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[Design Work Needed] Community Icons

User avatar jensreuterberg
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Right so after a short discussion in another thread there was one thing that should really be kinda awesome. A common library of small icons (places, mimetypes, etc) - simplistic monochrome icons. Now the VDG icon people are working on one theme, why not see if there could be a community theme or two as well? Wouldn't that be awesome? Maybe some back and forth between them?

What if we follow this list from Free Desktop?
http://standards.freedesktop.org/icon-n ... atest.html

Then after sorting and choosing, we put them up on some good KDE spot as SVG's in a nice and easily accessible way (sorted in different ways so that the theme's can be reused in different areas).

I propose that we for the next two weeks (to March 16th) start working on drafts for design languages to be used and ideas for icons. Post sketches, sort sketches, talk about sketches and forms, perhaps links to other themes with REASONS why we like them and what can be used from them (not just "you should use this" thats not a reason)
Then we take a weekend to decide which one or two, if there are enough people involved, will get made into complete monochrome icons. If there isn't too much of an interest we can wait and leave the subject and return to it another day. After that we try to plug every hole in the list and complete it.

Maybe add to that some short tutorial or QA with the icon designers on help using Inkscape, what to think about when creating icons etc? So we all learn something during the process?

What do you think?


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User avatar ScionicSpectre
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I certainly like the idea, especially considering how much can be derived from such work further down the line (from typography to window controls). That is assuming we're talking about icons of a more symbolic style, as is common in the system tray, media controls, and navigation? Would this preferably become a complete theme, including application icons (a la GNOME's High Contrast icon theme)?

Just making sure I understand what we're looking for. I'm definitely excited about the idea of taking a reasoned approached based on a specific design language, so color me interested.
User avatar jensreuterberg
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Well to be quite honest I haven't really thought it out that much yet.

Lets be clear though that Uri, Nuno and Acid are working on a base icon theme so what gets into that is up to them - BUT that doesn't stop any of us from creating secondary themes. The great upside being that it might help the work they are doing and they provide icons for us. Some back and forth essentially.

It would be awesome to create a massive theme of icons and sort of together get to a good point of where the desktop is going. Lets say if Uri, Nano and Acid get to a point where they want to share some of their ideas - I introduce it here and then we look at what can be done as a secondary theme or ideas for new ones and what can be said more practically about the design goals of it.

On of the massive issues with KDE is its lack of small, monochrome, icons (take the folder tree in Dolphin for example). Instead of clean symbols we have just tiny tiny versions of the big icons and that's not good - I mean look at LXDE with a swath of lovelly place icons for the folder tree. So what if we started talking about it together?


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davidwright
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The last post I made in this thread viewtopic.php?f=285&t=119638 might be relevant for this, and be a good thing to do at the same time?
User avatar ScionicSpectre
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I agree with David that sorting out the preferred structure for icon themes within this work would make it simpler for designers to contribute. Much like this forum lowers technical barriers by giving immediate feedback and a degree of certainty you don't get with IRC and mailinglists, having a straightforward knowledge of what we expect with icon naming and index.theme files would help let designers focus on the work.

And Jens, now that I have a clearer idea of how this could be beneficial in reference to the base icon theme that is being worked on separately, I'd say I agree with the ideology behind this. Much of what seems to hold back other projects I've been involved with is that the focus on design becomes very certain, to the point that there's not much room for a flow between the community and the people with commit access. Giving community members a chance to interact, rather than simply making their own alternative themes out of frustration with the default, is a smart idea.

I'll take a look around and see if there is any existing work that reflects what I've seen of the moodboards and existing icons (although they're going to change, of course, due to that trademark issue). Someone did mention http://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/ recently, and I'd say I agree that it's a good reference. I suppose it would be a good question to ask what we want that something like Font Awesome doesn't quite achieve in respect to KDE's desired future.

Also, if I get the time, I may look into making some quick mockups of places in applications where a symbolic icon would go a long way to improve legibility and clarify the purpose of the button (like Jens mentioned in Dolphin).

 
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