New icons for Blender 2.8

Shape simplification, combined with really tiny space avaliable per icon, seem to be a problem, but it’s exagerrated IMHO.
Another remedy is to avoid long lists with an icon assigned to every position in the list - the best of wrong examples is the File menu in Blender 2.7x (fig. 1). Those complex lists/menus can:

  1. use carefully designed colour codes or
  2. have only a few icons assigned to most important rows or
  3. be divided in sections - right the way Devs did it in Etitor type menu (fig. 2)

fig. 1 - the worst menu and icon use ever…

fig. 2 - good example of dividing menu in sections

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@TheRedWaxPolice
Your comments are not very positive, perhaps as a balance try to give each post also a positive / constructive push which I am sure would be greatly appreciated here.

@jendrzych
Your icons remind me of this recent right click select proposal by user fabiocroldan . It has rather interesting aesthetics and reminds me a little bit of Sketchup or Adobe software or some newer Microsoft interfaces.

Although I don’t believe that this kind of look is popular with the mainstream blender crowd one big advantage I see are the customizability as icons are treated equal to text in terms skinning - which makes elements in the UI more consistent. E.g. if you want a very light theme with the current blender icons it does not always look nice - the current icons work best with certain theme colors.

I resource I professionally and personally use for TexTools for example is https://www.flaticon.com/ as a starting point sometimes for icons I have to design / or wireframes. Although not a lot of 3D related icons available you will find a lot of style like icons there for inspiration.

Good luck with you project, looking forward to see more progress.

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Sure icons should not be rainbow fiesta, but have some solid style and color standardization, however I have to agree with TheRedWaxPolice and Joel_nl that removing colors completely is bad design. Blender isn’t some mobile app with few buttons.

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I never made an icon. I do not know how this works.
I like the flat icons. But I do not like discolored icons.
Because, IMHO, the color can be used to organize and separate the icons from each other.
Example (it is not necessary to use these colors, it’s just an example)
Green - to create
Yellow - for editing or adding
Red - for removal
etc.

For example. If there is only text, I need to literally read every letter to understand what this text means.
If there is text and colorless icons, I will navigate the icons by additionally reading the text, if necessary. But I still need to look at all the icons in order. That is, I need to “read” them all to find the right one. It’s a little faster than just text.
But, if I have colored icons. I can not read all the text, and do not view all the icons. I can immediately exclude all the icons that do not fit me in color. And just look at the icons of the color I need.

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@renderhjs
Examples You provide are really great - creme de la creme! The bar is raised really high… :smiley:

Lot of fear I see in You. Afraid You must not!
Actually, coloured icons doesn’t make much sense in most parts of Blender’s UI. Here’s proof, that flatty mono-icons work well:

There’re some spaces that should get colour cotes, though - as I stated before. Outliner, for instance.

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@vklidu @renderhjs
Okay, this is the kind of icons I prefer (for a 3d app), colorful and descriptive:

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It’s not the case. Resize them to 16x16pix and check if they’re still descriptive. Linked icons (C4D?) suit well spaces similar to Blender 2.8’s toolbar, and I’m not goin’ to design them. Not right now, at least…
Anyway - this topic ain’t a wishlist. I clearly stated what’s my goal and I’ll try to fulfil the plan. I’m goin’ to listen requests untill they fit my basic concept. It’s meant to be demanding practise and fun challenge in the same time.
So no - I won’t use peacock or puke colour palette :smiley:

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Honestly, for me it does not matter what the icons will be.
I can agree with any icons, provided that they will be more convenient than the old ones.

1 Like

Does not look like a proof of anything to me. This looks terrible to me - it’s confusing as they are all too similar visually, they are not easy to remember. I like grey stuff and it looks more pleasing in general without color but as far as functionality goes, I think this is absolutely terrible. I need to stop and concentrate to distinguish them, this is not something that I want to do 100 times a day. If they do not help to spot stuff quickly why keep them at all then? This seems like it defeats the purpose of icons. Color is very important in remembering them and distinguishing them fast. Bad idea. There should be more of color coding going on there, not less.

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Discarding color as information forces greater mental exercise by comparing value-only based wiggles to one another. It’s can be tiring depending on quantity. Personal preference is context based coloring in vector style (flat, maya like).

Basically if other leading applications don’t have it, don’t do it. Example where orange color tells user exact context:

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@cgstrive
And that’s my goal! Colour codes in places where it’s needed, with assumption, that chosen colours are global across UI and are bound to most important operations, such as (random colours):

  1. blue - modifier;
  2. green - creation (new geometry, new item in the list etc.);
  3. purple - modification of existing geometry;
  4. red - delete / erase / remove…
    and so on.

