Should you use stock icons?

If you are into website designing or are creating an application, you probably know that graphics are often the first impression creators; they can change your software or site from being merely functional to one that is has a professional touch, simple to operate and attention grabbing.

However, creating your exclusive icon collection can be incredibly taxing and of course time consuming. If you hire the services of a web graphics designer, you will land up spending an exorbitant amount for the icon collection. As opposed to this, you can get similar quality from icon collections available over the internet for a relatively low cost. A set of stock icons usually has more than 100 images, offered in a variety of file formats that are ideal for depicting the functions that are commonly observed on every second websites and applications; for example, help, copy, paste, lock etc.

Admin Icons

If you could not get icons that live up to you expectations, you can also approach one of these internet businesses and tell them to create exclusive icons for you; this is by far the most preferable option; to state it factually, the original graphics artist will have the experience to retain some degree of commonality in all the icons in a series devoted to a particular theme.

The second question that most people ponder over is whether they should select the commercial varieties or go for free graphics, so here is a look at some of the positive attributes of commercial icon collections vis a vis the free images:

Cost: The cost of an icon set is to the tune of $100 and more depending on the number of images. However, free icon collections will normally have copyright concerns and/or you will need to offer accreditations when they are put to use on your site.

Size: Good quality image collections are available in a plethora of sizes, so even though you buy a single icon, you will get them in an assortment of sizes like 16×16, 24×24 etc; you can also purchase them in various states such as disabled, hot etc. On the other hand; free images are only available in a one state and size

License: You may have to face some problems with the a license that costs nothing; you will not be able to alter the images in any sense nor will you be able to use them as much as you like but with professional icon collections, you can use the images whenever and wherever you want.

Utility: Good icon libraries will usually have ample of pictures to meet all your programming and web graphic expectation ; however, with free graphics even if you can find fairly good graphics, these are very rare which means that you may find it very hard to make use of these graphics when designing applications or websites.

The Practical Applications of Windows Icons and How to get them?

Windows XP has made intense use of computer pictorials which is the primary rationale for its popularity. The innovative GUI or graphical user interface makes it easy for even the novice user to supply information with absolute ease. If you have to open a folder, all you have to do is click on the graphical representation or the Windows icons on the monitor. You can also change these windows icons to make the look of your screen cater to your liking.

Windows icons

If you are pondering over why you should go through the hassle of altering the icons, the logic is very clear, folks get tired of displaying regular computer graphics day after day and modifying the Windows icons can present a new work environment for computer users who work long hours on computers. This simply means that choosing new computer graphics can literally assist you to improve your work efficacy. If you have not considered altering the graphics on your desktop in the past; here are a few easy guidelines that will make the job a breeze.

  • The initial step is to; of course, switch on the desktop or laptop and let Windows boot normally
  • When you are at the desktop, take the cursor to the start button which will be at the down the monitor on the right hand corner of the screen; this should result in the popping up of a menu, you should see the tab “My computer” and click on it. An alternate way is to open the hard drive by double clicking on the pictorial depiction of “my computer” on the computer screen; this is usually the first image on the monitor; but, the icon will only be on the screen if the icon has been enabled on the desktop.
  • The next step is to check for the application for which the icon is being used, this image has to be altered. You ought to have an idea about the position of the application in the computer or you could use the search tab in the start menu to look for the file and figure out its exact location

    Where can you buy eye catching icons?
    There are a number of internet businesses that give their visitors free icon collections; as a matter of fact, several establishments provide images for a variety of areas of work. If you are not impressed the quality of the free stuff, windows icons are easily available at ‘easy on the pocket’ rates.

  • Speeding Up Project Development with Ready-Made Web Icons

    There are multiple ways to get graphics done for Web sites and software projects. Enterprises with deep pockets employ artists and designers crafting them unique icons full-time. Smaller organizations outsource their graphics to third-party design studios, getting their graphics for hefty fees. Companies that are even smaller contract freelance designers, saving a bunch of money at the risk of not getting any graphics at all, receiving something not quite up to specs, or receiving the order too late.

