Hello, hola, haai, zdravo, ahoj, hej, hoj, ciao, ola & aloha!
I’m still here…designing symbolic icons. What is under the roof at this point, are some needed additions to stencil’s base plate (gnome-stencils) and a set of 62 apps symbolic icons.
I have now moved on and ( after Jakub’s suggestion) started creating a set of symbolic icons known as Art Libre. These aim to cover the essential icons useful in free software graphics programs & applications (vector & bitmap) and wil be used with a new, darker theme.
I have started by designing tools as seen in GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). I basically look at the full-color icons and then either mimic the existing metaphor or create a new one (if the full-color is impossible to achieve, or if by any chance I come up with one that could work better). The hardest nut to crack are the color related icons as the distinctions that were made with various colors or hues in the full-color set, must now be made differently.
While I have a plan to produce much more time consuming hi-res, full-color icons once I finish Art Libre, I must say that creating symbolic icons is (maybe contrary to the popular belief) very interesting and rewarding. Feels like design striped down to the bones, basics..Often my question is, what can be omitted so that the result stays the same? Even tough symbolic icons are simple combinations of graphical elements, they are also symbols or perhaps micro storytellers, that represent an object, a function, a concept or an entity. If designed right, they create an immediate, visual understanding between what the designer means and the viewer understands. In a perfect world (where all the users share a similar knowledge and culture) they are almost intuitive, abbreviated pictorial forms. In our world - sometimes they are understood also in relation to other icons and specific knowledge about the program for example. Well executed icons can also help simplify something that might otherwise be difficult to understand. In essence they are quite similar (not the same!) to logos (especially logos that employ an icon-like style). The two key obstacles that make designing icons not so easy (at least for me) are limited size and (achieving) pixel perfection.You can see my newest attempts below! Cheers!