Logo Windows icon software company Icon SoftwareIcons DownloadsF.A.Q.Contact  
Icon Software
Graphic Software
Icons Downloads
Order Icons
Windows icon sets
Icon Design
EnglishDeutsch - GermanРусский - RussianEspañol - SpanishFrançais - FrenchItaliano - Italian日本語 - JapaneseNederlands - Dutch中文(简体) - ChineseNorsk - Norwegian
Get Ready Icons
The most typical errors in icon design?

#1 Poor differentiation between images
Sometimes within one pack of icons, we have icons that look similar and it is really hard to tell which one is which. If you don“t see the signatures, you can very easily be confused by those icons.

#2 Unnecessary elements in one icon
The cleaner and more laconic the image is, the better. It is preferable to set the number of objects in one icon as low as possible. Nevertheless, Microsoft“s artists, inspired by the new icon format featured in Windows Vista, decided to go big and created over packed icons to justify their bloated budget.

#3 Unnecessary objects
An icon should be easy to understand. The fewer objects it has, the better. It is better if the whole picture is relevant and not just a part of it. Therefore, you have to pay attention to the context of using icons.
Take the database icons, for example. The set may appear fine at a first glance, but if this application (or a separate toolbar) deals only with databases, we can (and should) delete the irrelevant part.

#4 Non-unified style within a set of icons
It is a similar style that unites several icons into a set. The uniting property can be one of the these: similar colors, layout, resolution, drawing technique or several of those properties combined. If the set only contains a few icons, the creator can remember the rules easily. If the icon set contains over a hundred images and there are several designers working on this task (for example, icons for an operating system), then specific instructions should be created. Such guidelines describe in detail how to draw an icon so that it fits straight into the set.

#5 Spare details in small sized images
The progress is moving fast: GUIs have gotten the power to use semi-transparent items, the number of possible colors to use became unlimited and there is currently a trend towards 3D icons. But is it really all that useful? Not always! Especially if we are talking about icons in size 16?16 or smaller.

#6 Misusing original symbols
Selecting what is to be included in an icon is always a compromise between readability and originality. Prior to a symbol (image) is created for an icon it is wise to consider how it is designed in other projects. Maybe the most suitable solution is not in inventing something original but rather in adopting the existing solution.

#7 National or cultural characteristics not being taken into account
It is always helpful to consider the background in which your icon will appear. An important aspect here is ethnical characteristics. Social customs, surroundings and gestures can vary dramatically from country to country.
For example, a mail box appears to be a great image for a ”Mail‘ icon. But you can see all the different types of mailboxes in different countries. In that case, you should either make your icon copy the mailbox that is common for the user“s country or state, or select a more general symbol like an envelope.

#8 Pictures of real interface elements in icons
The manual on designing icons for Mac OS X warns us: ”Avoid using Aqua interface elements in your icons; they could be confused with the actual interface.‘ But all in vain! There still are lost of icons that can be read as a couple of separate ones.

#9 Text inside icons
This fault is usually seen in application icons. Naturally the first thing that comes to mind when developing an application icon is to adapt the application“s logo. What is wrong with the text embedded into the icon? Firstly, it is strictly language-related and so impedes localization. Secondly, if the icon is small, it is impossible to read the text. Third, in the case of software icons, this text is repeated in the caption of the application.

#10 Outside the pixel framework
As a rule, this problem occurs if you use a vector editor for drawing icons. In large size the images looks stylish and crisp; but in reality the icons are small, and under rasterization anti-aliasing frets the objects“ edges.

 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

XP Icon editor IconXP can edit and create Windows icons in color depths up to 32-bit True Color. It supports the new icon format introduced in Windows XP (8-bit transparency). You can customize desktop and folder icons. 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 editor and builder IconUtils is a complete icon and cursor solution. IconUtils package can edit icons and cursors, manage icon and cursor libraries, convert icons into images (in various graphic formats) and vice versa, customize Windows desktop and folder 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

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, PNG, BMP formats and manage files. 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

Icon editors