[ubuntu-art] Breathe Icon Set -Aesthetic/Technical Guidelines-

Thorsten Wilms t_w_ at freenet.de
Thu Sep 4 16:44:54 BST 2008

On Thu, 2008-09-04 at 10:59 -0400, Cory K. wrote:
> So while the general idea is to combine Human and Oxygen what other
> things should we add? The finer details.
> Just my thoughts:
> -Aesthetic
>     * Outline around icons smaller than X? Are outlines even needed?
>     * Palette? Where's the Human one?

I think slight outlines are a good thing if you use them to simulate
ambient lighting on the outer edges of the icon. They don't have to be
dark and can still help to make the icon better stand on various
backgrounds (I hope, at least :)

Regarding palette, I will repeat that we should try to just define
"recommended/anticipated" background colours (desktop bg, toolbars ...).
If an implicit palette doesn't come from this automatically, we can
still define an explicit one, now based on actual work instead of being
pulled out of thin air in advance.

While some icons like the folders can be used to bring in strong Ubuntu
colours, most of the colouring should prioritise icon recognition ("what
is that thing"?).

In the last Community Council meeting, Mark Shuttleworth said, starting

in terms of audience, i think we have to aim for young professionals who
are web-savvy
so, the only reason i focused on young web-savvy professionals is they
will be the standard-bearers for taking ubuntu to a wider audience
and they are probably attracted to particular ideas in design
like the iphone used web 2.0 ideas


While I don't know what all that means for icons, I think we should not
just skip it. Just copying Apple's icons can't be it, of course.

I think we should aim for some kind of hyper-realism. With a very
clearly defined lighting and perspective. Not straight photo-realism, as
in some cases we might want to optimise for strong shapes and should not
flood everything with details.

In light of Ubuntu's spirit, the icons should smile at the user, but
cannot look like clowns.

Most important icons should look like something you can and want to
touch ;)

>     * All source icons will be in .SVG form created at the size they are
>       meant to be used.
>     * Sizes = 16px, 22px, 24px, 32px, 48px and scalable.
>     * 16-48px will be rendered in the built package with .svg used for
>       anything larger.

How to manage pixel-based optimisations applied on top of SVG exports?

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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