Application Icons

What would we do without icons? Chances are you cannot glance around your screen at any given moment without spotting one of these bold little creatures staring back at you with that begging "click me" look that we all know only too well. They're everywhere! Lined up on toolbars, peering out from within menus, sunbathing on buttons... No surprise, then, that they are good friends to have if you build RIAs. Therein lies the rub: These little critters are also notoriously difficult to create in both an aesthetically pleasing and functional manner. Fear not, however, since all hope does not rest solely on hiring one of a handful of expert icon designers to recreate the wheel for your next application (although, depending on your business domain, that may just be the most efficient, and economic, route to take for your project.) Enter, icon libraries.

As creating icons is a difficult art, finding a quality icon library suitable for use in a professional RIA is all that much harder. That is why, dear reader, I have a feeling that you are about to send some very warm karma my way. Here are two icon libraries that should fit the bill:

The first, I can vouch for fully. We used it in building the interface for Opal, our latest Rich Internet Application for Telrock Communications. As we were working in Flash MX for this project, the icons required some simple manual alterations due to the bitmap shifting bug in Flash MX.

The latter, I have only recently become aware of and have not used in production as of yet. From the look of the icons in the catalog, however, I believe we may soon do just that.

We also have a couple of aces up our sleeves over at Bits regarding some new tools we'll be releasing in the near future that should make it very easy for you to create RIAs with beautiful professional icons! :)