Posts tagged “icons”.

Classic icons for your customizing needs

November 9th, 2010

Mac software geniuses Panic posted some quick little notes about Transmit 4 on their blog, and one of those little ditties was how to customize the icon for each connection. They provide 16 icons to get you started, but also offered a tip on an Iconfactory set.

Here’s what my customized Transmit icons look like:


Pretty cool, especially considering The hello Show is a classic Mac podcast (sort of), and the Newton Poetry icon is a little eMate. These come from the excellent World of Aqua icon set by Dave Brasgalla, dating from 2001. The set includes all kinds of great semi-classic (G4 era) hardware, along with a few Newtons:

World of Aqua

Brasgalla made a whole series of these, some including the best hardware Apple’s made, and they all take you back to the early days of OS X.

I’ve never been a big icon customizer, but playing around with Transmit and setting some custom icons for things like my USB thumb drive and even Automator and AppleScript applications has been a lot of fun.

Time to change the iTunes icon

July 12th, 2010

iTunes icon

Apple’s iTunes icon has remained relatively unchanged since it’s release 10 years ago: a CD with music notes in front. The number and colors of those notes have changed, but overall the icon has stayed the same.

Isn’t it interesting, then, that some Mac users pick on Microsoft for using the floppy disk for saving files (rightfully so, I think) when Apple, who is speeding past the physical media age, relies on a flat disc of plastic to identify it’s media app?

From the days of “Rip, Mix, Burn,” Apple has encouraged users to think beyond the compact disc. With the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, our media could be captured in bits and bytes, 1s and 0s, not rotations of a disc over a laser beam. And since the post SoundJam days, iTunes has become a home for other media besides music – like books, movies, games, and podcasts. Arguably, it’s still mostly about music. But more and more iTunes has become a hub for the digital lifestyle – a homebase for all our media.

So why stick with the CD on the icon?

Recently, I read a Rolling Stone survey that said most people still get their music from CDs (I’m one of them). Record albums are becoming popular again, and legal MP3s are a close second, but more than 87% of music buyers still get their music from compact discs. With all the talk of the electronic media age, I found the survey results surprising.

But still, iTunes is becoming less and less about tunes and more about all manner of digital media. It’s hard to parse the “tunes” part of iTunes when you combine it with books, movies, TV shows, games, and iPod/iPhone management. The tunes are just one part of a collection of consumable entertainment.

Is there a good enough case for Apple changing the icon? Or is it so ingrained in popular culture that any change, like the floppy disk in Microsoft Office programs, will be unwelcome?

iMovie icons

Think back to when Apple revamped iMovie, with the new icon.

Quicktime icons

Or QuickTime X – quite a change from the nearly-20-year-old QuickTime logo before it (above – courtesy of The Logo Factory).

It’s not like Apple is afraid of change, visually or philosophically. In the case of hardware, it’s usually revolutionary (think iMac G3 to iMac G4). Even OS X has undergone a few visual transformations over the years. Why leave the iTunes icon unchanged after so long?

Maybe the question is, what could replace the current iTunes icon?

Newton icons grace Brushes for iPad

February 11th, 2010

In the early years of iPhone apps, Steve Sprang, the developer of Brushes, contacted me and told me the story behind a few of his app icons:

Brushes icons

They’re the original Newton Undo/Redo buttons. Sprang wanted to pay homage to the Newton, so he used the icons in his now-famous app.

Here’s the original Newton version:

Newton buttons

As you can see from the above still frame, the Newton icons remain in the new iPad version of Brushes (in the keynote, you can see them at the 42:30 mark).

Sprang developed apps for the Newton, too, back in the day – including Lathe, a popular 3D modeler.

It’s been gratifying to see Sprang’s success with his Brushes app, and great to see he still uses those Newton icons from way back when.

Google Chrome’s throwback icons

November 3rd, 2009

Chrome freezes

I love how Google Chrome’s icons are a throwback to Susan Kare’s classic Macintosh icons.

This is the only one I’ve seen, but there are others that mimic the Sad Mac icon, too.