The Mac may very well be the most personal of personal computers. Mac OS X, as with Mac Classic, has a personality, a character.
“Personal” is enhanced by our ability and desire to customize the Mac experience with icons. Do you have icons on your Mac?
I can honestly say that through the years I’ve done my share of customization on the Mac, but less so on Mac OS X.
Is that because I’ve grown mature and don’t need the gaudy look of custom icons here and there? Or, am I missing out on most personal Mac experience.
I bring up the question of “worthy or gaudy” because I have a “love hate” relationship with icons on the Mac. Today’s Mac OS X icons are, in some cases, works of art.
In other cases, the customized icon looks is like a kid in a font store—too much is not a good thing.
The problem, of course, is that the icons are so beautiful that I hated to click delete to send them to the Trash. Worse, I couldn’t figure out where to use them.
A search of “icons” on MacUpdate will keep you busy for some time, so if you have extra time over the next holiday weekend, laboring through a stack of Mac icons is one way to grow older and accomplish little.
There’s icons for nearly everything. I’ve collected my share over the years.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t put them to use. I just collect them.
I’ve tried Icon Machine to create my own icons but my talents obviously lie elsewhere in the graphics world.
Icon Builder for Photoshop can put you into a whole new world of icons, though the issue of what to do with your creations remains a topic of conversation in the Jack and Carol household.
What good are custom icons? I can understand having great icons for great Mac applications and utilities? But what are all the rest of the icons doing besides becoming a solution looking for a problem?
I was mesmerized by Candy Bar, as this nifty utility made the Mac’s Finder look friendly instead of spartain. But it’s my Finder, I know where everything is, what everything is, so what did the custom look get me?
I’ve taken time to scour through the icons on the Icon Factory site, downloaded some, even though of making a few of my own, but the most customization of my Mac has come with desktop pictures, not icons.
Besides the icons that come with each Mac application or utility, what are basic Mac OS X icons good for? Don’t all icons really need a text label anyway? I think so.
Why? Because icons for the sake of icons don’t do much, and most icons on the Mac don’t do much anyway. Take Adobe. Please.
Adobe, the graphics application giant for all things Mac and Windows, has a new set of icons and a new branding scheme. Simple. Colorful. Effective?
I checked my Mac’s Documents file and I have about 350 icons stored, some from many years ago, many specifically for Mac OS X. Why? I’m not really sure. Some, like those from Mikio Inose, I just hate to dispose of because they’re so attractive—but they don’t do squat on my Mac.
Let me start the week and end the year with a few questions for sharp-eyed Mac360 readers: Do you use custom icons on your Mac, and, if so, why? How many custom icons are on your Mac and how are they used?
Share your experience and persepctive via the Comments section below.