What are Windows Vista icons?

Windows Vista icons easily change your perception of usual icons, because they have a lot of advantages that make Windows Vista icons be very attractive and cognate for users and suitable for any program product.

Iconography is not a stable way of creating icons. Iconography presents a new wave in making your product cognate. Vista icons are noticeably distinguished from other types of icons that are used now. And the products that have these visual designations attract users’ attention better than other program products that are ordinarily marked. Vista icons are the icons of a new style that gives a higher level of detail, realism and sophistication to Windows imagery.What are the characteristic features of Windows Vista icons that make them the leaders among other types of icons that are also used in Windows interface?

So, first of all, Windows Aero-style icons look more realistic than illustrative. But this realism is so moderate that these icons are not too realistic. As symbolic images of a high quality, Windows Vista icons look much better than simple photorealistic icons that seem to be a little bit boring and retrograde. Windows Vista icons are the icons of different kind – modern and attractive.

If speak about quality, it is worth mentioning that Windows Vista icons have a very good resolution. Their maximum size is 256 x 256 that makes them suitable for contemporary high-DPI displays. So, they save their quality in any situation, always remaining attractive and never losing their recognizability.

To show you the last point in the list of advantages that differentiate Windows Vista icons from other programs’ signs one should stress that fixed document icons are replaced by thumbnails of the content and because of this fact it is easier for a user to find and identify documents. So, it is very practical and comfortable to use Windows Vista icons.

With a help of IconLover that is a perfect program for people who want the icons of their product to look individual and unique you can refine the visual image of your program product and make it more communicative and cognate for users. Just try and feel the difference.

vista icon

Let’s speak about numbers that are very important for us. It is known that Microsoft recommends your icons to contain the following general sizes:

  • 16×16 pixels
  • 32×32 pixels
  • 48×48 pixels
  • 256×256 pixels

It is undoubtedly that it is very convenient, because icons that contain all these sizes are suitable for displays with different types of resolution.

Windows Vista supports 32-bit icons that present 24-bit images with an 8-bit alpha channel. This quality makes it possible for these icons to display with smooth edges. It is very important because these icons appear to blend into any background.

In order to be suitable to any display, each Windows Vista icon contains the following three color depths:

  • 24-bit with 8-bit alpha (32-bit)
  • 8-bit (256 colors) with 1-bit transparency
  • 4-bit (16 colors) with 1-bit transparency

So, let’s make a simple mathematical calculation. To be universal your icons should be in twelve image formats – for sizes per three color depths:

  • 256 x 256 at 32-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 32-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 32-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 32-bit
  • 256 x 256 at 8-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 8-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 8-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 8-bit
  • 256 x 256 at 4-bit
  • 48 x 48 at 4-bit
  • 32 x 32 at 4-bit
  • 16 x 16 at 4-bit
  • And this list doesn’t contain additional sizes that are recommended by professional icon designers. In addition to these twelve images, they recommend to make icons with supplementary sizes: 24×24, 64×64 and 128×128.

    Windows XP usually supports icons that have the maximum size – 256×256 pixels. But good resolution of such an icon demands much disk space. It is very easy to compare standard 25Kb that is needed for usual XP icon with 400Kb that is demanded for an icon of a maximum size. What to do? What is the resolution? Is it possible to decide between quality and quantity? There is no need to make such decisions, because Aha-Soft has already found a way out. IconLover 4.0 uses advanced PNG compression that gives a possibility to save images without losses. It is comfortable to use IconLover 4.0, because it also supports semitransparent images with an 8-bit alpha channel. The main advantage of IconLover 4.0 that makes it useful for professional or amateur icon designers lies in the fact that the technology, used by IconLover 4.0 reduces only the size of the icons, remaining the former quality.

    IconLover allows saving of icons with or without PNG compression. You can compare the compressed icons with non-compressed images and feel that the quality is the same but the size is quite different. Download examples of Windows Vista icons here:

    Vista icon with PNG compression
    Vista icon without PNG compression

    You can open these zip files directly from IconLover, which supports zip archives.

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