Icon design help... seemingly simple ask for a newb...


New Member
Hello everyone this is my first post --Any help much appreciated!

Ok so I am making some icons for my site and portfolio (I am using Illustrator).

only want the design to be positive and negative space (black and white for now). I would love to export as svg in the end so it can be resized and colored as desired and exported to other programs (like sketch or XD)

My shapes are a combination of lines (with two different stroke thickness), and a few solid shapes (no stroke).

My lines and shapes have caps and corners rounded)

i am assuming most use strokes and caps for lines when others design theirs. To have a sharp edge, come with another shape to "trick" the program so if you trim it doesnt make the edge have the cap or rounded corners (reference image blue)

I am not sure how to make this exist in my design (reference image red). i have a white circle behind the "star" to cut off the other book-page shape, again, rather than have the break point between the two to follow a rounded edge.

if I do any type of "unite, minus, intersection" (pathfider action) it seems to not work how I want it to)

IF id do "Expand" it keeps everything separate and you can see i cant change color of everything at once (or touching shapes at least) (reference pic green)

If i then unite the expanded shapes, it still messes up (reference image green #2)

How do I do what Im attempting?

Thanks so much in advance and apologize for the newb question.

(the source file i'm mimicking the style of can be found here, for reference)