossed in Photoshop
PNG: colorized and embossed in Photoshop – retained the transparent background

In art programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can lock the transparent background on a PNG, and paint away to change the color. As well, you can do anything to a PNG that you can do with a JPG and still retain the image transparency when you save it as a PNG.

You can totally edit an SVG image in vector art programs like Adobe Illustrator etc. The sky is the limit. Add a pattern background to the image, animate the image, or completely re-make the image, make it huge or make it tiny,  all without loosing image quality, thanks to the nature of the beloved vector format.

Original cactus icon
Original SVG Cactus Icon
Changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color
SVG: original image edited in Illustrator: changed the flower to a bird and replaced the black and white with color, all with a few simple clicks!

Styling with Monograms – or, What’s in a Name?

Styling a Monogram

Monogram of the letter G with flowers
“G” for Gwendolyn

I heard a style watch for fall forecasting the comeback of monograms. Wanting to be trendy, I decided to design one for my scrap pages and journal notations.
I opened Adobe Illustrator, but found no font to inspire me at my fingertips.
Anxious to show progress quickly, I opened my iPad and turned a “G” doodle into a flower pot.Icon of a curved bar with fringe in blue

Back on my computer, I attempted a preppy style with three initials constrained in a circle, but had mild success. Also, I set my initials in JFRingmaster and warped the text in Illustrator.

Monograms with fancy letters using glymps from my typeface menu
A swish, swash monogram with glymps

For a frilly version of my monogram, I used the Illustrator Glyphs in the type menu to add ligatures for that look of aristocracy.

icon calligraphy with a ball of beadsStriving for a monogram sharpened my eye to typefaces and gave me a greater respect for those geniuses who design them. My latest typeface love is Axiforma from MyFonts. I’m crazy about the font because it comes with many faces, from thick to thin, in regular and italic, so I bought it.

Finally, years ago my hubby had a calligraphy artist pen my name. I scanned the art and outlined it in Illustrator.

Monogram Love

Order and Hierarchy of Initial Monogram

  • Same-size letters in a straight row represent: first, middle, and last initials.
  • Three initials with a large center initial and two smaller initials, on the right and left: large center initial for last name, with first initial to the left and middle initial to the right.
  • A wedding or couple’s monogram is made with a large center initial (their last name), with groom’s first initial on the left and bride’s first initial on the right.
  • Two letters, same size, represent your first and last initials.
  • Stylized single letters represent your first name or your last name.
Block letters from my Art journal

Add monograms to not just identify belongings but to add a personal stamp to your lifestyle. Celebrate your name!

At Starbucks or whenever hubby Darrell needs to give his name at a counter for pickup, he uses his super initials, DW, which alleviates letters and time and rescues the barista from a comedy of errors … “Daryl,” “Darrel,” “Darel” “Darrell”?

Monograms in my future
My monogram initials encircled with a heart reads as my first name and last initial or my initial monogramame or my monogram
Letters read as my initials, paw, or my nickname and last initial, Pat W. – a clever sketch by hubby.

First, I sketch or ink my monograms. And, I have a secret weapon. My husband is an illustrator. He leaves sketches like love notes on my desk when he knows I am working on an idea.

He left a monogram sketch on my desk yesterday of my nickname Pat and my last initial W.

In his usual cleverness, he inter-wove letters, adding an end swash on the W crossing back over the leading edge of the W forming a secondary T, to read both as my initials, PaW, or my nickname Pat W.

Think about your initials. Is there anything unique about the sequence of your letters that would make a distinctive monogram?

Play with the letters in your name, and create a distinctive mark, a custom monogram, all your own.

Re-writable EW monogram on a pillow made with mermaid fabric
Emma draws her monogram initials on a mermaid pillow with reversible sequins

A monogram is a trusty friend…

Learn lettering from gurus famous for copperplate and a myriad of calligraphy styles