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Hi all,

the day went by so fast ... so I can assure that I've read your mails,
but I am unable to answer in detail. Sorry!

However, I started the table that sums up the discussions / ideas
concerning the document symbolism [1]. I also tried to add some facts
with regard to the Galaxy and Tango style icons. Please have a look at
it, and add you thoughts - if you like ...

And thanks for the feedback you already provided - to not lose any of
your valuable comments, please bear with me and add them to the wiki
page as well [2]. In my point-of-view, short statements serving as
reminders would work well. If this won't be possible, I'll try to
integrate them within the next days.

[1] Document Symbolism

[2] Feedback

Enjoy your eveni ... night!


Am Freitag, den 07.01.2011, 22:37 +0100 schrieb Björn Balazs:
Hi Christoph, all.

just a quick comment: I really like the design - but the metaphor for 
templates is not convincing and does not work in small sizes. I would again 
like to bring in the idea of inverting the icon, which is as close to the 
mental model of a template (german: Schablone, Schema) as my mind brings me 


Am Freitag, 7. Januar 2011, 22:03:44 schrieb Mirek M.:
Hi Bernhard, Christoph, everyone,

2011/1/7 Bernhard Dippold <>

Hi Christoph, all

thank you all for the iterative improvement of our icons - the present
version looks great!

Christoph Noack schrieb:
 Hi Mirek, all!
Thanks for the feedback ... you may add some more, please :-)

Am Donnerstag, den 06.01.2011, 19:35 +0100 schrieb Mirek M.:
2011/1/6 Christoph Noack<>


What do you think, might that work?

Here's my feedback:
I really like the colors in this iteration -- much more calming and
than initially. I also love the template symbolism.

Thanks - especially in this case it seems, that some more people (and
thus, some more iterations) really help to improve the outcome.#

 The document symbolism I'm not so sure about -- the more complex and
distinct these symbols get, the less quickly a user can distinguish
them (just compare the icons for Adobe's CS 2 and CS 3). But as long
other icons stay relatively simple and distinctive enough, this
change is okay.

Adding more details is okay for larger scales while especially small
icons should keep very distinct and stylized symbols.

I think it is hard to differ between template and document especially in
16px size and high contrast icons, because it's just the left border,
that has a slightly bumpier design.


I don't know how to add more differences between them - as Bj�rn already
mentioned: Color distinction is not enough (and the different colors
their contrast in the small icons).

Perhaps we should remove the blue pixels at the left border in the 16px

Please contribute your ideas!

I think it'd be OK to bring back the gray borders to the icons, like they
used to have.
Alternatively, one thing that could be done is to use dotted lines in the
document symbols -- to represent that it's not a finished document, but
rather a blueprint.


Concerning the idea / thoughts of the symbolism: Initially, I thought
can simply re-use the established items of the Galaxy MIME type icons
but then it looks rather strange for larger icons (e.g. the Draw
symbol). On the other hand, the ODF icons are very subtle and detailed
so (in my opinion) they lack some good differentiation. Consequently,
my proposals, I tried to balance these requirements.

 From my point-of-view, the best size to work / analyze the symbolism

the 32px and 16px versions. The "upscaled" versions are simply
by some more detail ... although the current LibreOffice branding
to be rather clean and simple (even having some strong strokes, ...).

I didn't took the strong lines of the TDF logo into account, leading to
detailed icons with much stronger border. Your version is much more

Although I am not fully happy with it, here is a the Calc version:

It gives too much weight on the chart in my eyes - perhaps because it is
not part of the spreadsheet?

I think the icon could do without a chart entirely, be just a table (I mean,
that's what it's basically intended for, collecting data, whereas Impress,
Writer, and Draw are more for the visual presentation of data).

Would it be reasonable to use a different type of chart (lines?) than
one we use for Chart itself?

 One thing that I would rather do without is the shadow below the
 icon (in
the default icons). Most operating systems add their own shadows
reflections to icons, and when these icons have their own shadows
too, it just adds to the mess of effects that there are.

Mmh, to be honest, I simply re-used what I knew about the Tango
Icons ... usually they add some subtle shadow below the icons. But
may be wrong, although it (already) would cause a lot of effort to
remove it.

