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Meanings of Figma Icons [Full Guide]

Meanings of Figma Icons [Full Guide]

Pierluigi Giglio
September 27, 2023

In this article we'll learn about some of the essential Figma icon meaning of elements for your next design projects:

❖  Main Component in Figma?

The Main Component can be distinguished by an icon with 4 diamonds.

Components are reusable elements that can be used in various design projects. They are generated from any design layers or objects including buttons, icons, layouts and more, facilitating the maintenance of design consistency.

When you create a component this becomes the Master Component. Any change of the component, as position and composition will affect the copies of that particular component.

◆  Variants in Figma

Variants can be observed by the purple dashed border, which signifies that components are part of the same group.

Variants are a great way to manage design changes. You can create multiple versions of a component and switch between them. Figma utilizes a specific set of properties and values to identify each distinct variant.

◇  Instances in Figma

An instance refers to a duplicate of the component that can be used in different design projects.

Think of the main component as a foundation for an instance, it can’t exist without a component. You can start with the main component, and everything else is just a copy of it. When there are changes to the main component, all the copies update automatically to match.

⌗  Frames in Figma

Frames are containers with unique properties and it has the ability to nest areas together.

Frames are similar to artboards, but they offer more versatility. They allow defining areas on the canvas where you can create and organize your designs. One of the significant advantages is that you can nest them within other frames, creating a hierarchical structure for your design elements.

║║  Frames with Auto layout in Figma

Auto layout is a valuable property added to frames and components, it allows you to create flexible and responsive designs.

Auto layout is especially beneficial for creating user interfaces that need to adapt to different screen sizes and orientation, also for designing components. Reduces the need for manual adjustments as sizing, alignment, spacing, padding and margins to control the spacing between the frame’s content and its boundaries, and helps maintain design consistency across different states or screen sizes.In addition to resize and alignment rules, you can set constraints on how elements behave when their parent frame changes size. This is particularly helpful for designing responsive user interfaces.

⬚  Groups in Figma

Group is a very powerful design tool that plays a fundamental role in organizing and managing design elements.

Groups in Figma allow you to select multiple elements, such as text layers or images and combine them into a single layer. It can help you to keep your canvas organized by grouping related elements together. When creating a group, its bounds are automatically determined by the combined size and position of its child elements. Groups can be nested within other groups, creating a hierarchical structure for your design elements.

⧉  Boolean Group in Figma

Boolean Groups are a tool for vector-based design, providing a versatile way to create custom shapes and complex compositions.

Boolean Groups allows you to combine two or more shapes into a single shape, resulting in a compound shape. The most common Boolean operations include Union, Subtract, Intersect, and Exclude. These operations determine how the overlapping areas of the shapes are treated. They are especially useful when working with logos, icons, and illustrations that require precise control over shape interactions and combinations.

◰  Sections in Figma

Sections are positioned as top-level elements on canvas. They have the capability to organize and structure your design files.

In Figma you can effectively organize your canvas using labeled sections to group related ideas and facilitate collaboration with your team. They serve several valuable purposes such as easier navigation, sharing links, and helping the developer handoff process.

Sections can encompass all types of layers, including other sections. However, sections themselves cannot be contained with frames or groups. This top-level placement ensures that sections serve as a prominent organizational tool within your Figma design, allowing for clear efficient organization and collaboration.

⬓  Cover art in Figma

Cover art is similar to designing any other graphic or illustration.

Cover art is often used for album covers, books covers, social media banners, and more. On a background you can design and arrange your artwork, this is where you can get creative and add visuals, illustrations, typography, or any other design elements that convey the message or theme of cover art.

If you want to learn more about Figma, feel free to check our recent articles on the topic.

Pierluigi Giglio

Sr. UI/UX Designer and Consultant with over 10+ years of experience working with Fortune 500, large enterprises and funded startups. Having worked on hundreds upon hundreds of design projects, collaborated with 40+ clients from all around the world and taught design to thousands of students I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to give back to the design community and help other become better designers.

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