Interview with Ömer Çetin

Written by Gert Jan in Interviews

This week I had an interview with another very talented and inspiring designer, whose work I personaly like a lot. It’s time for a nice cup of Turkish coffee with a big piece of sweet Baklava! Enjoy this interview I had with my friend Ömer Çetin!

Welcome to Iconpaper Ömer. Would you please introduce yourself to our Iconpaper followers?

Hi Gert, my name is Ömer. I was born in Izmir, which is the third biggest city of Turkey. I  started my design job in Izmir, and  I have maintained my work in Istanbul. I’ve been working on icons and illustrations, which jobs had several designs. Because of that I’m trying to improve myself in that way.

Where did you learn your skills? Where do your creative instincts come from?

I love to draw pictures since my childhood (during my school years, I drew my friends pictures that they have to draw alone :) ). Moreover, I have a really curious personality. I can say that everything that I know about my skills was learned by myself.

Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Ömer Çetin?

Unfortunately, my days are really routinely. At work, I listen to music during the day. After work at home, I watch NBA TV  while enjoying my beer. Sometimes I go to a concert, a movie or theater with my friends, and of course, I design icons.

Altough Iconpaper is a website dedicated to Mac, iPhone and iPad customization, I really wanna know the answer to my next question from you as a designer. Are you a Mac or a PC and of course why?

I’m a Mac! Because it has truly inspirational desings (somebody has to say that windows interfaces are disgusting for me ). Operating systems having a Unix sole make less mistakes and give less error problems ( Hey I haven’t formated my computer for years, How about you ?)

What skills are most important for a (icon) designer and our readers would definitely love to know what hardware and software you use when you create your designs?

I create my work via Adobe Photoshop. From time to time I use Adobe Illustrator. In my opinion, an icon designer should learn to work with these programs and be a very good observer. Besides that, a designer should have drawing skills.

Designing has its ups and downs, what is the most difficult problem you ever faced as a designer and where do you get your inspiration from or go for inspiration??

This is an aweful situation. Nowadays, I’ve experienced this very frequently. I can’t design anything when I’m in those situations. Especially, when I argue with my girlfriend. Furthermore, I broke up with my girlfriend because of that. I haven’t been able to design anything for a long time, so that explains my emotional personality :) To get inspired I sometimes visit numerous websites such as  Smashing Magazine, Behance, Forrst, Dribbble, Deviantart…

What’s your typical design process when designing an icon or icon set? And what makes a good icon or icon set in your opinion?

First of all, I examine the things I want to draw(this is the most important part of the job). After examining, in my mind something occurs like a dough that you can mold. Then I can shape it whatever I want.

The second step is to do some draft. When I choose proper draft, I transfer it to my computer with patience by listining music. This is such a passion that I disconnect with the world when I work on my project until I  finish it. I can’t go out. Moreover, I can’t go away from my computer without finishing that job.

Suitability of usage areas/purposes makes a icon pack better, and if  this set be used for alot of areas/purposes. That shows quality of icon set.

How long do you spend on average creating an icon? What are the factors that contribute to how long you spend creating an icon or icon set?

In my opinion, icons are divided in two parts. The first one is icon design that requires fiction and the other one is icon design that doesn’t requires fiction.

If an icon,  I will draw, is supposed to include a  message, the period varies from 1 to 2 days. On the other hand, it also depends on its detail, if this is the case the period may varies between 30 minutes to 10 hours.

What other things do you do besides designing icons?

In the past, I published a heavy metal magazine named Metal Faust, and I did its editorship. I also did some concert organization under the same name. I guess  I’m getting older :) , because instead of that life I chose for a calmer life. However, I feel I need to enjoy life more, so I would like to travel around. Maybe a new girlfriend and new excitements. ;)

Most designers have unusual quirks. For instance I find the best collaborator is myself and often talk to myself to brainstorm ideas and solutions. What are your quirks?

You are talking about a real topic. ;) When I design, I do some weird gestures and have some weird positions. For example, I sit in a squatting position in my chair. Also I look cross-eyed to my design(s). (hey guy! what do we do like that :) )

Quick Fire Kill or Save:

Internet Explorer? Die, die, die! ( also I’m a big Opera fan )

iPad? Kill

Neutraface? Save

Bill Gates? Headshot

You have designed some quite brilliant icons, some of which our readers may recognize from being featured across the web. What would you say has been your best icon (so far) and why?

That’s a really diffucult question for me, Gert. Hmmm,  I guess Pixelophilia 1 & 2. Even though, they are formed with usual objects, they can be used in numerous areas.

There are many  packets that have similar icons, but every designer has his/her distinctive drawing style. Therefore, I say Pixelophilia and the statistics tells the same. :)

What are your plans for the near future and where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

10 Years are really a long time, Gert. Who knows! Maybe one day we can sit side by side and design icons, hey man.  :)  I’ve only worked on the icon field for 9 months now. That’s  really a short period. Therefore, my aim is to improve my skills and become the best icon designer of the world  :P

Can you tell us who your favorite designer is and please tell us what’s so special about him/her?

There is no special person. However, Russian illustrators are really impressive to me. As if producing illustrations comes from their nature.

Please tell us what’s the last song you’ve listened to, the last movie you’ve watched and last videogame you’ve played or we should listen, watch or play and do you have any good tips for us?

Last new movie: Machete.

Last movie: Takva.

Last song: Ezginin Günlüğü – Galata Köprüsü’nün Şarkısı.

Last game: World of Goo

I saw your personal website/portfolio. Can you tell us something about your experience(s) with commercial projects?

For a while I worked as a freelancer. In that time I worked for numerous Turkish companies, a Russian Finance company and I also worked for some American companies, and  some personal programmers. Nowadays, I’ve been working for an interactive design company  in Istanbul.

Thanks again for providing Iconpaper with the opportunity to interview you. Can you at last share some pearls of wisdom for up and coming designers in the field.

I just say that, after now, they should always think what kind of icons they can design.

In fact, I thank you for your interview Gert. I also would like to thank Prathyush Pramod, Kyle Gray, Umar Irshad, Anna Shlyapnikova, Dan Wiersema, Ari Suardiyanti and my other iconist friends that support me.

Big thank you to Ömer for taking his time out in making this interview possible. On deviantART and Ömer’s portfolio you can find more work of Ömer.


  1. Hakan Nural says:

    Congrats on the interview Gert. Young talented Ömer. Great iconist. Thanks!

  2. Ben says:

    Very interesting interview :-)

  3. a man says:

    congratulations all of us

  4. LazyCrazy says:

    Congratulations man!YOu really do amazing work, good look and have more clients!

  5. cem kalkan says:

    congratulations man

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