Creating Icons
0xDB31
November 3rd, 2022

Calling all artists and collectors of icons. November is the month of Icons for RARA.

Register your NFTs as a reaction to serve as the canvas for curator comments and join us all month as we curate iconic NFTs at app.rara.social.


Creating Icons

The term “icon” (n.) means (i) an image; a representation, (ii) a representation of something sacred generally relating to sanctification of a Christian personage, or (iii) an important and enduring symbol.

While Latin eventually adopted the word icon, the term “eikon” meant "likeness, image, portrait; image in a mirror; a semblance, phantom image;" in philosophy, "an image in the mind." Emphasis added to the last two meanings which I think goes towards the root of the issue - icons attempt to give shared meaning between minds that think differently.

Where a picture is worth 1000 words, icons represent one idea of the mind.

Icons range from functional to emotional and shared to personal meanings
Icons range from functional to emotional and shared to personal meanings

Naturally, the earliest and most well known icons are drawings and statues of gods and kings - representing both a person, an idea, or maybe an ideal way of living.  Like super translators, great icons are understandable by people with different spoken languages and different education levels.

Digital Icons

Behind the screens and on the command line, computers run on a vibrant community of growing and evolving languages - coding languages from Python and C++ to Typescript and Solidity. In the 1980’s, Apple famously pulled the computer industry forward beyond code and command lines for technical users to more approachable interfaces for everyone. Graphic User Interfaces or “GUI’s” translated and transformed computers from fancy calculators to an artistic universe full of icons.

Susan Kare is arguably the most well known icon artist of the digital age and one of the earliest pixel artists. Coloring pixels on a screen, Kare made computers relatable to the masses with icons that mirrored our IRL lives. Designing fonts and icons for the first mass-market computers, Kare set the stage for many digital icons to come.

Mac typefaces designed c. 1983–84 by Susan Kare
Mac typefaces designed c. 1983–84 by Susan Kare
From error icons to Solitaire, Susan Kare's icons are ubiquitous. Source Kare.com
From error icons to Solitaire, Susan Kare's icons are ubiquitous. Source Kare.com
Happy Mac displayed while the computer was booting. Designed by Susan Kare
Happy Mac displayed while the computer was booting. Designed by Susan Kare

Paper with a folded corner for document files and file folders to store them. Cursors that look like pointing hands. Happy Mac for the loading screen. Deleted files by dropping them in a metal trash can. Cairo emoji font created in 1984. And, pixel paint buckets to create your own digital icons too.

Kare spawned an industry of product and visual designers who are paid handsomely to create designs and icons for our digital age.

Then, came NFTs. No longer one of many software startup employees, designers are now their own bosses - creating and selling their own digital icons. Almost 40 years later, Kare turned her artistry and computer icons into NFTs.

Icons Curating Icons

There are many ways to describe RARA’s social curation protocol - Web3 emojis for NFTs, Decentralized reactions, comments, and tags for NFTs, a curated media graph, and so on.

At its core, RARA is a generalized icon proliferation and mapping protocol. Reactions - which are icons - are burned on NFTs - especially iconic NFTs. Icons curating Icons.

Prior to launching, RARA primarily referred to reactions as Web3 emojis.

However, in practice, reactions span from emojis to GIFs to memes.

Kitten on Fire by 💖Princess Bunny💖 (@vvelvetbunnyy)
Kitten on Fire by 💖Princess Bunny💖 (@vvelvetbunnyy)
Dino vs Aliens reaction by Dainu (@MellamoDainu)
Dino vs Aliens reaction by Dainu (@MellamoDainu)
Alien CryptoStitch reaction by JenniferYellowHat (@HungryDAOJones)
Alien CryptoStitch reaction by JenniferYellowHat (@HungryDAOJones)

Diversity in reactions is possible because RARA reactions are by their nature decentralized icons. Reactions are not created by one corporation like emojis on iPhones vs emojis on Androids. Reactions are created by anyone who takes the time to register their NFT with RARA’s protocol. Reaction creators are owners and creator-owners that simply wish to proliferate their icons.

