Note: Download link is dead due to drop.io. New link:
I finally got my new 27″ Core i7 iMac delivered. It’s frickin’ glorious. Immediately, I set out to customize the crap out of it. The very first thing I did was install Candybar from Panic and change all the icons I could. Turns out, I’d have to do a little design work for myself. Read on to see how and why I created this.
I started with the Flurry System, Flurry Extras, and Flurry Extras 2 icons over at Iconfactory. They are great icon sets, and look like iPhone icons. I was amazed at how many custom icons were available for software I already own like Coda, Transmit, and Google Chrome.
Unfortunately, a custom icon for my key piece of productivity software, Omnifocus, was not available. What’s a geek to do? Well, make one myself, of course. Now, be warned, I’m a developer, not a designer. But it’s not like I completely suck either.
Here’s the challenge: You can’t just take an existing icon and “shove it in a rounded-corner square.” There’s more to it than that. Let’s take a look at the before vs after versions of the Mail.app icon.
As you can see, it looks completely different. That’s right, it’s not just the Mail.app icon shoved into a square box. It’s been completely redesigned. That’s what I needed to do with the Omnifocus icon.
So here’s the before version of the Omnifocus icon, bone stock:
Looking at that though, and considering that I like my Omnifocus app to sit in the dock right next to my Mail app, it would look virtually identical at a glance in my tiny little dock (I did mention I’m now on a 27″ iMac now, didn’t I?). So, that clearly wasn’t going to work.
Looking at the original, there is one, and only one, very striking aspect of this icon. The purple color. That’s absolutely the thing I notice about the icon in my dock.
Now, I could have gone with just a purple-colored icon, and I’m sure that would suffice on a daily basis. But since I knew I’d also see this when I CMD-Tab, and in Coverflow, I wanted something that had just that extra little bit of ‘pop’ to it.
Adding a big checkmark, inspired from the actual iPhone version of Omnifocus was a start. But I also wanted the Omni Group’s logo on the app somewhere. That took a little bit of wrangling to get it just right. I also added the letterpress effect just so it wouldn’t be so plain looking.
I’ve posted the .ICNS file over at drop.io if you’d like to use it also.
I posted it on the Omni Group support forums, too, and someone mentioned they’d like to have one without the drop shadow so they can use it as a custom icon for the actual Omnifocus iPhone app after they did a jailbreak and background replacement.
I didn’t design this icon to be an actual iPhone icon, rather an iPhone-like Mac icon. Regardless, altering the icon was trivial, and if you’re looking for that one, you can find that one over at drop.io as well.
Let me know what you think, but bear in mind:
- I’m not a designer
- I made this for myself to fill a specific need
- I don’t work for Omni Group (although they are the best damned 3rd part Mac app shop around.