As was so promised wayback, in the preface pages – a treatise upon computer ikon design is herewith appearing. Paged in the preface ikon pages were some half-a-hundred ikons used as markers for the various books and chapters strategically placed throughout these pages of this the printed work. These fifty or so are reprinted here but are joined by an additional bunch which exist for and on the computer screen as “desktop” ikons – as markers affiliated with the electronic version of a wrye life. Most of these latter ikons do it in color, but for their inclusion here in printed form, they are printed in black ink as gray-scale renditions.
The artistic process for ikon creation on the computer is straight-forward enough. plying a vector drawing program, (in this case alous freehand 3.1). A square rectangle is vectored in at a size convenient to the artist. within it is rendered an image – pictorial or typographic or both, or otherwise – in color or gray-scale, or just black and white. for this-here print version of a wrye life a final finished square of one and a quarter inches became the format of choice for all page corners. The larger original design is digitally reduced proportionately by freehand numeric magic. The ikons are then boxed in neat little pre-designed beveled frames.
The creation and configuration of an ikon for ‘desktop’ monitor-screen use is a bit more technically complex. In this case the designed ikon image must be attached to a file or folder digitally within the computer finder system. if for any reason the reader is interested, this is the way its done – this away: 1. The ikon is cleverly designed within a square – as above – about three inches on a side. in living-color, or otherwise. 2 . The design is then saved to the ‘hard-drive’ on the ‘desktop’ by what is called ‘exporting’ it as a ‘pict2’ image. 3. To attach this image to a file or folder on the macintosh computer. (using the system 7.5 as is in this effort being used). The selected file or folder is summoned to the ‘get info” dialogue box where
its existing. and soon to be replaced, dreary ikon will then be displayed. 4 . Now the ‘pict2″ file (the brilliantly newly designed ikon design) is opened and displayed. 5. With the “marquee tool’ the image is selected and the ‘copy” command is entered. 6. In the “get info” dialogue box the dreary ikon to be replaced is now selected, [a simple non-beveled small box-frame appears around it.) 7 . The command ‘paste” is now commanded. The newly designed ikon immediately replaces the original dreary, forthwith.
There are artistic and visual considerations involved in ikon design which immediately become obvious, – (especially to brighter people) in the creation of screen-type ikons. Upon a 21″ monitor-screen the dimensions of a displayed ikon are in the neighborhood of 3/8′ x 1 /2′ . This obviously allows not for too much complexity if the ikon is to be easily recognized and identified on sight. Color choice is not allowed great variety nor subtlty, neither. And then there is the matter of typeface images – too small letters become ,jagged illegibilities. Nota Bene: typefaces must be ‘converted to paths” to function properly spacially in a screen-ikon environment. Nevertheless, ikons get designed everyday all over t h e world, and often they are n ice little masterpieces.
And so there you have it. That was how it was done in ‘ninety-six.