November Icons

Reactober put to rest (🪦) 200+ new NFTs registered as reaction and curated NFT exhibits. Now it’s time to turn towards Icons.

Welcome friends to November, a month full of icons.

Let’s Curate! Icon Exhibits

Today’s Icon Exhibit is the first of a number of icon themed exhibits planned for this month. Here’s a look at November’s Exhibits.

November's Let's Curate! Exhibits
November's Let's Curate! Exhibits
  • Monday’s “Rally Cries” As a follow up to Monday GM then GN Exhibits, the Rally Cries Exhibit is what brings us all to our feet. It’s a bear market but Crypto Twitter and Discord are humming. NFTs in the Rally Cries Exhibit will send the community to the moon.

  • Tuesday’s “Artists Stories” Artists are the icons that drive the NFT space forward. Like ethos-driven founders, artists continue to create throughout all market conditions. NFTs curated in “Artist Stories” are created by artists, our NFT icons.

  • Wednesday’s “What’s Hot?” NFTs in the “whatshot” Exhibit are trending at the time of curation. Over time, this exhibit will create a pulse of the NFT art and movement.

  • Thursday’s Let’s Curate! Twitter Spaces. Join us every Thursday with a new guest curator leading an exhibit of their choice.

  • Friday’s “Portrait of a Curator” features self-portraits and other NFTs that capture the essence of the curator. By curating an NFT for this exhibit, each curator will be gifted an ENS name of their choice (5 or more characters, new ENS names only, 1 year, limit per curator, terms subject to change)

  • Weekends “Icons” Icons are the guides to our computer-powered lives. From the cursor icon and file folders to thumbs up and hamburger menus, computer iconography spawned an entirely new functional language for user interfaces. NFTs curated in the Icons Exhibit are perfect NFTs for the collector to register as a reaction.

Thanksgiving Week

  • Monday-Thursday “Friendsgiving” NFTs curated into the Friendsgiving Exhibit capture all of the Web3 artists, curators, and anon’s that RARA curators want to invite to their NFT Thanksgiving.

  • “Black Friday” SALE! SALE! SALE! Black Friday NFT sales can be found in flash crashes, bear markets, or just really amazing artists.

  • “Cyborg Monday” Cyborgs are taking over! Run!

Call for Icon Reactions

RARA’s app for curating art exhibits with friends encourages using reactions based on how an NFT makes you feel. However, new apps integrating RARA’s social curation protocol may have more utilitarian reaction needs either by necessity (NFT utilities) or design desire (minimalism). Functional reactions like any computer icon will help them build these experiences.

Reactions for Comments

To kickstart NFT registrations of functional icons, we’re calling for reactions to pair with comments added to NFT. For users who want to quickly comment on an NFT without selecting a reaction, reactions tagged with “comment” will be used.

When curating an NFT, users can add a time-stamped comment directly on the NFT.
When curating an NFT, users can add a time-stamped comment directly on the NFT.

Recommendations for Comment Reactions

  1. Artwork. Think talk bubbles, think bubbles, street signs, art placards, or other art that can serve as default reaction for users who want to quickly comment on an NFT, or (ii) a canvas for curator comments.

  2. Colors. Grayscale, Black (000000), or white (FFFFFF)

  3. Background. None

  4. Reaction Name. Your choice

  5. Reaction Tag. Tag your reaction with comment

  6. File Type. SVG or PNG

  7. Size. 1:1 Ratio, min 600px


That’s it friends. Let’s be iconic.


Follow us on Twitter @rara_social. Sign up for electronic mail updates at RARA.social. Join our community on Discord at RARA.house. View tutorials and community calls on YouTube.

Weekly Events

  • Thursdays at 9PM ET - Let’s Curate! (Twitter Space)

  • Fridays at Noon ET - General Admissions x Community Call (Discord)

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