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Writers' Talk With Corey Marion of the Iconfactory
Pages: 1, 2, 3

alanosx: Are you finding any challenges when building icons for X?



iconfactorycorey: The biggest challenge we have found with 128x128 is detail

iconfactorycorey: knowing when enough is enough

alanosx: YEah...because scaling is a beast...and unforgiving.

iconfactorycorey: A lot of users will never see the 128s

iconfactorycorey: Hints (at 48,32,16) currently work in the finder which helps, but not in the dock

iconfactorycorey: supposedly it is coming

iconfactorycorey: developers see that they have 16,384 pixels to work with now instead of just 1,024

alanosx: I found a lot of difficulty bridging the line between detail, the Apple Guidelines...and branding.

iconfactorycorey: and they want to use them all

alanosx: And I have seen very few developers following the guidelines.

iconfactorycorey: Branding is a huge issue with our clients

alanosx: I'll bet.

alanosx: Were you at the Icon seminar?

iconfactorycorey: yes I was

alanosx: They want developers to build their brand in with a sample of the media handled in the background...

alanosx: almost impossible to get a lot of detail...or sometimes any in that.

iconfactorycorey: Apple actually showed some mock-up of ways to address branding

iconfactorycorey: Some worked well

alanosx: I saw them...yes some did...but I suspect those were the best ones they had.

iconfactorycorey: You can replace the tool in the icon with the brand and keep the media

iconfactorycorey: or make the media as specific as possible to the app (a spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel for example) and keep the tool

alanosx: Except when you scale the icon...

iconfactorycorey: exactly

alanosx: you get to a point in the system...where it is a meaningless little blob. That is where detail becomes noise.

iconfactorycorey: therefore the client wants the brand as big as possible

iconfactorycorey: The IE icon in X is a great example

alanosx: Can't miss it.

iconfactorycorey: it is simply an Aquafied version of the old one

alanosx: Same with AIM.

iconfactorycorey: A lot of clients want that, for good reason

alanosx: with Apple's desire to have these genres...

alanosx: and the emotive qualities they want to address and get across...

alanosx: it is ignored for the large part so far...

alanosx: do you think that will continue?

alanosx: has the genre battle already been lost...?

alanosx: Or is Apple just doing a poor job of communicating the message?

iconfactorycorey: A novice user may be thinking "I need to write a letter" and see the TextEdit icon

iconfactorycorey: they should understand it immediately

alanosx: right.

iconfactorycorey: but a poweruser is looking for a familiar app

iconfactorycorey: not a concept

iconfactorycorey: I need Photoshop now!

iconfactorycorey: What the hell is that photo with the pencil on it?

alanosx: and there is the issue with similarity...

iconfactorycorey: exactly

alanosx: in genres...you can have to apps that have similar icons...

alanosx: but they have different functions...and are different brands...can easily be confused.

iconfactorycorey: Plus you can have very important apps that are classified as utilities

alanosx: Not every word processor should look similar to TextEdit.

alanosx: right.

iconfactorycorey: so they seem to be second class citizens

iconfactorycorey: Norton Utlilies, Stuffit Deluxe

alanosx: also...I think that in theory... genres is a solid idea...until you put it in practice... it becomes much more complicated

iconfactorycorey: I think it works well for apps that ship with OS X

OReillyMac: I have a question then ...

Pages: 1, 2, 3

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