Making Icons for Windows Vista Applications

Producing software or designing an online project? Make sure your project looks current and up-to-date by checking the pictures used against modern standards. This article explains the newest trends in designing contemporary, good-looking graphics for your software and Web projects.

With every new version of Windows, Microsoft refreshes guidelines for icon designers. If you want your project look consistent with the newest Windows release, it is essential to read and comprehend the guidelines.

Not going much into technical details, Microsoft points out that Vista-style icons differ from older XP-style graphics in several ways. The style of the new images becomes more realistic than XP icons, but still remains symbolic without becoming too realistic. Microsoft also extends the standard by defining the maximum size of the icons to PNG-compressed 256×256 pixel images, ensuring that applications look well defined on modern hi-definition monitors. Finally, Microsoft recommends that toolbar icons are optimized for smaller-size viewing experience, and advises that toolbar icons bear enough visual distinctiveness even in their lowest sizes. Toolbar images in Windows Vista have no details such as shadows, and are front-faced with no perspective.

Well-designed and carefully thought of images enhance the appearance of your software, making them more consistent with Windows and third-party software installed on the user’s PC. Great graphics improve usability and efficiency of software, making it simpler to learn and more intuitive through better communication of ideas through symbols. Good images make objects and actions easier to find and to use day by day.

Vista Toolbar Icons

Vista Toolbar Icons are a set of ready-made application and toolbar icon images drawn in the new Windows Vista/7 style. Strictly adhering to the latest guidelines, the images share common style, colors and gamma, and come in all standard sizes, including the recently defined 256×256 True Color format with semi-transparency. Vista Toolbar Icons can be used in products designed for Windows Vista, as application or toolbar icons, on Web sites and on-line portals. Simply visit 777 icons to access full-size previews of Vista Toolbar Icons.

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