How to create icons

Level of difficulty: Easy

Icons are small pictograms which are essential in any graphical user interface found on computer screens supplementing the normal alpha numeric of the computer. Icons are of varying sizes ranging from 16 by 16 pixels to 128 by 128 pixels. And even 512 by 512 pixels. Icons are important visual cues for doing certain tasks or navigating to a certain location.

Materials Needed:
- Specialized software
Step 1
Things that are required to make an icon Picture/logo Art software (MS Paint, Adobe hotoshop, Paintshop Pro, Gimp, etc.) Windows operating system.
Step 2
Creating a Windows icon : Open an image-editing program- It must be remembered that the program which is used to make the icon must save the image as an '.ico' file which is the file extension for an icon. Have a look at the computer provided custom icons, or browse through the creations done by you in MS Paint, Photoshop, Gimp, or any other program. There are various software to create an icon Icons can be created with the help of image objects. With few mouse drag & drops extremely professional icons can be made in a few minutes .There are various software to create icons like Axialis Icon workshop, Microangelo etc. Icons can also be created from cursor files, jpg files, gif files, from a web image, photoshop templates and a clip board using specialized software. Icons can also be animated.
Step 3
While creating icons one has to keep in mind that : Angle and perspective make the image dynamic. Edges and corners of objects are soft and slightly rounded. Gradients provide dimension and makes the icon look brighter. A drop shadow adds to contrast and dimension. Outlines give definition.
Step 4
A few more points to ponder: Using full proof concepts to be sure about the consistency of meanings for the user. The cultural impact of the graphics must be remembered. Letters, words, hands, or faces in icons must be avoided. When people or users are represented, they must be portrayed as generically as possible. If multiple objects are combined into one image of an icon, then it has to be considered how the image will appear when scaled to smaller sizes. It has to be kept in mind that an icon is a small image and during the resizing operation the details may be lost, therefore, use a simple image without details.


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