What do most software programmers on Mac use for icon making?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Gary King, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Gary King macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #1
    Ever since I moved to the Mac world, everything seems to be a lot more beautiful. I mean, that's obvious, right? But, where do the programmers get the icons from? I suppose they make them? Sometimes contract out? But, for instance, when I make software, I usually just make a quick one myself since it usually isn't my primary focus - especially for freeware.

    So, just curious, is there an icon editor that magically makes amazing, OS X icons, or something? :)
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Pro software (including a lot of shareware) will have icons designed by graphics professionals in Photoshop/Illustrator and the like. Personally I have a mix of photographic elements (in some icons), compositions of existing icons and totally hand drawn (in Illustrator).

    There is no magic, just hard work :(
     
  3. Gary King thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #3
    Then why do Windows icons usually look real bad? :p
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #4
    1) Because they can get away with it!
    2) Because they have to support the legacy of users not running at 24/32 bit colour (OSX users can pretty much be assumed to do this).
    3) Size. OSX icons are 128x128 pixels (Tiger is meant to support 256x256, but Icon Composer does not seem to). I think XP can support this, but 2k can't so they are stuck with smaller pixel count.
     
  5. iindigo macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    I use Photoshop with the IconBuilder plugin. I create the icon in Photoshop and then export it as an icon with IconBuilder.

    And no, there is no "magic wand" for making awesome icons, just a lot of hard work.

    Another reason Mac OS X has nicer icons is because 90% of Mac developers are almost obsessive with having a very nice GUI that fits in with the Mac experience. Creating ugly icons for your app is actually a good way to discourage the use of your app in the Mac world -
     

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