Style Profile:
Sleek, glossy, and 3D, our VISTA style icons were inspired by the interface guidelines set forth in the Windows Vista operating system. While many companies have struggled to create vista icons that match the level of quality of those found in the OS, we've mastered the vista style and branded it with our own unique signature. Our years of experience allow for unmatched quality in terms of consistent icon coloring, perspective, and toolbar visibility. Best of all, all of our VISTA icon packages are fully compatible with Windows 2000/XP, as well as for use on the web. Due to their highly-professional appearance, VISTA icons also work great for business presentations and flowchart diagrams.

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Can you explain the different types of ICO files that you provide?
In addition to web-friendly formats such as PNG, all of our VISTA icon packages include 3 separate sets of ICO files as shown below:

  • 8-bit ICOs - Used for legacy development platforms that do not support 32-bit color
  • XP ICOs - Used for development on Windows XP and other platforms that support 32-bit color
  • Vista ICOs - An extension of the original XP ICOs with additional high resolutions introduced. While still compatible with Windows XP, some development platforms may conflict with the additional sizes present. It is for this reason that we also provide backward-compatible versions.

Background on Windows Vista Icons

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, resembling photos.

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 Windows Icons as we've moved from version XP to Vista. You'll find some of the more notable alterations outlined below.

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 icon packages.

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.

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