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DDC founder Aaron Draplin hosted a 60-minute class showing the techniques and challenges of combining type and icons into a circle, a foundational shape of graphic design.

I recently took graphic designer Aaron Draplin’s Skillshare class called Designing in Circles: Packing Type & Icons into a Simple Shape. The project was to create a travel sticker using a circle shape. The class taught:

  • Hierarchy, line-weight, and graphic balance
  • Key command mastery
  • Setting up and wrapping up your document

For my design, I wanted to include a plane that is what came to mind when I thought travel. I knew I wanted a quote about travel somewhere in the circle. I started off with a few sketches to brainstorm some ideas.


I then decided on combining the quotes, “Life is an adventure” and “Take risks.” I also wanted to add a plane and a swoosh behind it as an element of motion. I then got started in Illustrator.


I soon found that there were some problems with overlapping on the plane and bottom part of the circle so I removed it and had the plane stand out more. I liked this approach because it was almost breaking the circle shape a bit.


I then added color and also had a version in light gray against a dark background.



After some feedback, I though a gap between the end of the swoosh and circle would help show the movement more. Here is the final result!


This design can now be purchased on Society6.