Hello, Planet Gnome!
I am happily busy with designing symbolic icons for various applications. Besides working in Inkscape, I am now also running Fedora for some days and I must say I really like it. Fedora was playing hard to get and my computer seem to be Fedora-proof, but eventually (by eventually I mean seven different errors and eleven different opinions of what the install problem is) it had to give in. A compromise had to be made - at first I wanted to have Fedora as a dual-boot, but after some really bad behaviour from Vista (which I wasn’t too fond of anyways), I decided that Windows had to go and that was a great decision. After that errors backed off and things now run smoothly (*knocks on wood*). Now a new frontier is here and I am ready to get fully immersed.
It is getting quite cosy in my 16x16 design space. It’s a limited space and sometimes I’m left with very few options on how to put a particular shape in there, keep all the defining details and especially make the icon distinguishable and clear. What I found out is that the more simpler the icon, the better. It is usually quite rewarding to keep the number of objects in a single icon to a minimum, although in my case it often means I have to “kill my darlings”. I’m not sure is this is completely true but it seems that number three is where you should draw the line (and two elements are better than three, if you can keep the icon metaphor, although three might sometimes look more sophisticated). All in all, easier said than done.
Jakub was traveling recently, so Lapo helped me with corrections and revisions. Grazie mille, Lapo! I couldn’t wish for better assistance - they both (Jakub and Lapo) provide great tips and I am humbly amazed at how they just look at the icon and know immediately what could work better or where the problem lies.