With the release of Windows Vista came some exciting changes in not only visual
aspects of the Windows operating system, but also in the way that we as end users
interact with it. While we can't cover all of these changes here, we'll take a quick
look at the introduction of Windows Vista Icons, one of the more notable changes
in the new UI. Unlike their more abstract and colorful predecessor XP, Windows Vista
Icons are more realistic and utilize soft, desaturated colors. They are also highly-detailed
with carefully applied styling to keep them from being too life-like and hence,
Initially there was some debate in the design community regarding the similarities
between Aqua and Vista style icons (i.e. some felt they were too similar). There
are in fact quite a few differences, although they won't be covered here. Instead
we'll focus solely on the changes made to
as we've moved from version XP to Vista. You'll find some of the more notable alterations
Summary of ICO format and style changes introduced with Windows Vista Icons:
- Addition of new high-resolutions, including a PNG compressed 256x256.
- All 16x16 icons are redrawn flat to ensure visibility.
- Colors are primarily desaturated with small splashes of highly-saturated color.
- Style is more realistic with greater detail.
- Perspective is now facing left instead of right.
Want to see the differences up close and personal? Download randomly selected samples
from our XP and Vista
Windows Vista Icons is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.
Please note that when referenced on our site, "Vista Icons" refers solely to a "style
of icon" and bares no relationship to the aforementioned trademark holder or any
specific icons found in the Vista operating system.