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You are here: Home > Renderings > Icon design

Icon design / logo design

Client: Ourselves

Our very own logo. So why call this an icon design? Because it was originally designed for the small size you see above, so some pixel-pushing was required to make it look clear at that size. At the bottom of this page, you can see the smallest size (48 pixels) it was intended for.

You might ask, "What's the difference between big and small?" Well, when designing for onscreen viewing, a logo (or desktop icon) must be clearly recognizable even at the smallest size. The problem is, because of pixelisation*, some elements blur or disappear the smaller it gets. Look at he small logo above - the pencil's lead point is described by ± 5 pixels. If one were to simply reduce the logo to that size, the point would be too blurry, so designers have to interfere.

So, as with all logo designs, one must make sure that it's kept simple, i.e. no complex elements, and all elements must be fairly large in comparison to the whole.

See the full-size logo >

See below for a related job we did a while ago.

 

Desktop icon design

Client: Thales Telematics Engineering

Thales FMS icons button

French company Telematics asked us to design a set of icons which would represent the various programmes of which their Fleet Management System software suite consists.

A software system for managing company cars and other vehicles, including tracking systems, the FMS suite had been sold in France, South Africa and China, and needed a revamp of their generic pre-Windows XP* 8-bit icons.

Of course, having an international market involving different cultures and even alphabets, had certain limitations, such as not being able to use letters of the Western alphabet in their icons.

Konrad always wanted to get his claws on such a project. Icon design is a specialised field and requires experience in "pixel-pushing". Konrad hasn't yet attempted another icon design project since.

Mind you, now that Windows caught up with Apple's Mac OS X 48-bit icons (7 years later), we might be interested in another job like this - 48-bit means less limitations and less ugly icons.

Here are the icon designs > (Keep in mind, we're travelling back to the early 2000's)

 

Next: Logo design

 

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  Next: Logo design

* Pixelisation, resolution and anti-aliasing

When you read a printed brochure, the resolution is about 300 dots per inch. On a monitor though, it's about 72 dpi, i.e. a mere 6% of the resolution. Monitors are extremely bright compared to the reflected light of paper though, which helps hide the low resolution, and when reading, one tends to be further away from a monitor than say a brochure.

Fortunately, because of modern operating systems and hardware, the days of those horribly aliased** icons are over, like the type associated with pre-Windows XP systems.

Aliasing means, "to..." Oh hell, let us rather draw you a picture:

Example of anti-aliasing vs aliasing

The left-hand enlargement has been aliased when resized. The right-hand one was anti-aliased. See what happened? Aliasing "aliases" each pixel to the nearest available colour, instead of mixing neighbouring pixels to give each pixel an average colour, usually with a bigger palette of colours. Anti-aliasing is smoother.

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