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Guidelines for Artists on Usable Icon Design



Here are some recommendations that artists need to keep in mind when working on the icons to improve their resulting usability. Feel free to discuss and add to this list and we'll start an icon creation guidelines page:

- The silhouettes of the icons should be distinctive such that they can be easily discerned. ([2], example 9.1)

- Icons should *not* simply be scaled down to smaller (32x32 and less) sizes. They need to be tweaked by hand for their lines to fit within the pixel grid.

- 24 x 24 (menus, Fedora panel default size, tasklist items, applets) is the most common size thus the most emphasis should be placed on the clarity and design of the icons at these sizes.

- Icons at 24 x 24 and less should have a 'flat' or 'head-on' perspective. (as has been planned)

- Icon metaphors should follow the Tango standards when possible for a more consistent cross-Linux desktop experience.

Resources:

[1] GNOME HIG Chapter 9 - Designing Accessible Icons:
http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/2.0/icons.html

[2] GNOME HIG Chatper 9 - Designing Accessible Icons: Designing Effective Icons:
http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/2.0/icons-design.html


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