Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Font-Embedding Icons the Right Way—A Legitimate Alternative to Images

When I released Iconic in font format it got a lot of positive feedback. However, it had one significant technical issues that kept it from being practical. The glyphs in the font had no logical assignment to Unicode characters, making the output semantically unsound. A few months back, Philip Shaw shared a much improved method for glyph assignment which I have implemented in the current version of Iconic. I thought it would be worthwhile to share that approach so that others may adopt it and that a standard can hopefully form. Read On…

Designing Icons Around Privacy

The couple months ago a person contacted me to help them design a small icon system for an academic paper. The icons were needed to communicate different online privacy settings when sharing content or information. Communicating levels of privacy is far more complex than the simple nouns or verbs normally symbolized in icons. The set was small enough in number for me to take design them outside of my work hours. What I’m showing today are wireframes of the icons to communicate the general direction and explain the structure/rules behind this system. Read On…

Making the Transition from Development to Design—My Experience and Advice

A couple months ago, a person emailed me asking for tips for transitioning to design from a development background. As someone who had loosely gone through the same path (from programming to design to programming then back to design), I wanted to share any advice I could possibly give. After writing the letter, I thought it may be useful to a few other people out there. So if you are a developer looking to get into design, this is written specifically for you. To preface, this article is not why developers can be good designers. This article does a great job of articulating those ideas. So instead of duplicating good work, I spent time on some ways a developer can get into design. Read On…

Iconic is Now Open Source

When I made Iconic nearly two years ago, I was always committed to keeping it free. There are a lot of very good commercial icon sets, but I thought it was important to have a free alternative. I am unsure whether the success of Iconic was due to its design, its free model or a little of both, but the set has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and it being used on thousands of websites. I’m tremendously happy with how useful it has been for people. That said, the most impressive thing for me has been the willingness of complete strangers to contribute to this project. I am going to make that a lot easier now by open-sourcing the Iconic on Github. In doing so, I have high aspirations for the set moving forward. Read On…

New Flick Icons for Cue

I designed Cue, a gesture icon system, to satisfy a mental itch. However, it has been flattering and exciting to see people actually using the system in their daily work. Now that this icon set is no longer just a pet project, I want to be aware of its shortcomings so it can continue to be useful. One of the most requested additions is a “flick” icon. I intentionally withheld designing a flick gesture because I have always been a little fuzzy as how it differed from a swipe gesture. I understand how it differs in “feel”, but I always got tripped up determining the technical differences of a flick and a swipe.

To be honest, I am still a little fuzzy on it and it seems like I am not alone. However, I asked for some guidance on Twitter and got two similar and logical definitions. Which led me to this most recent update. Read On…