An icon system with a youthful glow



Design systems ❋ Iconography ❋ Illustration ❋ Mobile Design


Kat Yao ❋ Omri Buzi ❋ Karissa Cardoza


For the launch of Literati's Kids App, I designed an iconography, emoji, and spot illustration system that would appeal to both parents and children.

Where I came in

The Literati team reached out as they had started building their new Kid's App. My role was to create a cohesive iconography and spot illustration set to support the kid-friendly vibe of the app.

Creating options

Like with most iconography projects, I started by creating a series of moodboards and samples that allowed us to make decisions about what stylistic direction to use.

3 distinct direction sketches using a sample of icons from their list as a starting point

From these 3 options, it became immediately clear that a blend of the first and last option was the way to go. From there, I started fleshing out the full set. Over rounds of edits, we were able to make defining choices, like adding more whimsy.

Top: an initial option for "log out"
Bottom: the final "log out" icon


When it came to emojis, we went through a number of rounds to find the perfect blend of shape, personality, and texture.

The first round used the same styling as the icons, but it didn't hit the mark for a more emoji feeling, despite being very consistent.
The client requested I try a shape more like a child's head. This ended up feeling awkward and uncanny.
From there, I decided to embrace color, adding their signature color, as well as depth and shadow.
They loved the color, but felt the blue looked "sickly", and that perhaps shading was too much. I explored a series of other shapes including a small version of the spot illustration I had been developing in parallel. The "frog" option resonated with everyone.

The final icon set came together pretty quickly once emojis were resolved. Every icon has a filled and stroked option, to give their designers options when designing. My favorites include the "user", "log out" and "curated box".

Full icon set for Literati

Spot Illustrations

The spot illustrations were designed to fit alongside the iconography. They also use linework, bubbly shapes, and geometrically inspired forms.

Spot illustration set for Literati

Illustration system in product

Now that their product is live, you can see all the icons and spots in use today.

Success of the project


I created a version for animation, as well as a version for product design. That way, the animators have live strokes to work with. This also enables changes to be easily made to the design without redrawing anything.


This little icon set packs a big punch. Through its unique point of view, we have created something completely ownable to Literati.


By creating both filled and stroked versions of the icons, designers are free to use both, and don't have to debate how to fix the icon to work as an active state, should that be needed in the future.


This icon and illustration system is exactly what Literati needed at this point. They were able to get a big brand feel easily and quickly. The guidelines I provided for the style should enable designers to create their own work when the time comes.

This looks amazing. We loved working with [BK]. These icons and spot illustrations will truly add so much fun to this app.

Kat Yao, Lead Designer