Tagged: icons

Free font: Pictonic Cube

Pictonic font

Pictonic Cube is a free icon font set that includes the most useful UI elements for your user interface design projects. As a font, it’s very flexible. For example, you can manipulate the icons with CSS properties (e.g. color, size, shadow, etc.). The font files include EOT, SVG, SVGZ, TTF and WOFF. If you want to edit the icons, SVG files (editable in Adobe Illustrator) are also provided for all icons.

OS X and Mac App Store signals the death of desktop customization

Back in the day of Mac OS 7, 8 and 9, Apple didn’t make it too terribly difficult to customize the OS with themes and custom icons. Theming your desktop was so popular that it was nearly its own sub-culture. Theming websites sprout up almost weekly, offering window themes, icons, and other theming items. There were literally thousands of options. But that all changed when Apple released Mac OS X.


Mac OS X was a top-to-bottom change to the system architecture, and theming was infinitely more difficult. It took a long time before creative developers figured out a way to bring customization to OS X. There were themes, if only a few dozen, and of course you could still customize icons. But it was never to the extent that you could in Mac OS 9.

Eventually (I don’t remember if it was OS 10.4 or 10.5), theming became nearly impossible. But when Apple released the Mac App Store, customizing your Mac desktop all but died. Because of the code signing of all apps sold through the Mac App Store, altering files contained in individual apps (such as icons) rendered them either useless, or at the very least prevented you from updating them in the Mac App Store.

Between code signing, recently implemented Sandboxing rules, and the release of OS X Mountain Lion (which prevents theming of the Dock), it’s all but a dead art. If you need any more evidence, Panic Software recently announced they were sunsetting their icon customization tool, CandyBar. For many years, CandyBar was the gold-standard of customizing icons. Thankfully, Panic made CandyBar freely downloadable, and updated it for Mountain Lion. For those like me who used CandyBar for it’s icon collection organizing feature, and the ability to quickly and easily export app icons as PNG images with transparency intact, the fact that it still works is a bit of relief. But it’s future is most decidedly in doubt. It surely won’t be long before it can no longer customize System icons.

It’s sad to see theming and customization fade off into the sunset. But to be honest, Apple has improved the appearance of the OS to the point where even the most avid themed simply preferred the clean look of the standard theme. And right now, you can get an absolutely fantastic icon customizing and organizing app for free.

Hey Apple, give me what I want (cause surely the whole world wants it to)

Mac OS X FinderI often see comments on Mac OS X feature-related articles from users who feel that Apple should include this or that feature. No matter how obscure the feature request is, they’re convinced that the whole world could use it.

I normally ignore such fluff, but this past week I managed to come up with a list of a few things that I think Apple should build-in to Mac OS X to make me happy. Because you know if I want it, chances are that everyone else on the planet does too, right?

Mac OS X admin password

Mac OS X doesn't trust me!

For starters Apple, since I’m smarter than your average rock and managed to set up my Mac’s user account with administrative privileges, can you please stop asking me for my God-foresaken password every time I want to install something? Please! I get it, security and all that. But I’ve set myself up as an admin user for a reason. Can you at least offer the option of not asking me for a password? I know, enabling that feature will require me to enter my password, but that’s ok this one time!

Wait Apple, don’t run off just yet, I’ve got more. (more…)

Get more info about your files and folders in Mac OS X’s Finder

Sometimes a little info goes a long, long way. While you can do a Get Info (Command + i) on a selected file, it would be easier if you could see just a little info without the hassle of a keyboard command – such as how many files are contained in a particular folder, or the dimensions of an image file. Once again, Apple thought of the little things.

OS X Finder Item InfoA quick visit to the Finder’s menubar does the trick! Simply go to View>Show View Options (or hit Command + J). In the View Options window about half-way down, click in the checkbox next to Show Item Info as seen in the screenshot at the right.

OS X Finder Item InfoOnce that option is activated in the Finder, you’ll notice information located just below the desktop icon file name colored in light blue. When you’re in icon view mode in a folder, which you can switch to by hitting Command + 1, you’ll see the info there too. As you can see in the screenshot at the left, you’ll get a quick glimpse of the number of items inside a folder, and the pixel dimensions of image files.

Not all document types display information, but these two in particular I find quite useful.

Iconpaper offers full load of customization options for your Mac

There are tons of sites out there you can use to customize your Mac OS X experience. From themes and icons, to desktop wallpapers and app skins, the options are limitless. But spending the time to find them is daunting.


iconpaper offers everything you need to customize your Mac

Iconpaper is a fantastic site that brings the best of the bunch all together in one easy to use site. Iconpaper offers easy viewing and downloading of everything you need, including:

  • Icons
  • Wallpapers
  • Dock Skins
  • App Skins
  • OS X Themes
  • Screensavers

I found so many Dock themes and desktops to try, I ended up wasting away an hour before I finished writing this brief article.

Free Silk icon collection – 1,000 icons for your Web design projects

Free icon collections are nothing new, darn near everyone offers a few icons here and there for download. But rarely does a collection the size of Silk come along, let alone for free. Mark James’ wildly popular Silk icon collection has grown from just over 300 icons in 2005, to over 1,000 now. With the release of version 1.3 of Silk, James is now calling the set “complete.” The Silk icon collection (16×16 pixel, .png format) can be downloaded for free, but comes attached with the CreativeCommons Attribution License, meaning you must credit James with a link on your site if you use them.