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General guidelines of icon design


1. Approach Icon Design Holistically
Icons fit within graphic systems. If they are created for desktop applications or Web pages, an icon is one of many visual elements that have to work together harmoniously. Remember this logic across icon sets as well. Icons can contribute to the project by their aesthetic solutions individually, but they don't function on their own. Judge your icons in the prospect of the graphic system you're applying them to. Make sure that each icon is different from it's neighboring images, while still acting in union as a whole.

2. Consider Your Audience
You will have different considerations if you're designing an intranet for a private company, rather then fora product that may be distributed worldwide. When developing icons, cultural details are important. Images may differ for typical objects you may use in your designs.

3. Draw for the Size the Icon will be Used At
If you pick a vector format and draw your icon in Illustrator, there is strong temptation to resize the design, and try to use it at any size. This can't be done with icons. An image that looks good at 512px becomes a blurry smear at toolbar sizes. Icons should have a base design that is used as a guideline, but each produced size needs to have its own optimized design.

4. The Icons Should Remain Simple and Iconic
With operating systems now promoting icons that can be resized to large sizes (512px by 512px is gigantic for an icon), the you are increasingly tempted to get creative with your images. While a level of photographism can add character to your image, it should not supersede its ability to work clearly and effectively.

5. Use Consistent [Lighting, Reflections, and Shadows]
It's obvious that the photographism you add to your images all function coherently. If you set a light source coming from one direction you should stick with it. Or you risk losing the consistent appearance of your icons. Also consider the light arrangements of the interface your icons will be placed in. If the lighting of your icons is contradictory with the Web site or application design you're using them in, then the design will be amateurish.

6. Utilize a Limited Perspective
The range of perspective within your icon design set should work together. If you have objects being looked at from directly above then keep this concept. If you rotate one at a certain angle, then be sure all the icons will look good at that angle also. Imagine a photo camera being placed at a constant vantage point and looking at all the objects from the same perspective. This helps to create unity in your icon pack.

7. Design Consistent Icon Set Styles
Lighting and Perspective certainly take part in styling of an icon, though there are lots other things to consider also. If you're intending to fit your icon into a grunge-style Web page design, you'll probably be applying texture to the style of the icon's design.




 Standard Toolbar Icons

Standard Toolbar Icons

 Science Toolbar Icons

Science Toolbar Icons


Icon editor ArtIcons Pro can find, extract, edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 16 million colors. Import and export icon images, create and handle icon libraries. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). Download it

Icon converter Any to Icon allows you to convert multiple BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, WBMP and WMF images to Windows icons in one action. It also breaks down entire icon libraries into individual icons. You can change color resolution and size to create customized icons. Download it

Icon converter Icon to Any allows you to convert Windows icons and cursors into BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO, CUR, WBMP and RC formats. It has a wizard interface. It's simple to process multiple files at once. You can find icons and make images for use on Web pages. Download it

Cursor editor ArtCursors allows you to edit Windows cursors in color depths up to 16 million colors. You also can search files and folders for cursors, import and export cursor images and create cursor libraries for better and more efficient storage. Download it

Customize desktop icons CustomIcons is an ultimate tool for customizing the icons on you desktop, in Windows Start menu and many other locations. Using CustomIcons you can easily replace default Windows icons with the ones to your choice. Download it

Viewer AhaView supports all popular graphic formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, ICO, CUR, ANI, WBMP. You can browse images in thumbnail mode, view pictures full screen with zooming features, convert images to JPEG and Windows Bitmap formats. Download it

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