2 Hours to 4 Icons

Reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer!

I clicked on this week’s suggested assignments because it was late and I needed inspiration. When I saw the One Story/Four Icons assignment, for 3.5 stars, I was so excited to complete it. I had already had experience working with The Noun Project for a previous design assignment and I liked the simplicity and ease the logos afforded my designs. I also love movies, and I wanted to do the movie poster assignment, but was too intimidated. I figured this one would challenge me in the same way creatively, but be easier to execute. I chose my movie (it is one of my favorites) and this is how I created my movie reduction. I posted the finished design on Twitter so that I could see responses of what movie people thought it was. If you want to see the movie revealed, click here.

First think of a movie or story you know well and can reduce down to just four icons. Got it? Good. Now go to The Noun Project and search for and download the icons you want. Keep in mind that the logos should have the same style and line thickness so that they look like they belong together.

My first step was actually to think through my designs and sketch them out. I recommend doing this so there is a vision and you know exactly what to search for. At this step, I had not yet decided what movie to do but these drawings are for two different movies.


Once I finally decided my movie, I searched for lightning bolt.

Then click download > PNG > creative commons. If you don’t have an account it will ask you to create one. Making an account is free and allows you to download all these logos for free through creative commons as long as you give credit to the artist.

I then searched for and downloaded three more icons, and used the same downloading process as the first one.

I searched for a broom, an owl, and an envelope.

I’m sure by now most of you know what movie I’m describing. I know it’s obvious but it’s one of my favorite movies/stories of al time so just bear with me.

Then, open Powerpoint and insert all the logos. Do them each one at a time.

After inserting the logo, crop the name out by selecting format picture > crop. A border will appear around the photo. Click and drag the border until the name is outside of it, then select crop again.

Then insert and crop the remaining logos using the steps above.

Then click and drag logos around the screen and resize them until it looks the way you want.

I wanted the broom to angle the other way, so I selected format picture > rotate > flip horizontal.

Then I made sure it was in the order I wanted with correct spacing, and I grouped all the logos together. Click and drag over the whole slide so that all the logos are selected. Next, right click and select grouping > group.

The last step is to save as a PNG or JPEG. Now your four icon movie can be uploaded anywhere!

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