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By: Bjorn Johansen
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the blog of
Front Page
Icon Design Made Simple
Whatsoever method you choose to follow, please keep in mind that all of your icons should be designed with the same technique, giving a family relationship to them all (involved in color and lighting). The simpler an icon looks, the easier it is to create it. However, to give it simplicity and sensibility, long-time experience is required.
In this article, we continue to deal with some last-but-not-least issues regarded as indispensable post-tasks in icon design: pixelation, resizing, retouching and exporting.
Select the shadow path. In the Appearance palette, double-click  on the Gaussian Blur fx (shown in Fig 3) and change the Radius value until the result is achieved as desired.
What to do is snapping this path tightly in the size of pixels.
Issue 3
At a small size, quite a lot of paths are invalid, because these paths that appear “behind” the icons will cause jagged edges for our icons.
Fig 5. Retouching (issue 3)
All you have to do is remove those useless paths.
To get rid of pixelation, what tool do we choose to use?
Every graphic application has diverse strong and weak points, and it depends on the user’s likings, habits and skills. Let’s take Photoshop, it obviously offers you a lot of various techniques to work with, and you can easily pick a texture to give your icon an actual look. However, when it comes to the resizing task, it’s like a pain in the ass. You have to pick your pencil in the pencil mode and re-dot the blurred pixels, or it even seems to go nuts if someone is compulsory to calculate how many pixels are enough for each path, so that their icon will not become blurry when resized. So, this painful process requires lots of experience and takes much time.
If you, for some reason, want to take on Photoshop to create new icons or to retouch your icons without changing transparent pixels, simply select the layer/icon you want to deal with and then click on the clock transparent pixels button in the Layers palette. That’s it, the rest is yours.
Pixelation solved in Illustrator
The more paths there are in an object, the more time it takes to resize the icon.
The more effects you apply in your icon (transparency, blending mode, or blur and drop shadow), the more tasks of re-editting and resizing there are you have to do with those effects.
The more effects you use in the Effect menu, the more time it takes for the computer to render these effects.
The 3-D effect in Illustrator CANNOT be used in professional icon creation.
At a small size, you can remove the shadow and any invisible detail until your icon gets sharp as desired.
How to Create a Simple Button Icon in Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator’s Tools and Palettes Used Most for Icon Creation
How to Create a Simple Stroke Dashboard Icon in Adobe Illustrator
How to create a realistic globe icon
How to create a glossy Network icon
Lighting in Icon Design (revisited)
Material, Coloration and Gradient in Icon Design (revisited)
Pixel Perfection in Icon Design
As a perfectionist, not only have we wanted our products to be as perfect as possible, we have also wanted to improve the quality of each and every article published on this blog. Any suggestions or contributions to this article are highly appreciated. We appreciate your time.
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Dinesh says:
Thanks! a real good read.
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