Drawing Toolbar Icons for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Projects

Producing software or developing an online project? Make sure your application looks current and contemporary by checking the images used against current standards. This article explains the newest trends in designing modern, good-looking graphics for your software and Web projects.

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

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

Well-designed and carefully 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 software, making it simpler to learn and more intuitive through better communication of ideas through symbols. Good images make buttons and actions simpler to find and to use day by day.

Vista Toolbar Icons

Vista Toolbar Icons are a set of stock application and toolbar icon images designed in the new Windows Vista/7 style. Strictly adhering to all guidelines, the graphics share common style, colors and gamma, and come in all standard resolutions, including the recently added 256×256 True Color format with alpha-channel. Vista Toolbar Icons can be used in programs designed for Windows Vista, as application or toolbar icons, on Web sites and on-line portals. Simply visit www.777icons.com to access full-size previews of Vista Toolbar Icons.

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