I recently spoke with an engineer who requested that I edit all our existing icons (we have about 50 of them) to remove the extra margin I was putting around them so it would be easier for her to style the page. I was using the padding/margin for a bit of consistency as I designed the icons but I am wondering if there is any downside to providing engineers icons with no margin (basically the artboard comes right up to all four edges of each icon).



Maintaining a padding within the original file is a good way to make sure every shape gets it’s appropriate margin. Especially when the icon is not symmetrical, simple centering can lead to unbalanced results.

When looking at type, the same applies to kerning. While straight lines need more space between them, curvy shapes can remain closer together.

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You're asking whether there's a downside to doing what the engineer asked?

I sure don't see one. If they make a request to make their job easier and faster, why would you not do that?

Maybe you could include a very tiny padding, like one pixel. Or else do as she asks, and if any icons look bad, call it out at that point.

When a co-worker asks something of me, I try to do it unless there's a strong reason not to. Then when I need something from them, they're more willing to help me out.

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She could be needing the margin removed so she can fit the icons into a specific spot on her page, from there the engineer will be styling the page via CSS.

Edit: presuming the phrase "style the page" means a webpage

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  • I assumed that it's a webpage too. But it's hard to tell from the question exactly who is doing the coding work. I assumed the OP is a graphic designer who created the icons, then the engineer is placing them on the page. Also, FYI, I think the OP wanted to keep the margins, not remove them. :) – DocPixel Aug 8 '16 at 4:54
  • If I had to choose between cooperating with a coworker or being rigid and insisting that they use my icons exactly as I choose... the cooperation wins. For many reasons. – DocPixel Aug 8 '16 at 4:57

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