May 8, 2012

CUSTOM DOCK ICONS


Awhile ago I discovered something that maybe only a nerdy designer like myself would care to discover. Via one of my favorite designers, Jessica Hische, I found that one can change the image for application icons (Safari, Quicktime, iphoto, itunes, etc.) which would create a fully custom & synchronized look to the dock on my mac. She has a wonderful blog post about it, check it out here for more.
    For someone who may be a bit of an aesthetic-control freak, this was a glorious revelation. The original icon images for programs appear somewhat ordinary after awhile, causing your iMac dock to become un-inspiring. What better way to liven up your creative workspace than to custom design those icons!



    So to give your desktop dock a more personal touch, what you will need is an .icns file. Check out Jessica's post to download her original icons, she has most of the essential ones done. I've added some JEDDY originals as well to go along with hers (which are available for download here), for example, the Back to the Future inspired icon for the Time Machine app, which I designed to look like the tail-lights of the Delorean. If you don't already have an .icns file made, then you can take an existing jpg image (created from the template also provided) and then convert it to one using the FastICNS software.
    Now once you have an .icns file, you can make it simple and use a program called Candybar, which will basically do all the technical grunt work of changing your icons for you. It makes it super easy, but the software costs $$ so that might be a deterrent for some...
    If you'd rather do it manually, I really couldn't explain it any better than Jessica already has with this short & sweet instructional video. See it at the end of her blog post that I mentioned before. Thanks!

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