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April 12, 2004

Worst Apple-Designed Icons?

FontBook Icon by AppleIf I have to choose one, it's FontBook. Easily the worst icon because it's so stale looking and aperture width is too strong.

They need to add some colors to difference it from Utilities Apps and reduce the aperture width. The type blocks need to go because it has nothing to relate with the notebook. Some contrast would help it to stand out more in the Dock.

The only thing I like about it is gradients. It's nicely done.

What's your most dislike Apple-designed icon?



Those aren't key caps, they're type blocks. Looked at in that context they make sense.

Posted by: Gary at April 12, 2004 02:14 PM

You're right they're type blocks, not key caps. Thanks for the head up.

Posted by: Adam Betts at April 12, 2004 02:20 PM

GarageBand has a pretty bad icon. I always have to change it to someone more fitting.

The guitar doesnt make use of the 128 x 128 space very well and the shadow is ugly.

Posted by: Alexandr at April 12, 2004 03:37 PM

I believe Dave Brasgalla over at the IconFactory had a really nice GarageBand icon up for a while on the Quick Pix corner of the site, but it changes every few weeks and is gone now. I'm sure someone must have gotten it...

Posted by: Collin at April 12, 2004 03:46 PM

In no particular order:

1.) QuickTime (B-O-R-I-N-G)
2.) iChat
3.) iSync
4.) Terminal

Posted by: gorickey at April 12, 2004 04:14 PM

I think FontBook should have a boring monochromatic icon -- it is, afterall, a utility.

iSync is the one I hate the most. iChat + Terminal are cool, gorickey.

Posted by: Steven Canfield at April 12, 2004 04:26 PM

mail - i dislike the eagle. the rest is great. i made some replacements
preview - that kid looks possessed. it's his eyes that freak me out. that icon too, the rest is great.

Posted by: mdc at April 12, 2004 04:47 PM

Preview icon is pretty lame. I think at "dock scale" (which is usually 24x24 to 48x48 on my machine) it is too similar to Mail icon - similarly angled blue with white border. When I first switched to OSX I was constantly clicking the wrong one. I assume the kid in the photo is a relative of a programmer or something. Apple must be fairly pleased with Preview icon since they use it extensively as an example of good iconography in the OSX Human Interface Guidelines. Is it just me or does that kid have devil-eyes?

Posted by: Adam at April 12, 2004 04:57 PM

DVD Player.app


image capture.app is worse, tho.

Posted by: ambush at April 12, 2004 06:18 PM

Internet Connect's a bit lame... I understand the reasoning behind it: Apple's network icon with a phone jack in it (and quite frankly, it's so much better than that piss-poor phone icon they used in Jaguar). Still, it just doesn't feel right.

I'll ditto the Quicktime Player comment though -- Gracious, that icon needs a makeover badly... it looks sooo old.

Posted by: Sage at April 12, 2004 08:19 PM

Mail. It's just plain ugly.

Posted by: Tony at April 12, 2004 09:00 PM

A second for DVD Player. In my opinion, its just plain ugly, even compared to the fontbook. Calculator would probably take second place.

Posted by: Pixel Sage at April 12, 2004 10:44 PM

maybe the "ODBC Administrator"

Posted by: DCohen at April 12, 2004 11:08 PM

I agree about Quicktime and DVD Player icon. They're just "meh".

I used Quicktime Icon from the one in Jaguar. It is more acceptable than plain Q logo icon. You can download them from RAILhead Design. It's in a set called Jaguar Icons.

Posted by: Adam Betts at April 12, 2004 11:42 PM

Xgrid, although I'm not sure if that counts or not.
QuickTime Player.

Posted by: samdm90 at April 13, 2004 12:01 AM

I think any of the developer icons are bad, really bad, XCode is the onlu good one.

Posted by: Josha Chapman-Dodson at April 13, 2004 12:46 AM

I agree that XCode's icons are awesome. After all, that's what inspired MacThemes.net's blueprint design :)

Posted by: Phillip Ryu at April 13, 2004 06:55 AM

So Adam, are you going to take care of some ugly icons for us?


Posted by: gorickey at April 13, 2004 07:13 AM

Pixie. awesome app, horribly bad icon.

Posted by: fireside at April 13, 2004 07:03 PM

The Pixie icon could be improved, but then again the icon is what the app does.

Posted by: Josha Chapman-Dodson at April 13, 2004 09:41 PM

I'm going to put in another vote for both DVD Player and Calculator. I think the Font Book icon is well designed, and I don't care about the Developer Tools icons. Most of them are probably not designed by Apple anyway.

Posted by: Elliott Pogue at April 18, 2004 12:36 PM

QuickTime Player do look old. FontBook looks good, though the F could stand a bit more out, perhaps with a cool blue tone.

How would you design the Calculator-icon? It's a preview of the window sure, but most calculators are ugly.

Nothing wrong with the iSync, Mail or Preview IMHO.

Posted by: Erik K. Veland at April 22, 2004 05:13 AM

NetInfo Manager... it's just so boring...

Posted by: Mark Davis at April 26, 2004 06:06 PM

I'm surprised nobody's said this one. Folder icons. I think Mac OS X's folder icons are atrocious. I use the TiCons folder icon from Xanthic suite.

Posted by: Lester Nelson at May 16, 2004 07:45 PM

Wanna see some of these icons really close? I mean bigger than 128x128 pixels? Look here!

Posted by: Tice at June 12, 2004 12:44 PM

A toss up between Network Utility and Sherlock. Wait no, there is more...

All of the icons for the user's home folders, the folder themselves, and disk image mounted volumes.

Most hated "new" icon? Automator...too much detail and flashy for an icon...the money could have been spent on something else instead of the design time on it.

Posted by: Jason at July 10, 2004 09:19 PM

The Aplications folder icon. I fifth the DVD Player icon.

Posted by: Jonathan Horak at August 7, 2004 07:52 PM
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