    Going stock saves software and Web developers time, money and uncertainty. Why should you buy professionally-designed images? There are numerous reasons. With ready-made images, you’ll get your graphics momentarily after placing an order. Ready-made graphics are available for instant preview and immediate download the moment you place your order. No long waits and no surprises in getting your graphics done!

    By ordering a stock icon collection, you save on ordering custom images. Ready-made web icons are much more affordable than any icons you get from a design studio. By going stock, you are saving time and money, moving your project a leap closer to completion without emptying your pockets.

    With ready-made images, you get icons on time, guaranteed! No delays and no surprises – you get exactly what you see the very moment you place an order.

    With royalty-free web icons, you pay once, use anywhere. If you order royalty-free graphics such as those offered by perfect-icons.com, you can use the icons in as many projects as you wish. Pay once, use anywhere! No additional licensing fees are required.

    If you deal with Perfect Icons, you can get up to 5 matching icons custom-made. Free with every purchase of an icon collection! Need just one or two icons matching the collection of icons you’ve just ordered to finish your project? How about five? Perfect Icons will draw you up to five icons to match your requirements and the style of the icon library you have purchased without charging you a dime!

    icons for web

    About Perfect Icons

    Perfect Icons offers multiple collections of affordable stock icons ready to be used by software and Web developers. By providing developers with stock, royalty-free icons, Perfect-Icons.com helps you speed up software development, remove uncertainty of how the final product will look like, and reduce bottom line expenses on graphics design.

    Perfect Icons has a number of images sets in a variety of graphical styles, themes, and resolutions. The site features icons designed in Windows XP and Windows 7 styles, as well as theme graphics having their own unique styling.

    Stock Website Icons for Mobile and Online Software

    Developing a software or online product for a developer sector? Today’s standards in GUI design dictate the use of matching, easily recognizable graphics even in serious database-related applications.

    Ordering images from a professional design studio or hiring a designer to draw them in-house can give you a nice-looking set, but associated costs and possible delays make this method unpractical. Purchasing royalty-free icons from a reputable company might be a better idea if you are on a budget and/or have tight timeframe or a deadline is approaching. Stock icons are handily available for instant purchase, allowing you to save significant investments due to the usually low costs of icons. Before ordering, you can always preview what you are about to get, and have an option to choose among multiple offerings.

    The collection of Perfect Website Icons includes over two hundred bright icons tailored to applications and Web-based products for web designers, application developers and just for fun. Designed as a matching set, Perfect Website Icons are perfect for making professional, slick looks throughout the entire product.

    website icon

    The set of royalty-free website icons includes over 200 downloadable icons including the Globe icon, User icons, and icons representing a variety of internet objects and symbols. There are icons for online shops and order processing, several images representing the world’s currencies such as Dollar icon, Pound icon, Euro and Yen icons. Trading icons include Credit Cards, Cash, Dollars, Sum, Product basket, Hand cart, and many other symbols for the retail sector. There are icons for Certificate and Book, Card Index and Calendar, Folder and Customer among many others.

    Technically, website toolbar icons are available in a wide number of sizes, including 16×16, 20×20, 24×24, 32×32, and 48×48 pixel versions. The library of web icons supplies images with multiple color depths, including semi-transparent True Color and 256-color images. Three different styles are included with every order: normal, disabled, and highlighted. File formats include Windows Icon (ICO), Bitmap (BMP), GIF, and PNG for simple integration with Windows software and Web sites.

    It is free to preview the royalty-free collection of web icons. Have a free look at www.perfect-icons.com.

    Producing Standard Tab and Menu Icons for Android

    There exist strict guidelines published for designing standard-compliant Android icons. Different design guidelines are published for tab icons and menu icons.

    Android Icons for Navigation Bars

    Tab icons are drawn in individual tabs in tabbed UI. Tab icons must be provided in two different states: selected and unselected. It is recommended that tab icons are created as simple, flat shapes as opposed to images drawn in 3D or isometric projection.

