I’ve been using a template as the starting point for icon, symbol, and glyph work for quite some time. The template is incredibly simple — Greyprint is just a bunch of white boxes and some pre-made styles to help speed up working.

I built it when I realised I’d follow the same ritual when starting a project, losing 5 or so minutes every time. New document. Create some guide boxes at the icon sizes I intend to work on. Duplicate. Duplicate. Lock them. Start working. Then, style the icon elements similarly — black, white, black with low opacity, or no fill and a black stroke. Lots and lots of small, repetitive tasks that could be made faster, considering most design tools have style presets that can be applied with a single click.

Greyprint’s pre-made styles are available for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Affinity Designer.

Greyprint styles

Using the templates #

Here is an example using a Greyprint template and styles to draw a shuffle icon in Illustrator.

Greyprint arrow speed run

And a few more examples using only the styles in Greyprint.

Gradient maps #

For design tools that have gradient maps (Photoshop and Affinity Designer), a “colourise” group is included in the templates. Turning it on will apply one of the enclosed gradient maps.

Gradient maps in Greyprint

Not only do they look ace, they also invert everything — black icons on white become white icons on varying coloured backgrounds. This means it’s possible to use the Greyprint styles to create black icons, but preview them as you edit as white icons on a coloured background.

Download Greyprint #

My initial template was for Illustrator, but as is the case with all the recent Bjango design resources, the Greyprint templates have been built for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Affinity Designer. All free and open source, released under the BSD license. I hope you find them as useful as I do.

Download the Greyprint templates or visit Greyprint on GitHub.

Published 3 October 2016.