Microsoft� Windows� XP introduces a new style in icon design. The Windows XP icon style is all about fun, color, and energy�and, as there are now 32-bit versions of the icons, smooth edges. Light source is coming from the upper left-hand corner with additional ambient light illuminating other parts of the icon. Icons on the left side of the Start menu are displayed at the 24 x 24 pixels size. This is not a size that you need to provide usually. Create overlapping secondary objects at an angle unless it makes more sense, due to readability and integrity, that they are rendered straight on. Consider also how your icons may be viewed as a set to help determine how to group objects. You may use a vector tool (such as Macromedia FreeHand or Adobe Illustrator) to illustrate Microsoft Windows XP style icons. Use the palette and style characteristics as outlined in the 2. You will need three sizes of the image. Because there will be a drop shadow added to the image later, you should create three sizes that are around 46 x 46, 30 x 30, and 14 x 14 pixels. 1. Once you've pasted your three sizes into Photoshop, check the readability and resolution of your images, especially at the 16 x 16 size. You may need to do some pixel-pushing. If the 16 x 16 is not reading clearly, consider going back to FreeHand to simplify the image at that size. 3. To merge the drop shadow and the 24-bit images, create a new blank layer. In the Layers menu, select Merge Visible and merge the three layers. 4. Create three new Photoshop files, one for each size: 48 x 48, 32 x 32, and 16 x 16 pixels. Copy and paste the appropriate image. If an image's drop shadow gets cropped, you should go back to FreeHand, scale down the image, and follow the steps again. 5. Save each file as a .psd file. Do not merge the image layer with the background layer. It's helpful to include the size and color depth in the file name. 9. After importing your images into ArtIcons Pro, check their readability and resolution, especially at the 16x16 size. You may need to do some pixel-pushing. If the 16 x 16 is not reading clearly, consider simplifying the image at that size. 10. Duplicate every 32-bit image format in this new icon for future creation of 8-bit images. Convert the copies into 8-bits ( Now that you have the 8-bit images ready already, you need to correct them. The 8-bit versions will not have the 8-bit alpha channel, so they will need to have their edges cleaned up as there's no antialiasing (that is, their edges will be jagged). Clean up the edges with Pencil tool, removing any antialiased pixels. Check your image on both light and dark background (right-click the icon image in the preview window to bring up the context menu and select 'List Color' item). menu command to sort the icons in this sequence or arrange icons using drag-n-drop. This sequence is necessary for correct icons display on any system, not only Windows XP. is our pick. It allows you to design and edit all kinds of graphics required in the software development cycle, including icons, static and animated cursors and interface elements - all these graphics can now be designed in a single application. . A collection of practical and eye catching Windows icons representing all basic operations required for software development. will make your software and web products look more modern and attractive. File formats included into the set are Windows icons, GIF and PNG images. is an advanced icon-specific utility for Windows. It supports ICO, BMP, PNG, GIF, PSD, XPM, XBM, WBMP, CUR and ANI image formats and allows you to manage icon libraries. converts icons and cursors into BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO, CUR and other formats. This wizard can find icons and make images for use on Web pages. Source.
How to Design Windows XP icons
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