Icons are important little images that represent a program or tool. Over time these icons have evolved in terms of design, from reflective 3D styled icons, to metro, flat & simplistic concepts. For those designers out there short of time, or those looking to change the graphical user interface of your operating system, whether it be a desktop computer or for mobile modifications, there are several stock icons to choose from over at Icons-Land!
The specialised icon site categorises icon sets in an easy to navigate column, so you can pick out the icons you need with ease. As well as full icon sets, you can also search for individual icons to further develop a personal icon set to your taste.
Tired of the folder look in the windows operating system? Icons land offers several alternatives including the stylish blue look as shown below:
Susan Kare was quoted saying “good icons should be more like road signs than illustrations, easily comprehensible, and not cluttered with extraneous detail”.
If you’re looking to design your own icons, there are guidelines offered by companies such as Microsoft (see here ) on how to do just that, however there are many factors to consider, and can be a long process.
Icon design is the process of designing a graphic symbol that represents some real, fantasy or abstract motive, entity or action. In the context of software applications, an icon often represents a program, a function, data or a collection of data on a computer system.
Some factors to consider when designing icons are:
The shape of the icon must be widely recognizable across different countries. The design of the shape must be clean, simplistic and easy to distinguish. Therefore it is important to research on the shape to ensure it is not ambiguous and that it will not confuse users
Size and scalability
The icon must be designed to ensure that t works across several size formats. As different user groups require different sized icons, they should have flexibility and allow for scalable options. It is important the icon should be recognizable at is smallest size
Colour is another important factor in representing the logo, program or tool. It must also have the balance of contrast and colour so that it can be easily distinguishable amongst every desktop background or wallpaper.
Localization / Cultural Context
If a single icon design is used universally, it should be visually recognizable amongst all countries. Usually, icons targeting the international market focus on the visual design, leaving out any verbal concepts as localization these across languages can be time consuming and expensive.
An advantage of designing your own icon set is that it allows you to further personalize your experience with your device, whether it is a laptop or mobile. It gives control over the aesthetics, and allows each icon to be part of a family that matches in terms of design.
When designing for a client, although it may be time consuming, it again ensures the clients specifications are met to the core, leaving satisfied customers and beautifully made icon sets.
With that said, there are also several pre made icons that are elegantly designed and ready for use. The issue here is finding the right ones amongst the thousands available. However if you know what you are aiming for and if you are looking for a quick way into building an icons portfolio; here are some other beautiful royalty free icons sets offered at Icons Land:
Check out the site for some more cool icon sets! Icons-land is a useful resource hub for icons!