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Icon Design

{Icons|Graphics} for Windows Vienna. {Design|Appearance} and {structure|construction}.

The most {important|significant} design {features|detail} of icons {used|appearing} in operating system Windows Vienna, {structural|construction} {distinctions|differences} of Vienna, Vista and XP {icons|graphics}, {guidance|recommendations} to {creation|making|crafting} Vienna {style|type} icons.


{Icons|Graphics}, {which|that} {are used|appear} in a {newly|recently} {released|created} Windows Vienna are {very|mostly} {similar to|like} Windows Vista {icons|graphics}. They are {designed|created} {using|with} {the same|identical} {structure|construction} and {schemes|guidelines}.

{So|First}, what is Vienna icon? Vienna icon - is an icon {made|created|drawn} in aero style (style of Windows Vienna {interface|GUI}). {Major|Significant} {changes|alterations} in icons' {design|appearance} can be {noticed|seen} in Windows Vista and Vienna {interface|GUI} {even at first sight|at a glance}. A { distinctive|typical} {feature|detail} of Windows Vista and Vienna {interface|GUI} is new icons, {designed|created} in a more {strict| rigorous} {but still|rigorous} and more {fine|beautiful} way. Glass {glares|highlights} and {reserved|defined} colours {make|bring} icons {pleasant|appealing} for eyes, not {annoying| irritating} in {constant|continuous} work and {repeated|multiple} viewing.

{Overview|Key points} of icons {design|creation}. {Description|Details} of style.
  • {Items|Objects} used {as|for} metaphors are {made|drawn|crafted} in hi- tech style and {look|appear} more {advanced|current}.
  • {Angle|Degree} of {rotation|turn} and volume {make image alive|bring life into images}.
  • {Objects'|Items'} angles and {edges|borders} are {soft|neat} and {smoothly round|rounded}.
  • All {objects|items} face a {source of light|spotlight} now (with {extra|additional} {diffused lightening all around|lightning spread all around})
  • {Drop|Falling} shadow {gives|adds|brings} contrast and volume.
  • {Outlined elements|Elements with borders} are {better|easily} distinguished.
  • Gradients {intensify|enchance} the volume and {gives|provide} stylish {look|appearance}.
What is {new|updated} in Vienna {style icons|graphics}?
  • {Style|Appearance} is more realistic but still not {photorealistic|completely realistic}. {Since|Because} icons are {symbolic|intuitive} images and not {images|illustrations|pictures} of {certain|specific} items, in {interface|GUI} they {look|fit} even {better|more appropriate} than photos.
  • Overlayed images {show|illustrate|indicate} what {applications|software|program} the {file|object} is {related|assigned} to.
  • {Toolbar|Buttons} icons {have|contain} {less|fewer} details and {look|appear} more {flat|plain} for {optimizing|neat look} under smaller size.
  • Icons have {maximal|biggest} size 256 x 256 and it makes them {suitable|useable} for high {resolution|dimension} screens. To {display|show} icons on {such|those} screens in {proportional|scaled} size, {saving|keeping} the quality, {large|big} images are {required|needed}.
Size of Vienna - icons.

{Standard|Typical} icons in Windows Vienna {contain|consist of} five {sizes|resolutions} - 256 x 256, 48 x 48, 32 x 32, 24 x 24, and 16 x 16 px. If icons are {used|applied} for {menu|buttons}, toolbar or {small|compact} {symbols|pictograms} only, {maximal|largest|biggest} size is not {required|needed}.
Microsoft Corporation {recommend|suggests} to {create|make} {interface|GUI} icons for {applications|software|programs} {operating|running} {exclusively|only} {under|in} Windows Vienna in the {following|listed} sizes:
  • 256 x 256 px
  • 32 x 32 px
  • 16 x 16 px
Microsoft {affirm|states} that {intermediate|interim} sizes between 256 x 256 and 32 x 32 are {not needed|not necessary|unneeded} for Windows Vienna {or|and} Windows Vista, because PNG {format|files} used in these icons {is|can be} scaled with no {distortion|perversion} from 256 x 256 to 32 x 32. With {smaller|more compact} sizes, {program's|automatic} {change|alterations} of {resolution|size} {makes|deliver} the {image|picture} of {bad|poor} quality, so {another|a separate} 16 x 16 {picture|image} is {needed|required}. {Algorithms|Programs} of {size|resolution} changes {however|unfortunately} are not {perfect|flawless} and its {better|recommended} to {put|include} 48x48 {size|image} into your icons to {have less|avoid} {distortion|perversion}.