    Android OS and Android apps are used on a multitude of hardware platforms employing a wide range of hardware. In reference to icon images, those devices can have different screen sizes, screen resolutions, pixel density and dimensions. To accommodate the variety of displays, Android developers must supply all tab icons used in their apps in at least three resolutions to be displayed on low, medium, and high density screens. Pixel-wise, the outer boundaries for the three sizes are defined as 24×24, 32×32, and 48×48 pixels. The size of the shape itself should not exceed 22×22, 28×28, and 42×42 pixels respectively. By providing all three standard resolutions, developers can ensure that their apps will be shown properly on a wide range of devices running the Android OS.

    Menu icons are displayed in the “options” menu, and are shown to the user when they press the Menu button. Similar to tab icons, menu icons should be flat, grayscale images. Like tab icons, developers should not use 3D or isometric projections.

    Pixel sizes for menu icons are described in a slightly more complex way compared to tab icons. Instead of just two sizes described for tab graphics (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or bigger depending on their shape. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its resolution should be smaller than for icons shaped otherwise. The reason for specifying two different sizes is to establish a consistent visual weight across the two icon types.

    The outer dimensions for ldpi, mdpi and hdpi icons are described as 36×36, 48×48, and 72×72 pixels respectively. Inner shapes for square, low-definition icons is 22×22 pixels, while non-square icons should fit into a boundary box sized 24×24 pixels. Similarly, mdpi icons should fit 30×30 and 32×32 pixel boundaries, while high-definition images should fit into 44×44 and 48×48 pixel rectangles respectively.

    Instead of designing your own icons matching these guidelines, Android developers have an option of ordering stock graphics from professional designers. As an example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft include 112 unique tab images in selected and unselected states and all three standard resolutions. Should additional resolutions be required, developers can produce images at any size by opening scalable vector sources. Android Tab Icons can be viewed and downloaded at www.aha-soft.com.

    High Resolution App Tab Bar Icons

    Version: 2011.2
    Language: English, Russian
    License Type: Demo

    Description:
    Here is a High Resolution App Tab Bar Icons collection, which will help each iPhone or iPad application developer get his graphic user interface in order. The icons from this set can be used in navigation, tab bars and toolbars, as they specifically meet the icon guidelines for iOS application design. A wide range of images, including symbols for Camera, Zoom, E-mail, Cut, Copy, Save, Profile, Search, Help, Lock and Unlock, along with navigation arrows and lots of other general purpose graphics is included into this collection. All the images have a transparent background and are available in two colors: black and white. Technically, there are 354 unique app icons created in matching style in a PNG format. The sizes for navigation bars of the following devices are available: 20×20 and 40×40 pixels (high resolution) for iPhone and iPod touch, 20×20 pixels for i Pad. The tab bar sizes include a 30×30 pixels icons for iPad and 30×30 and 60×60 pixels icons for iPhone and iPod touch. All the icons from this set are available for immediate online preview. A trial download is also provided for your convenience. After you’ve decided on the appearance of your icon, follow these guidelines as you create it: Use pure white with appropriate alpha transparency. Do not include a drop shadow. Use anti-aliasing. If you decide to add a bevel, be sure that it is 90 degrees (to help you do this, imagine a light source positioned at the top of the icon). For toolbar and navigation bar icons, create an icon in the following sizes: For iPhone and iPod touch: About 20 x 20 pixels About 40 x 40 pixels (high resolution) For iPad: About 20 x 20 pixels For tab bar icons, create an icon in the following sizes: For iPhone and iPod touch: About 30 x 30 pixels About 60 x 60 pixels (high resolution) For iPad: About 30 x 30 pixels These icons are here: http://www.aha-soft.com/stock-icons/high-resolution-app-tab-bar-icons.htm

