How To Make iOS-Style Icons For The Desktop

How To Make iOS-Style Icons For The Desktop

Like the look of iOS-style icons and want to bring them to your desktop? Here’s how to make your own with Photoshop (or an alternative) and CandyBar.

The video suggests that CandyBar is inexpensive, but it’s not. It’ll run you nearly $US30. On the plus side, you get a 15-day free trial with the ability to add up to 250 icons, so that should give you plenty of time and space to create a few custom iOS-style icons without paying for the software (unless you want to — it’s a very nice piece of software).

David Lanham’s Flurry icons will provide the majority of your system’s icons with the iOS rounded rectangle style, but there will always be a few applications and folders that will go unadorned. Fortunately it’s really easy to make these icons yourself with an application like Photoshop and the help of Candybar.

While these instructions are for Mac OS X, you can still following them if you use IconBuilder for Windows (although it’s worth noting this is a pretty expensive plug-in for what it does).

To make this easier, if you’re using Photoshop you can download our Photoshop template and example to get you started. This will take most of the work out of the process. If you want to do it yourself, however, you can just follow these steps:

  • Make a new Photoshop (or whatever) document that’s 512×512 pixels.
  • Make a rounded-rectangle that’s 483×483 pixels with an edge radius of 80 pixels.
  • Paste a graphic into the rectangle.
  • Add a drop shadow, and perhaps a stroke, using Photoshop’s built-in layer effects.
  • If you want to add glossiness to the icon, you can just make a new layer and paint white diagonally across the icon, covering up one half of the rectangle. Next, reduce the opacity to about 20 per cent and it’ll have a glossy effect. You may want to use a soft brush so the glossy, reflective quality isn’t too harsh but it’s completely up to you.
  • Save as a PNG24 file (with a transparent background) and add the PNG to CandyBar.

Once you’re done you’ll be able to use the resulting icon just like any other. Enjoy!


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