If you {want|need} the {icon|pictogram} to be {fully|completely} {compatible|compliant} with not only Windows {Vienna|7} but {other|older|former} Windows {versions|releases} {also|as well}, you will {have|need} to {make|create} the icon {containing|including} {respective|corresponding} images ({each|all} - with three {types|levels} of colour depth).

{Fully|Completely} {compatible|compliant} (with Windows XP and {previous|older|former} {versions|releases}) icon {must|should} {have|contain} following {sizes|resolutions}: 256 x 256, 48 x 48, 32 x 32, 16 x 16

We do not {recommend|suggest} to {include|put} 24 x 24 {size|resolution} into your {icons|graphics} (except toolbar), {as|because} this {size|resolution} is not {required|necessary}. {Moreover|Furthermore}, the icon {containing|including} this size, is {hard|difficult} to be {compatible|compliant} with Windows 98 and Windows 2000.
If you {need|want} {icons|images} for your toolbar, their {size|resolution} is the same 24 x 24 and 16 x 16 px.

Colour {depth|options} of Vienna {icons|graphics}.

Windows Vienna {support|reads|understands|uses} 32-bits icons {where|in which} 24 bits are {occupied by|dedicatedto|reserved for} {picture|image} and 8 bits by {transparency|opacity} channel.
This {allows|enables|lets} icons to {have|present} semitransparent {details|elements} and {smooth|sleek} edges, {regardless|no matter of} the background they are {at|on}.

{Standard|Typical} Windows Vienna {icons|graphics} {contain|consist of} three {types|levels} of color {depth|options} for {backward|increased} {compatibility|compliance} :
  • 32- bit colour (24- bit colour ) plus 8-bit transparency channel
  • 8- bit colour (256 colours ) plus 1-bit transparency channel
  • 4- bit colour (16 colors) plus 1-bit transparency channel
Your {icons|images} {require|need} 32-bit colour depth.

If you {want|need} your icons to {look|be} {good|fine} all the time, in {case|situation} of video driver {failure|insufficiency} for {instance|example}, you will {need|require} 8-bit and 4-bit {depths|images} (with 256 or even 16 colours only).
An icon in various colour depth

If there are 16 colours {shown|displayed} by your {screen|monitor} (this may {happen|occur} in Windows XP and {lower|older}) but 4-bit {option|depth} is not {available|provided|included} in the {icon|pictogram}, the colour {pallet|scheme} will be automatically {reduced|shifted} down to 16 colours, {below|here} you can {see|get} the way it {may|will} {look|appear} like:
A 32-bit icon displayed in 16 colours
This is a 32-bit icon {displayed|shown} in 16 colours.

Vienna icons colour pallet.

Colours in Vienna {icons|graphics} {show|display} material of {an object|a subject} or a {signal|message} (if used in symbols)

  • White - paper (documents )
  • Light grey - silvery plastic (computers and peripherals)
  • Dark blue - switched-on screen (displays and other screens)
  • Light ochre - carton (folders)
  • Blue - glass (basket, lens)
  • Emerald- green - transparent plastic (special folders)
Colours showing the material

  • Red - warning
  • Yellow - attention
  • Green - permission
  • Dark blue - information
Signal colours

{Rotation|Turn} angle and objects {grouping|combination}.

{Unlike|Not like} {previous|older|former} {versions|releases}, {objects|items} in Windows Vienna are {rotated|turned} at 45 angle clockwise.
{Angle -wise|Rotated} {images|graphics} are {recommended|suggested} for {an application|a software} icon or to {display|show|present} the {volume|3D} {objects|items}.

{Following|Some} {objects|items} {look|are} {better|nicer} {when|if} {displayed|pictured} {non- rotated|flat} (like they are {laying|down} on a {desk|table} and you look {over|on} them)
  • Files icons
  • Flat objects
  • 16 x 16 size icons
Icons for rotated and non -rotated objects

{Front|Flat|Plain} or {angled|rotated} {overlaying|placement} of {a second|additional} {image|item} in the icon {depends|is determined} on what both the {image|item} and the {icon|graphic} {mean|represent}. Its {hard|difficult} to give more {detailed|concrete} {recommendation|suggestion} in this {case|situation}, you just {have|need} to be {guided|lead} by the {experience|trial} and {analyze|study} the way the {icon|image} is {comprehended|understood}, also {when|if} it is in a {group|combination} of icons.

Overlaying of objects - front and angled

{Drop|Falling} shadow in Vienna {icons|graphics}.

