Drawing Toolbar Icons for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Projects

Producing software or designing a Web site? Ensure your design looks modern and up-to-date by checking the icons used against current standards. This article explains the newest trends in drawing contemporary, good-looking images for your software and on-line projects.

With every new release of Windows, Microsoft updates guidelines for graphic designers. If you want your project look consistent with the newest version of Windows, it is important to read and comprehend the guidelines.

Not going much into technical details, Microsoft points out that Vista-style icons differ from previously used XP-style icons in several ways. The style of the new icons becomes more realistic than cartoon-line XP icons, but still remains symbolic without becoming too realistic. Microsoft also extends the icon format by defining the largest size of the graphics to PNG-compressed 256×256 pixel images, ensuring that programs look well defined on modern high resolution displays. Finally, Microsoft recommends that toolbar icons are optimized for smaller sizes, and advises that toolbar images bear enough visual distinctiveness even in their lowest resolutions. Toolbar images in Windows Vista have no details such as shadows, and are flat with no perspective.

Well-designed and thought of graphics enhance the appearance of your programs, making them more consistent with Windows and third-party software installed on the user’s PC. Great images improve usability and efficiency of programs, making it faster to use and more intuitive through better communication of ideas through symbols. Good graphics make buttons and actions easier to find and to use every day.

Vista Toolbar Icons

Vista Toolbar Icons are a set of ready-made application and toolbar icons drawn in the new Windows Vista/7 style. Strictly adhering to all guidelines, the images share common style, colors and gamma, and come in all standard sizes, including the recently added 256×256 True Color format with semi-transparency. Vista Toolbar Icons can be used in software designed for Windows Vista, as application or toolbar icons, on Web sites and on-line portals. Just visit www.777icons.com to access full-size previews of Vista Toolbar Icons.

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