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Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Noah Jacobus, Senior Icon Designer

Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Noah Jacobus, Senior Icon Designer

Update: 2023-02-14


Exploring Sharp Icon Design, Retro Gaming, and Visual Rhythm with Noah Jacobus

In this inaugural episode of Nerd Show and Tell, host Matt Johnson interviews Font Awesome icon designer Noah Jacobus. They discuss Noah’s background in music education, how he became an icon design hobbyist, the monumental task of creating the Font Awesome Sharp family, and little bit about his love of handheld retro-styled games. 

Noah also explains how music history helped him discover the similarities between design and music through visual rhythm and hierarchy. 




Exploring the Task of Creating Font Awesome Sharp Icon Family


Connecting Music and Visual Arts


Music and Visual Design


Icon Design and Working at Font Awesome


The Challenges of Creating Sharp Icons 


Retro Gaming Handhelds


Iconography and Retro Gaming





"It can only do some specific things very well. And so there's some very creative solutions for how to make interesting games for that. That's the same kind of thing that interests me a lot about iconography in that way is that emphasis on working within constraints. And I think that's kind of what drew me to retro gaming and kind of the resurrection of it as well and kind of the preservation of it, too, is like a kind of focus on that, working with what they had and really making cool stuff."

"... The Playdate by Panic has been really cool to see in development and I was finally able to get one earlier this year. And kind of the emphasis that goes into especially when you're creating a new handheld like this. It's kind of inspired by the Game Boy and a lot of old things and kind of choosing which design constraints you want to embrace to kind of set it apart because the playdate is kind of a weird form factor and it has a black and white screen that doesn't have a backlight and it's got some very unique inputs on it. It has some of the stuff you might expect with buttons and stuff, but it also has an accelerometer in it and it has a crank on the side of it and other things like that that are really interesting of like these are some new innovative things. But there's still cool ways to foster creativity because it's not a little wonder handheld that can do everything."

"So learning how to research well has yielded a ton of benefit for me in design. Especially interestingly, a lot of the studying more world music and ethno musicology specifically in like what sorts of aspects of music were important to different cultures at different times throughout history and taking some kernels of that stuff to look for into."

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Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Noah Jacobus, Senior Icon Designer

Nerd Show and Tell: Meet Noah Jacobus, Senior Icon Designer