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

Cory K. coryisatm at ubuntu.com
Thu Sep 4 16:56:23 BST 2008

Thorsten Wilms wrote:
> 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 :)

I'm in favor of a slight outline only at small sizes. Under 24px?

> 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
> 22:09:
> 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

In general, I think we should stay away from the "Web2.0" shine effect".
It's *SO* overused an gets lost fast in smaller sizes.

> (http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2008/09/02/%23ubuntu-meeting.html)
> 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?

I'm not really aware of any examples of where they would be needed.
There might be a corner-case but generally if we draw it in SVG at the
appropriate size the PNG export should be just enough.

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