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almost 4 years ago from Jordan Little, Design/Dev
Thanks for the reply. Looking at it blown up in size it's remarkable how many mistakes there are.
No joke. The icon looked a little muddy so I looked at the raw SVG and was very surprised at the lack of attention.
You are very right, but I've given up on trying to get designers to care about stuff like this unless they work directly under me.
I've even gotten a misaligned logo from a brand agency during a rebrand. Unfortunately attention to detail like this is just not taught in school, and isn't emphasized in a lot of the online resources people use to learn design.
Everyone is always trying to teach far too abstract concepts, or teach the specific UI of a specific version of one tool, rather than teach designers to sweat the details regardless of what tool you are using.
Considering it's usually only some other designers who notice details like this (on a conscious level), it's hard to enforce such rigor and attention to detail in a large company like Apple.
It is a "soft skill" these days and is one of the reasons why I still appreciate Eli Schiff as a design critic – he appreciates those pixel-perfect details and calls out brands who don't bother.
When I was teaching (college web design and frontend dev), I found it hard to elucidate the how and why of pixel-perfection. Businesses these days do not value putting pride into your work over getting something done below budget and before deadline. Until those priorities start shifting, I think we'll see fewer and fewer new designers worrying about these details and more designers working across many disciplines, not afforded the time to pixel push.
Why does it matter in this instance?
Say that enough and you'll become a nihilist.
You can take it in two ways: it matters a lot because new designers don't seem to be being afforded the time to hone their craft as their senior cohorts, which points to all sorts of interesting ramifications for the field
Or, it speaks to the dangers of using agency talent, whose priorities and values may not align with the brand. Apple is world-renowned for their attention to detail and this could be the work of an intern/contractor.
Or, it's a goofy mistake that somehow made it into production.
Whichever, I found it interesting enough to post.
I'm not sure I'm quite at nihilism yet, maybe a few more poorly made icons and I'll make it.
Can you show me an example of (in your opinion) great craft? I'd be interested to see what you think the level to be at is. (Honestly no snark).
Sure thing, I've been obsessed with iconography since OS X Cheetah.
I'd agree with @sdw and @bdc, but you're holding Eli Schiff up as an example of great craft? I get that people like his criticism, but it's always in the "you don't have to be a great designer to be a great critic" vein. Ignoring his disgusting politics, his work is appallingly bad.
Agree to disagree on his design skills/aesthetics.
Agree to agree on his politics. I had to unfollow him on Twitter.
Alexa Grafera's work always makes me feel so hungry...
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Circles should be circular.
The circles in each row should be aligned vertically.
When nesting rounded rectangles, the inner radius should be ~25% smaller than the surrounding radius otherwise you get the wonky look exhibited by the handles in the Mac Pro icon. These nested rectangles aren't even aligned properly.
Pixels should be placed on whole values. There are lots of spots where pixels are falling on half-values which cause the icon to look very blurry at small sizes. "Pixel-snapping" typically solves this automatically.
In general it's just shoddy icon work from the company (or agency) who popularized gorgeous OS iconography (OS X was the first OS to have 128x128 icons). Given that their flagship model just dropped, I'd expect them to be "all hands on deck" and knock out an icon that looked amazing at any size. This is not the case.