Enhance your software or Web site with stylish, professionally made icons. Save time on releasing a new
software project or publishing printed matter by using a matching set of readily available icons. Get
exactly the icons that you want. What do you do when you need graphical elements for newly developed
software? Do you contract a professional designer to create your icons for you, or do you use standard
Windows icons or icons that are distributed with your development environment?
The answer depends on your priorities. If you value development speed, you can sacrifice the visual
appearance of your project, and use standard icons. This approach results in a rather bland looking
application, but a rapid development.
If, on the other hand, you value quality and positive user experience, you might commission a designer to
create exactly the icons you want. That's in theory. In practice, however, you rarely get exactly what you
wanted, delivered precisely on a due date. More often than not, the process requires several iterations of
communicating with the designer, resulting in unwanted delays and shifts of release date.
So what would you do when you require a professionally looking, slick user interface for your software or
Web project developed with minimum delays? Ordering a set of stock icons is your only option. These icons
are readily available, created by professional designers, and are available with full previews so that you
get exactly what you need for your project.
A quick search for 'stock icons' will return over a million pages, making it difficult to choose the
right provider for your graphics needs. There are certain criteria that you should apply to your research
when selecting the source of your icons.
Are icons available in all the sizes that you require? Even if you don't need all sizes right away,
Is your stock icon provider serious about their business, supporting the latest trends in icon design?
Make sure your icons have that modern, slick look provided by the latest visual guidelines published by
Microsoft. While visual appearance remains up to your personal tastes, there are certain formal, technical
criteria that should be met. Your icons must be available in all of the standard sizes and color depths.
also referred to as an alpha-channel. Your icons must look in line with the Windows icons, which means
that they have to use a unified palette and share features such as translucency effect and shadows.
Finally, what if you ever need a size that is not available right away? Will you need to hire an
expensive designer to create an icon that looks similar, but not quite, to what you already have? Or will
you have to pay your icon provider to get that particular size? A good stock icon provider will offer its
graphics in vector format, this enables you to render graphics in any size and resolution that you may
Are there many providers that meet these criteria? I could find one when I was looking for ready-made
icons to enhance my latest project. Lokas Software meets and exceeds the
requirements that I set as a must for my icon provider. Their icons are available in styled sets sharing
common design features and palettes. They offer multiple resolutions and color depths, and provide entire
sets of icons in vector format for a very reasonable fee, which is less than the cost of a single icon if
ordered from a designer.
Their Realistic Icons nicely blend XP and Vista
style, making this set a perfect choice if you are targeting a conservative audience who might use older
Windows for some time, of if you prefer the distinctive, calm appearance of XP icons over the slick,
active look of Vista.
Aero Icons are the right choice if you are developing for
Windows Vista, offering icons that match the new Vista style precisely.
If you are designing for Windows XP, or simply prefer your icons to look more artistic and stylized than
the realistic, photo-quality sets employed in Vista, a set named
XP Artistic Icons will be perfect for you.
As an added bonus, they include AWicons Pro, a nice
icon editing application with every order of a Pro set, and
Cover Commander, a tool to render a
box or cover image, with every order of a vector set.
Keywords: stock icons, ready made icons, vector icons, vista icons, xp icons, windows icons, aero icons, realistic
icons, artistic icons, royalty free icons.
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