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In the IRC chat we spoke about styles icon which has no good metaphor.
First an overview of current icons and at the end there is my proposal.

As pointed out during the chat, right now we have quite a mess:
 - a hand pointing at several buttons (Tango icons, hard to understand)
 - a tuning handle next to a paper (Galaxy and High contrast icons)
- a folder with a triangular ruler and a pencil (Oxygen and Crystal icons, KDE default for properties)
 - a triangular ruler and a T (Sifr icons)
 - a cone with color bursting out (new 4.2 with side bar)

- a wrench on a colored circle (Gnome default for properties, proposal by mirek2, emphasizes styles being a collection of object properties) - a paintbrush on a colored circle (similar to MS products, alternative proposal by mirek2)

Microsoft Word uses an A with paintbrush or two A-s for Change styles:

Zoho uses a combination of both two A-s and a paintbrush:

Adobe uses styled S (doesn't translate that well) or a combination of "color icon" and A for character styles and pilgrim ¶ for paragraph styles in InDesign:

One interesting icon an A made of a ruler, a pencil and a paintbrush (metaphor similar to Sifr icons):

I would propose using stencil ruler as the metaphor. Stencil is used to draw similar objects (this is what styles are about). A Sifr-style icon could look something like this:

Does using stencil make more sense? Or maybe someone here has a better idea, then please speak up :)


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