{Drop|Falling} shadow in Vienna icons is {used|applied} to {improve|increase} recognition and to {intensify|potentiate} the {volume|3D effect}. In {volume|3D} and {flat|plain} icons the {shadow|shade} {looks|is} different:

Drop shadow of volume and flat objects

{Outline|Border} of Vienna-icons.

Vienna-{style|type} icons {often|usually} have {an outline|a border}. Its not so {vividly|clearly} {expressed|visible} as in XP-{style|type} and is not {always|constantly} used. {Outline|Border} is {required|nesessery} to {ensure|make possible} {recognition|understanding} of an {image|icon}, {regardless|no matter} the background it is {located|placed} at. {Outline|Border} may {take|be used} only a part of an {image|icon} {always|constantly} {following|matching} the design of {a picture|an icon|an image} securing its {reality|style}.

Various kinds of outline

{Overview|Review} of Vienna-icon {structure|architecture}
{Functional|Main} {distinctions|differences} of Vienna-icons and XP-icons

Vienna-icons {have|contain} two {functional|main} {distinctions|differences} from XP-icons:
  • Vienna-icons {have|contain} {an extra large|a grand} {picture|image} 256x256
  • In {origina|typical}l icons this {large|grand} {picture|image} has PNG {compression|extension}
Use of PNG {compression|file} is a {critical|key} {moment|point} as it {makes|brings} 256x256 image non-{compatible|useable} with Windows XP and {earlier|previous} {versions|releases} (only {smaller|compact} {size|resolution} {pictures|images} will be {displayed|shown}).
PNG-{compression|algorithm} is {used|applied} in icons for {images|size} 256x256 px only. The {compression|algorithm} does not {affect|change} the quality and {file|file size} is {reduced|smaller} in {about|almost} 4 times {while|when} transparency channel is {supported|included|enabled} and {image|picture} is perfectly scale.

{Compatibility|Compliance} of Vista and Vienna-icons with Windows XP

To {make|get} the icon {fully|completely} {compatible|compliant} with Windows XP, 256x256 {image|seize|resolution} in the icon {must|should} be saved {non-compressed|uncompressed}. You {can|may} always {add|include} or {cancel|discharge} the compression, this will not {affect|change} the quality. {Size|Resolution} of the icon with {non-compressed|uncompressed} images {including|containing} all {standard|common} formats will {approximately be|be about} 400 Kb.

Why Vienna icons are {better|recommended}?

{Professionally made|Quality} Vienna {style|type} icons have the {following|whole list of} {advantages|benefits}:
  • visual {comprehension|recognition} of {program's|application's} interface is {pleasant|appealing}
  • program's {abilities|features} are {better|more clearly} {presented|displayed}
  • usage is more {convenient|intuitive} , {easy|simple} {search|navigation} and identification of {programs|software}, {objects|items} and {actions|tasks}
  • your {program's|aoolication's} {interface|GUI} is advanced , {stylish|engaging} and {individual|unique}

To get {an advanced|a quality|a professional} appearance of {a program|a software|an application}, Microsoft {recommends|suggests} you to {change|edit|modify} the {design|look} of your {mostly|commonly} {viewed|displayed} icons, {using|with} aero style. It is also {recommended|suggested} to make a {new|modern} design of all icons {reflected|presented} in Start menu and Explorer ({including|considering} icons {showing|representing} {type of a file|file types}). It is {recommended|suggested} not to {use|apply} any icons in Windows 9x and {earlier|older} {version|release} style, in {programs|applications} {operating|running} under Windows Vienna.

{Creation|Making} of {individual|single} Vienna-icons.

{Imaging|Picture} your {program|software|application} with the most {intuitive|convenient} {interface|GUI}, in Vienna {style|appearance}, with {individual|unique} icons that {clearly|completely} {show|present} {program's|application's} {functions|features} and {tasks|tools} {thanks|due} to {proper|appropriate} metaphors, they {make|get} you to {use|work with} the {program|software|application} just because it's a {pleasure|joy} to {look at it|see it}. {Icons|Graphics} {made|created} in a style that will {definitely|certainly} be {another|a new} world {standard|classic}.
You {may|could} ask: "Where {can|do} I {order|purchase} these {perfect|flawless} {icons|graphics}, at a {reasonable|competitive} price and not just {similar|like} ones but {real|absolute} Vienna icons?"

You can do it at: aha-soft.com, perfecticon.com, 777icons.com.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows XP and/or other Microsoft products mentioned above, are either trade marks or registered trade marks of Microsoft.

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