Issue: 7.1 (November/December 2008)
Author: Brad Rhine
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Article Length (in bytes): 3,773
Starting Page Number: 12
RBD Number: 7107
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IN BRIEF Product Milky Icons Manufacturer Icon Eden Price Free Contact Info http://iconeden.com/icon/milky-a-free-vector-iconset.html Pros Well designed, flexible, free for any use, includes original vectors Cons Might be too green for some designs Rating (1.0-5.0): 4.9
One of the frequent topics that comes up on REAL Software's forum and the NUG mailing list is icons. Sometimes application icons, but also toolbar icons. In many of these discussions, talk turns to icon pricing. Let's face it: good icons can be pricy. But at the same time, hobbyist developers who are just starting out can't necessarily afford them, or often don't want to make the investment. While the old saying that you get what you pay for usually bears itself out, I think we have an exception in the Milky Icon set, designed by Min Tran.
They originally released eight sets of Milky Icons available, which by my count makes well over one hundred unique icons. Most of the icons available are your standard application toolbar fare, such as cut, copy, new, cancel, delete, refresh, info, save, and zoom. Also included are basic icons for media control, including play, pause, reverse, rewind, fast forward, and stop. You'll also find some less common themes that may come in handy for your application, such as favorites, flags, charts, gifts, money, shopping carts, and some basic shapes. Even with all this variety, Milky's greatest strength is its consistency: every icon in the set looks like it belongs to the set. Nothing looks jarring or out of place. Dropping these icons into your project would give it a consistent look and feel throughout the application, and that's a very good thing.
However, Milky's greatest strength could easily be its greatest weakness for many users. It's true that everything is consistent, but everything is consistently green. In fact, if you took a random survey of random people and asked them to describe the Milky Icon set in one word, I'd bet the overwhelming consensus would be "green". Then again, if green is your cup of tea - er, green tea? - then you could do a lot worse.
Technically, the Milky Icon set is impressive and convenient. All icons come in PNG format, properly masked, in both 64 pixel and 48 pixel sizes. Yes, this does mean you'll need to do some editing to get them to the standard toolbar size of 32 pixels, but that shouldn't be a dealbreaker for anyone. In addition, the icons come with an EPS file if you want to make changes or derivative icons, which the license allows you to do. They also come with an SVG file. This makes expanding the set or tweaking it for your own use a piece of cake (for those that own and know how to use Illustrator or another vector editing program). So if you really don't like green, you can modify the color scheme to your heart's content (and let's face it, green can only take you so far).
Finally, the license is very liberal, allowing you to use Milky Icons in any personal or commercial project free of charge. The only restrictions are on reselling the icons or making them available as a separate download on your own.
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