Icon Design: One Artist’s Process

It’s always interesting to glimpse into an artist’s process. On his website, editorial illustrator and identity consultant Felix Sockwell shares some of the incarnations his png icons went through when he was creating the NY Times graphic user interface (GUI) for the iPhone. Sockwell writes that his favorite icon design was the single lily that was used to signify the obituaries section. You might be wondering, “Lily? Why use a lily to symbolize death?” Apparently Sockwell’s original design was a tombstone, but the editors thought it was too morbid. Other prototypes included coffins, tombstones with flowers in front of them, and even a lily with a skull in the center.  I agree with Sockwell that a lily is an unusual choice. Among the other icons it looks more like a symbol for gardening or horticulture, but we’ll see how iPhone users respond.

Check back next month for more information about Vista, Mac, Linux, and XP icons