Google Autodraw is a quick way to create copyright-free icons

In an amazing workshop I attended this summer, I was introduced to a nifty little tool that has saved my students a lot of time this year: Google Autodraw.

Here’s the simple how-to, though it’s pretty intuitive:

  1. Go to Autodraw.
  2. Use your mouse to start drawing the icon you want to create.
  3. Google guesses what you’re trying to draw and pulls from its digital library a bunch of icons you can select from.
  4. Select the icon you like and download the vector image.
  5. If necessary, import it into your image editing software (Illustrator or Photoshop, usually) and make alterations.
  6. Save it and use it. No attribution is necessary.

Obviously, the icons are pretty generic — a bicycle, a pizza, a hat — but it’s a big time-saver, especially for creating alternative story forms for print or online.

Michelle Balmeo

Michelle Balmeo, MJE, is the adviser of The Whirlwind newsmagazine and online news publication at West Albany High School in Albany, Ore. She's done some print stuff, some video stuff, and some web stuff over the past 16 years as a student media adviser.

Michelle Balmeo has 66 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Balmeo

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