Transmission Icon

Feature requests for the Mac OS X version of Transmission
Stairhopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am

Transmission Icon

Post by Stairhopper »

So I'm brand new to this forum and also pretty new to Transmission! I have quick request though. The Transmission icon just doesn't seem to fit with the transition to a more flat interface, and really stands out among the 3D icon on systems running Yosemite or El Capitan. I've done a bit of browsing and found two icons which I think may be suitable for a replacement, or even a starting point to create a new icon.

Image
https://dribbble.com/shots/1779969-Tran ... emite-Icon

Or :?:

Image
https://www.behance.net/gallery/1846030 ... emite-Icon

Obviously I'm not the creator of these icons, but with the new 'resurgence' of Transmission (according to popular tech news sites), I just think it might be good to give the app an icon overhaul to fit in better.
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

In my personal opinion, of the two you've suggested, the upper one maintains some good continuity with the current icon, and is a pretty good design, though the shade of red needs adjusting and the contours could use some tweaking to make the shapes "read" better at small sizes (one advantage of Apple's old "3-D" icon style was that everything had distinctive silhouettes, even at 16px tall; cut-outs in circles are much harder to tell apart at small sizes.)

The lower one... just looks weak -- at small sizes it would be just a gray blur with a hyphen on it. It doesn't look like a "thing", it's just an arrow with a crossbar. (And the arrow's not even centered.) It's too abstract -- it loses the visual pun of a "T", as well as the sense of "this is a powerful control thingie" that the "3-D" one has.

I'm sure there are ways to come up with a "flat" icon that has a bit more pizazz than those -- it doesn't have to be a cut-out inside a circle. It could be considerably closer to the current icon, just without as much chrome shading. The current one has a nicely-recognizable silhouette (even at tiny sizes), and fits in with the "tilted rectangle" style of icon Apple uses for Mail, TextEdit, Calendar, etc. I think a "flattened" version of the current icon, retaining the handle sticking out, would work better than something in a circle.

Should the devs wish to consider restyling the application icon or the in-app icons, I'd be happy to volunteer some more design time. (I contributed to the last round of polish on the in-app icons, back around version 2.42.)
Stairhopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Stairhopper »

Thanks for the reply! I agree, after looking at them a bit more I do think the first one has more promise. You're right though, a custom icon would be best. I'll have a look around for anything and see if I can't put together a sketch or something based off the ideas you've noted down.

Glad to know that if they do decide to act on any icon suggestions you'd be willing to help! :)
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

Here's a very rough sketch of my first attempt to adapt the current icon to match Apple's style (flat shading, no foreshortening, thin bright outline, closer to vertical orientation.) It's meant to match Mail, Notes, Calendar, TextEdit, etc.
Transmission icon flat N1v15 SKETCH COMPARISON.png
Transmission icon flat N1v15 SKETCH COMPARISON.png (77.87 KiB) Viewed 9547 times
Losing the chrome shading from the existing icon, and having to have the whitish outline, results in the visual impact being lessened, but at least at small sizes it's still recognizable as "that thing with the blood-red handle sticking up."
tiny.png
tiny.png (6.07 KiB) Viewed 9547 times
I like this better than making it yet another circular icon, but it still needs more contrast (and less pink!) -- I'll brainstorm some ideas over the next few days and maybe I can find a solution that hits the sweet spot between the contrastiness of the existing one and the Colorforms style of Apple's icons. Something where red, white, and black are dominant, not pink and gray.
Stairhopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Stairhopper »

I definitely like what you've got so far! It has promise for sure, I can tell you that. I'm eager to see what solution you come to regarding the handle. That's the only thing I picked up on really!
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

The same sketch, just recolored to make the red more dominant. Almost a Constructivist color palette.
Transmission icon flat N4v1 256px SKETCH.jpg
Transmission icon flat N4v1 256px SKETCH.jpg (71.73 KiB) Viewed 9546 times
I might be staying too close to the existing design. I'll go away and brainstorm for a few days and maybe inspiration will strike.
ritsuka
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:19 am

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by ritsuka »

I think the current icon is miles better than your proposed one. I see no need to make it uglier.
Even Apple's icons on Yosemite are not flat, but 3d renders.
Stairhopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Stairhopper »

The icons on Yosemite and El Capitan aren't completely flat no but neither do they look completely 3D. Apple have gone away from the old texturised look of icons and gone for a more simplistic lightly shaded approach to give the illusion of slightly 3D icons. They're not '3D renders' but simply shaded to give the illusion of very shallow 3D. The current Transistor icon looks far more at home on Mavericks and earlier systems due to its use of textures and realism. Keep in mind that this is simply a starting point as well, so for all we know Kibo may come back with something totally different that could still be changed further down the line. All icons have to start somewhere.
n-evo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:27 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by n-evo »

Would be nice if the entire interface got an OS X Yosemite overhaul:

- Remove the titlebar
- Move the stoplight buttons into the toolbar
- Give the progress bars a makeover (rounded corners, remove glossy appearance)
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

I've made some progress on modern-style OS X icons, and will be submitting two versions to the devs for consideration (I'll open a Trac ticket shortly.)