    12×12 Free Toolbar Icons

    Version: 2011.1
    Language: English
    License Type: Freeware

    Description:
    There are many different ways to get icons for your application. One of them is to design those icons yourself using one of the widely available icon-editing programs. But that could be a hard task, if your drawing skills are low or not present at all. The other way is to use a search engine and get the icons free of charge from someone, who does have some drawing skill and therefore, managed to create the icons and put them on the net. There is only one problem with those icons – their quality. You can usually see rough edges, inconsistent color and blurry look in smaller sizes. That does not apply to the images, created by professional designers. However, professionally designed icons are not usually offered free of charge. Not usually, does not mean not at all. And here is an exception. Developing a software is a serious task. It requires some thought, skill, and, of course, a bright set of icons to be used for buttons, toolbars etc. And that’s the part we can help you with. Download our 12×12 Free Toolbar Icons set and see it improve your work instantly. Icon images are provided in size 12×12 only. There are two color schemes available, 256 and 32-bit color. The file formats are PNG, BMP, GIF and ICO. It is available for instant free download. Small Icons designs a lot of icon sets and develops software for icon editing and toolbar design. It plans to release the following icon sets: Online Icon Pack, Large Funny Icons, Free Cute Icons, Desktop Computer Icons, Large Software Icons, Vienna Desktop Icons, Android Toolbar Icons, Phone Toolbar Icons, Small Buddy Icons, Perfect Online Icons.

    Cool Toolbar Icons

    Version: 2011.1
    Language: English
    License Type: Demo

    Description:
    Cool Toolbar Icons is an extensive set of icons for modern applications. Bring your projects to life and give them the professional look using these colorful and well designed icons. With numerous icons in the package, there is something to suit all sorts of applications and Web sites. Each icon is available in a wide variety of sizes: from 16×16 to 48×48. There are also various color depths, file formats and states available. For maximum versatility, each icon is provided in bitmap (BMP), icon (ICO), GIF and PNG formats. Every icon is also available in three different states including normal, highlighted and disabled. A complete set of professionally designed icons like this will save you time, money and effort, since you won’t have to go through the expense of hiring a designer and they also have a higher quality than majority of the free icon packs available. Using this solution, you get guaranteed results quickly. You can find a preview of all the icons in the package on the website and there is also a demonstration version available.

    Clock Toolbar Icons

    Version: 2011.1
    Language: English
    License Type: Demo

    Description:
    Clock Toolbar Icons is a collection of attractive time-related stock icons for developers of software applications and websites. The set includes images representing clocks, calendars and other objects and concepts, related to time, performance, schedules, appointments etc. Each icon is supplied in 5 sizes (16×16, 20×20, 24×24, 32×32 and 48×48 pixels), 2 color depths (256 colors and 16.7 million colors with transparency) and 4 file formats: Windows icon (.ico), Bitmap (.bmp), GIF and PNG, enabling easy integration of images into any project or system. Each icon image also has 3 variations: normal, hot (selected) and disabled.

    Clock Toolbar Icons

    Classic Hardware Icon Set

    Version: 2011.1
    Language: English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
    License Type: Demo

    Description:
    Hardware Icon Set is a collection of high quality stock icons representing various hardware items: computer, laptop, monitor, floppy drive, sound card, USB flash drive and others. All pictures share the same consistent classic style with prevalence of blue colors. The collection is distributed in the BMP, PNG, GIF and ICO formats. Each icon was produced in 16×16, 24×24, 32×32 and 48×48 sizes sizes. The collection includes both 256-colors (suitable for old Windows versions) and full-color transparent icons (for Windows XP and Vista). Here is some ideas of possible uses of Hardware Icon Set: – System utilities; – Computers and components accounting applications; – Online computer shops. Hardware Icon Set is available at the following address: http://www.aha-soft.com/stock-icons/hardware-icons.htm You can purchase the entire Hardware Icon Set or individual icons for $5 each. Icons included in Hardware Icon Set are of excellent quality and have been created by professional designers. They are an excellent choice for individual software developers and small businesses willing to use modern high quality icons in their applications without having to hire a designer to draw them. Aha-Soft also plans to release the following icon sets: Desktop Toolbar Icons, Flag Toolbar Icons, Aero Toolbar Icons, Web Toolbar Icons, Office Toolbar Icons, Weather Toolbar Icons, Computer Toolbar Icons, Folder Toolbar Icons, Software Toolbar Icons, Design Toolbar Icons.

    Classic Hardware Icon Set