Does it make sense to try to produce shapes as a combination / intersection of other basic shapes wherever possible? (eg. Constructing a basic shield from primary shapes).

Will that assure best quality / sharpness of edges / scalability of icon, etc.?


  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Not really. The sharpness and quality of vector graphics has nothing to do with how they are constructed. If the graphic is vector (SVG, EPS, AI), it will be sharp and scalable. If you export it as a raster image (PNG, JPEG, TIF), then you can't scale the raster image up or you will see pixels. – Billy Kerr Mar 27 '20 at 11:04

Combining easy to draw basic shapes makes sense if the wanted form really can be created such way without too many shapes. In your linked example the shields had many circular curves, so circles were perfect sources to get them. Do not expect you'll get natural looking organic forms that way.

But the effect can still be a proper artistic style. If you consistently combine easily recognizable basic shapes and create pleasing and interesting composition which actually presents something recognizable much more complex than circles or polygons, for ex people, animals, cars, plants, houses etc... you have really succeeded and done it with basic shape combinations.

Then there are artists who do not try to create anything recognizable by combining known simple forms. Some of them still can succeed to make something interesting although I guess with software it's far too easy to splash together something random, sign it and present it as an artwork.

The good ones have some idea how the shapes are selected, combined and colored, they are not random splashes although they do not present anything else than the work itself. Or they can present. Someone can really generate clear associations between the image and existing relations in the world or human mind when the rest of us see nothing.

There's a comment by user Billy Kerr. He wrote some essential technical facts.


At times.....

Constructions with rudimentary shapes often provides easier symmetry. Like in the question you linked to. However, there are methods to ensure symmetry without rudimentary shapes.

It really all depends on the end goal and what may or may not be achievable with rudimentary shapes. There is no "one method to rule them all".


The quality and sharpness of the artwork has nothing to do with you using basic shapes (circles, squares, etc) or not.

With vector software, EVERYTHING IS 100% SHARP and in the best possible quality. Even if you do something like the image below, which has nothing to do with geometric shapes.

Otherwise yes, constructing icons and shapes from symmetric and/or geometric pieces could be considered 'clean', or 'good practice', but not really necessary, or not always possible. A shield icon can be equally good in different ways.

enter image description here

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