Icon update proposal

Eric Richie eric at adium.im
Tue Jan 4 13:56:17 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:44 PM, Christopher Forsythe <chris at growl.info> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM, Robert Vehse <robert.vehse at gmx.de> wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>> I've got news: in order to speed the icon update along, Frank has set up a
>> voting page: http://wixardy.no-ip.org/adiumIcons/. Evan has said it's okay
>> for everyone following this list to put their votes in.
> I'm looking at these icons, and I kind of see why you guys are voting.
> That said, I'm afraid I don't see the point completely here.
> I can vote for the icon I think would be best in that situation. But I
> can't see them all together with this approach. If the idea is to make
> a single cohesive set of icons, I don't know that this voting web page
> helps to get to that goal. There is a large amount of different kinds
> of art in place on the voting page. If in the end the most voted for
> items don't go together, I don't see this voting page having ended up
> with the well intended goals it was set up for.
> Is there not a way to have the two icon guys talk for a bit and then
> make a final set that combines both of their works, and then have them
> present them in one cohesive icon set?
> Chris

I was having similar thoughts to Chris when I was looking through the
page.  If we simply pick and choose from these options, we're left
with the combined works of 3+ different designers, all with their own
unique style.  I think if we're going to vote, we vote on what
direction we want each icon to go (the metaphor as Igor said).  After
we figure out what representations we prefer, we definitely need to do
some reconciliation of the designs. We need to come to a more unified
style before we just toss them in.

Think of it this way, those individual icons might be better than a
current icon on its own, but would the resulting mix be better as a
whole than our current ones.  Without further work after the voting, I
don't think that I would say they were*.  In my personal experience
working with designers, you may have several of them brainstorming as
a team, but it's often better to have one do the final versions
(unless you have very specific specifications for them to work from)
simply because everyone does have their own personal style.

I would rather approach the voting as a preliminary step rather than a
final decision.  As I told Robbie when he first started discussing
this stuff with me a few months ago, I don't think the icon redesign
is going to be something that just happens quickly and we toss them
right in.  Iconography is hugely important to the look an feel of an
app, as well as it's identity.  I just want to make sure that what we
end up with is a net gain for Adium rather than getting caught up in
'OOH TEH SHINY!!!1!' and then trying to call it polish.


* - I say 'think' because for all we know, the results could come back
completely in favor of a single designer's work, in which case this
point would be moot.

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