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Sunday, June 6, 2004

Adobe CS Icons..

Adobe CS's icons are currently the most hated icon set and personally I'm not sure why. I thought it was a nice changes from previous icons where they are too cluttered and cheaply done. Of course, it takes time to remember which icons belong to what applications but after that they're fairly easy to remember. I also like the fact that they're more consistent with each others instead of giving each of them their own colors.

If you hated it, how come? Do you replace the icons with something else?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Adiumy Icon - Looking Back..

Adiumy - I'm just a bird...
Adium Icon was perhaps one of the most controversial icons I've done. It's one of my early works and was the key icon that got me into the whole OS X Icon Scene.

From what I've read on the forums, emails I've gotten, comments on software update sites, etc; public's opinions on Adiumy Duck was fairly split. Some hated it with a passion and some loved it with a red cherry.

Here's few of the amusing comments (some funny, some really stupid) regarding Adiumy Duck Icon that I've found:

"I hate the stupid squawking bird icon"

"What's with all the bird icons for Adium? They all creep me out...those eyes just staring..."

"I think that bird-type-creature looks horribly ugly."

"Once you replace the butt ugly icon with other icon it's a great program"

"This mismatch of Aqua and chicken-scratch icons is headache-inducing."

" WAUGH! The new dock icon sucks!"

"I won't use Adium because I don't want to bother editing the icon"

"I have to say I REALLLY do hate that duck, just screams ms office assistant to me. Don't get me wrong I love little character things but when they're not corny like that duck ugh thats why mine is hello kitty instead."

"New dock icon please That dock icon is ugly"

"He goes against Apple's guidelines; a photo-realistic icon that represents the function of the app and instead creates a cartoon bird that represents nothing of what the app is about."

"I use Proteus. I would use Adium if not for that fscked up duck. *shudder*
It's just so... duck-ish... WTF does a duck have to do with instant messaging?"

Those kinds of comments do not offend me in the slightest. I'm only laughing because it's funny how a completely harmless and simple-minded bird could cause so much pain in some people.

It's also funny how some people refused to use an app just because of the icon. It's like saying "I won't go outside because I don't like the color of the sky." That Hello Kitty comment is hilarious because Adiumy Duck couldn't possibly be any cornier than Hello Kitty :)

Psiona's Costumes for Adiumy BirdWithout those haters, Adiumy Duck probably won't be at a celebrity status like he is now. Psiona (Official Costume Designer for Adium) also contributed a lot to his popularity by designing some award-winning costumes. Give her portfolio a check and you'll be impressed. By the way, if you ever need some illustrations for your projects, she's the gal to hire.

All in all, I'm glad that Adiumy Duck is enjoying his life even though he couldn't comprehend most of the insults to him (a good thing if you ask me). Now only if he finds a girlfriend...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Project Inquiry from Microsoft..

The reason I edited Monday's post out was that I recently got a project inquiry from Microsoft IT Department for Icon Design and I want to avoid any potential conflict of interest. I know I should be putting my foot in mouth for contradicting myself but I love a large and challenging project and this one interest me.

The only problem is that they require an active business license and we don't have that right now. I've also gotten a project inquiry from ATI a while ago but I have to turn them down for the same reason.

Right now I'm going to learn more about getting a business license. If you know a great place to get information about getting one, it would be appreciated if you could post it here. Thanks.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Windows Icons..

I'm beginning to get sick of one thing and it's people asking me to do Windows Icons for their applications. Don't get me wrong, this is perfectly okay with me but when I said I'm not interested, some of them tried to fool me by sending me a different email under a different name and email address and even claiming that they're developing for Mac OS X. This has been happening more than several time and I'm pretty unhappy about it. One of them went as far as saying that if I know any better, designing icons for Windows is the right way to go. This coming from a medium-sized company.

The reasons behind this are that I prefer to follow other platform's guidelines closely and have the right resources to do so instead of designing icons with a blindfold. I'm not familiar and have no interest into learning Windows or any other platform's guidelines. There's no way I will be designing OS X style (or the over-abused word 'Aqua') icons for Windows because that is NOT their main style.

[/end rant]

[edit: post's back on now]

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Toolbar icons on Brushed Metal Window..

Toolbar icons on Brushed Metal WindowThere are some people who think that Toolbar icons and Brushed Metal Window absolutely doesn't go together, I do agree with them but after some playing with toolbar icons for my client's upcoming application, it's possible for them to look good together by changing the shadow setting. Instead of using standard floor shadow, I used back shadow to help create a depth between icon and Brushed Metal Window.

Another way would be insetting them like Safari's toolbar controls but it will not works for some icons such as Manage Filters icon on Fig. 1.

Apple should address this problem in their Human Interface Guidelines if they're going to leave Toolbar support for Brushed Metal Window.

Monday, 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?

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Self-Critique: Wood Signs Icon Set

Note: Self-Critique will be posted every once in several months. The reason why I decided to do this is to encourage myself to step back and take a view at my work in different perspective. That way, I will be able to take a look at my mistakes and try to understand why they did not work. So, I can learn from them and try to improve my future designs. It is not only for me, but it is also an opportunity for you to learn from my mistakes and avoid making them in the future.

In each self-critique post, there will be a list of problems and solutions included with comparison screenshot (old against new). Even though this is a self-critique, you are more than welcome to post your own critiques and feedbacks.

Wood Signs Icon Set - Feb. 2002:

• Way over-detailed
• Poorly done 32x32 and 16x16 icons
• Bad Shadows

Way over-detailed

Icon DetailsWhat did I do wrong:

I tried to make the icon as detailed as possible because I thought it would help icon to look more detailed in smaller size but it did not. It made the icon to be messy.


Monday, March 1, 2004

PulpFiction Icons

Pulp Fiction Icon - Click to see full-size image
Application and Toolbar Icon for Freshly Squeezed Software

This is definitely the longest icon project I've been in. The long length on designing application icon was mainly my fault because of the difficulty in coming up with a good design for this kind of application without using cliché designs. After submitting several different designs, Erik was finally satisfied with the last design and I think I agree with him. Some of the early designs were either weak or odd. PF Toolbar Icons, on the other hands, took only one week to finish.

If you want to see the process from several drafts to several submitted designs to final design, you can check them at NSLog(); (For those who don't know, NSLog is a weblog by Erik at Freshly Squeezed Software):

Project Length: 6 months Designs Submitted: 5 designs

Sunday, February 1, 2004

Rock Star Icon

Rock Star Icon - Click to see full-size image
Application Icon for Freshly Squeezed Software

This design was done in both Cinema 4D and Photoshop. I didn't like the way glass shininess looked in 3D so I redid them in Photoshop.

The project was done in a very short time. Designed the graphic in a few hours and with a few adjustments, the client approved the design.

Project Length: One day Designs Submitted: 1 design with some adjustments

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Strateges Icons

Strateges Icon - Click to see full-size image
Application and Toolbar Icons for Strateges, a new game from Cliche Software

This was my first icon work that was partly done with a 3D app. It was also my first time using a 3D app. Photoshop were used to smooth everything up and did some hue adjustments.

Project Length: 1 week Designs Submitted: 2 designs