What kind of operating systems might be problematic - Windows, Mac,

I never saw automatically added shadow at Windows (perhaps this changed
with Windows7)- for Mac I don't know.

Sorry, mistake on my part.
What I wanted to say was that default icons in various operating systems and
software use different angles of shadow if they use shadow at all, so you
can have 10 application icons next to each other and each of them might
have a shadow under a different light source.
Here are icon guidelines for GNOME, Tango, Mac OS, and Windows XP,
ual/AppleHIGuidelines/XHIGIcons/XHIGIcons.html ,

Plus Mac OS X really does cast its own shadow sometimes (with a light source
being where the user is), as well as reflection. Certain Linux docks do the

But there are different shadow requirements, if icons are meant to be
integrated in different OS. Apple recommends different position sun and
different texture of the icons from Tango for example.

 Another thing: the text in
the default icons seems a bit crammed at the bottom, perhaps because
shadow below the icon or the margin, as the high contrast icons
to have this problem.

Good observation :-) The HC icons are not that problematic here, since
I've enlarged them a bit to the bottom (instead of using a shadow -
doesn't make much sense for HC icons). Thus, we've gained a bit space
that helps to let the symbols "breathe" a bit.

The shadow at the smaller icons is nearly invisible.
What do you think of dropping it for 48px and 32px too - gaining more
space for the symbols?


Removing the other shadows, by preserving the currently used area for
the symbols might solve this issue.

 Lastly, it'd be great if the smaller default icons
lost the landscape symbol, just like the high contrast icons do,
because at
these small sizes, it loses both its meaning and its charm.

Well, it seems like a 50:50 decision ;-) In my original design, there
wasn#t a landscape picture, but Jaron worked out a good counter
proposal ... I simply adapted my set for the default color set, but
won't work (probably) for the HC version. It's easy to rework that ...

At the moment I tend to remove the landscape picture, even if I
Jaron's proposal over your first design. In my opinion the text lines
become too short and lose their clear symbol language a bit...

Here was the initial set I was working on:

 Anyway, great work. It's nice to see the icons progress so well.
Anybody who might join to bring some life to the rest (quite some
number) of icons?

Mirek, thanks for the great feedback ... since I know your great
(Citrus&  Co.) is there a chance that you might join.

I'm not a very good designer, trust me. (I'm also relatively new to
Inkscape, having recently switched from Macromedia Fireworks, and am still
getting used to its quirks.)

Even if I was, January is a very busy time for me (February should be
But I'll definitely be willing to help as much as I can when I have the

 Thanks form my side too! Time is really short, so we only can create

icons in time, if we can reach the best possible design very soon.

 There is still a
bit hope (for me) that we might have something for the LibO 3.3

Removing the old OOo icons would be great (even if I liked the galaxy
theme...) - I still think it is possible.

I'd hold up before removing the galaxy theme. I've been using the Tango

icon theme on Ubuntu for a while now (since that's the only one OOo ships
with), and it's still a bit of a usability pain, as most of the icons have
very low contrast with the background. The icons under drawing are
especially awful: you can barely discern the various shapes and inner shapes
(e.g. smiley face).
It'd be great if sometime down the line LibO had its own set of icons,
perhaps simply a derivative of the Tango icons that fixes the contrast
issues. Before that happens, I'd keep Galaxy as the default (unless there
are issues that would prevent us from doing so).

 I heard that almost all blockers for the release are resolved, so time
is running ... I'm currently on vacation, but I'm unable to deliver
than one iteration per day (having some other duties as well).

I'm sorry that I can't help more.

Perhaps during the next days I could start working on one of the other

Any proposals? Draw? Math? Macro?

Shamelessly, I also BCC Thorsten and Nik - I'm not sure whether they
aware of the current discussion. It would also be great to hear their
opinions, and maybe we can join all the forces :-)


Oh, I totally forgot about that ... I reworked the wiki page a bit and
also added the current (messy draft) source file there. The next step
to sum up some of the "what symbol metaphor to use" discussions ... I
hope there will be something before I go to bed (and there is not much
"today" left *g*).

Good night ;-)


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