Here's a comparison between the look that was established for Transmission in 2007 and my proposal to match modern icon styles:
icon_sample_1a.png
icon_sample_1a.png (241.98 KiB) Viewed 9317 times
I drew both an "oblique" perspective (to stay as much like the shape of the existing icon as possible) as well as a "forward-facing" perspective (which is what Apple recommends, though I prefer the oblique one):
icon_sample_2.png
icon_sample_2.png (122.11 KiB) Viewed 9317 times
Both versions retain the existing color palette and overall shape, but now emphasize clarity and recognizability over chrome trim -- more red, because the red part is the important part. They also adapt to huge and tiny sizes better than the existing icons. And... it's a "T"!

If you're curious about the details, my full proposal is in a big PDF that'll be attached to the Trac ticket.
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

My full proposal PDF (3.6 MB): ​http://www.filedropper.com/iconproposal
mike.dld
Transmission Developer
Posts: 290
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by mike.dld »

Cannot shake the feeling that new proposed icons look heavier and darker than the old ones. And looking at icon_sample_1a.png, it still feels a bit out of place; something's just not right about it, cannot tell you what exactly though.
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

Yes, they are a bit heavier and darker. The chunkier shapes help it at small sizes, and toning down the brightness of the gray parts was a decision I made when testing it against white, gray, and black backgrounds -- if it's too bright, it pops out of black backgrounds in a glare-y way. The middle gray I used was a compromise that worked against both bright and dark backgrounds in my tests. (Mac icons are sometimes seen on white, sometimes on middle values, and sometimes on black, which is one of the things that makes designing Mac icons tricky.)

The oblique version is at a different angle (and in a different perspective) than Apple's icons, so it'll never match them exactly. And the fact that it's a Thing With A Shape as opposed to a Thing In A Circle necessarily makes it look a little smaller than the Safari and Chrome icons it's shown with (another reason I made the handle chunkier.) Apple would probably have gone with the Thing In A Circle formula, like so:
apple_style.png
apple_style.png (29.36 KiB) Viewed 9310 times
...but I already have enough trouble telling all the colored circles in my Dock apart. (I have four Web browsers that are cyan circles.) The big red handle on my oblique icon is something I can recognize from quite a long ways away. It doesn't quite look like Apple's icons, but it's good to not be TOO similar to everything else.
Stairhopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 am

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Stairhopper »

I really do like your proposed icon! You've done some solid work, that's for sure. I agree that the round icon would be a bit too much really, especially considering Transmission isn'y based around a round concept anyway. I've never actually noticed the handle as a T shape and you've done a great job of bringing that out. I do share Mike's sentiments though and I think I've pinpointed the reason. The colouring. On the old icon within the dock you can see the chrome handle matches that of Safari and the red suede is just a tad darker than that of Google Chrome. Fast forward to your new icon and although it does fit in a lot better, I think the colouring is slightly off. With Apple and other designers opting for a more 'happy' colour palette, it seems a bit dark in comparison. Personally I think it might work say if you base the red colour off the new Google Chrome icon, make the shadows on the T handle slightly more transparent (they're a bit 'in your face' at the moment) and maybe base the grey palette off the Launchpad colours. Hopefully then it won't blend in with the dark or light dock and look 'happy' enough in order to fit in while retaining the unique Transmission angle. Shading on the base of the icon around the edges might be an idea as well since a lot of today's icons have a heavy emphasis on subtle shading. Other than that honestly I think you've done a great job and hopefully we'll see it implemented soon!
Kibo
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Re: Transmission Icon

Post by Kibo »

I've brightened up my proposed icons a notch. I realize it's a subtle change, but the light grays really shouldn't be any brighter than this -- there are constraints I have to stay within to keep the shading from disappearing. (On some displays, grays above a certain brightness get "crushed" to solid white.)
brighter_1.png
brighter_1.png (109.85 KiB) Viewed 9291 times
brighter_2.png
brighter_2.png (63.2 KiB) Viewed 9291 times
If you stand back and unfocus your eyes you can see that overall the new versions have about the same overall gray values as the 2007 icons, and the new red is definitely brighter than the 2007 red/maroon.
brighter_1_blur.png
brighter_1_blur.png (91.21 KiB) Viewed 9291 times
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