So far I made small bunch of pictograms for items that hasn’t particular global function and are not operators, but their icons are widely reused across UI causing it looks stupidly colorful in a purposeless manner. Colour will be back, but it will cover whole icon, and will be restricted to icons crowded spaces.
On the other hand, it’s pointless to colour “Add Mesh Primitives” icons in a special way, if they’re placed in a menu, that One has to enter intentionally and He exactly knows where He is - every icon will be the same colour, so it doesn’t mater if they’re grey or orange.

People don’t like changes cause have to learn new things and modify their habits. That’s understandable - humans are really lazy animals…
This project isn’t official icons redesign. No one says, that my job will go to the Branch. I do it just for fun.
So far I enjoy it more and more :wink:

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Understandable and please don’t get me wrong, it’s very well designed, just commenting on color aspect. I was a bit lazy with my example (quick google, infact blender add prim menu is same). Should you open black and white icons in IconViewer or use in some more populated context, it can be mentally fatiguing to analyse.

My personal preference is reflected well by @TheRedWaxPolice. Clear/minimalistically well defined, context based, flat, modern.

Subjectively I think it could be cool if this feature is something that can be toggled in preferences. I have a feeling that new users will find color based visual cues informative. Experienced users with muscle memory might want to design cool themes where these colors are out of harmony, preferring minimalistic style.

1 Like

That’s one of my goals - to avoid mental fatigue. WIll do my best :blush:
One last word about colours - what I plan to get rid of, is all colour that imitate real world - brown wooden chisel handle, coloured refraction and reflections in magnifyin’ glass, all stylized reflections and so on…

Great to hear your ideas on color will match the 2.8 toolbar icons.
Your file menu example was still hard to read (for me atleast) but perhaps adding small colored parts will improve that, like adding a green ‘+’ next to a black/white file icon makes things clearer then the current blender icon set.

Great that youre sticking to your idea, but are open to suggestions :wink:
Cant wait to see what you come up with :smiley:

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I like the initiative! Quite a few of the samples shown so far look pretty good although some of them are a bit too flat i think: take for example the icon for the graph editor: if the lines would have different tints of grey or even a subtle gradient, then its visual ‘weight’ would be more in line with rest. You did this already for the last icon in the editor row (the two wrenches == options?). Same applies to the icons in the mesh row, for example uv-sphere and ico-sphere. Also I would say that the 3 element selection mode icons are over simplified: the cube illusion is gone, leaving just a flat hexagon. This again might benefit from some extra grayscale cues?

In general i would say flatter, monochrome icons are an improvement, especially if some consistently applied color hints about usage are used.

The big question for me is how well these icons stand out in a really light theme?

In this example ignore icons design and used orange color. I just want to show that

  • not all items need to have icon its much easier to read the list with “breaks” empty space
    (used icons here for most used ones to attrack user attention first)
  • its much easier to “read” screen if text or icons use different color (it can be even grey text and white icons, just do some difference between these two things)
  • less dominant shortcuts

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Agree about the dimmed shortcuts, and the less systematic use of icons !

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The good thing about monochromatic icons is that they allow for easier anticipation of both light and dark overall UI layouts. One would only need to invert the values to suit any need.

Color coded icons makes this a bit more tricky. In fact, colors don’t work well with most light schemes (which, despite their decline in popularity, are still in use).

Personally, I don’t make much use of icons when using software in general, so I think an option to have both colored and monochromatic iconography would be a welcome addition, if possible.

I don’t know about you folks, but I don’t need to spot where the modifiers are that often. I don’t go looking for creation buttons as a group either or something that deletes stuff. I need color coding where there are loads of similar buttons together to distinguish them one from another. Color coding would make sense if stuff like panel or modifier icons were different among themselves. I understand this would make Blender look like a rainbow, but if one is looking for good design one should explore this direction in my opinion and try to find a balance between useful color coding and good overall looks.

2 Likes

@MartinZ
I get the feeling, that we talk about different things… I don’t know about many places in BLender interface, where icons of operators are mixed with symbols of tools, modifiers and common UI pictograms, with exception for Outliner.
Would You mind, if I asked You to provide us screenshots of Blender’s UI, picturing problems You’re concern about, with descripion what works, what doesn’t and what will be broken with the very design we discuss?