This article has been written to aid the community in assisting with icon development. It points out the slow areas of development and the easiest places for anyone to assist especially you !!
The ArtTeam can be extremely awesome for icon development if members assist with one or more of the following tasks.
Here's the HumilityIcons project page.
Make sure you have the needed ArtTeamTools
IconCleanUp: Pixel level optimisations of icons so that panels, nautilus and the majority of the desktop are crisp and most importantly sexy.
Cleanup is essentially a time consuming role that requires a fair bit of optimisation and guess work. Fortunately its lots of fun; turning the music up loud and pushing pixels for an hour a day will accomplish huge advances for the final icon set.
Also, this is one of the last steps in the icon creation process. So the final fit and finishing decisions are at the tip of your pencil, selection tool or sharpen filter.
IconThemeGuidelines: When making a new icon, it is important to remember that a few rules must be applied, to ensure that the whole theme looks consistent and to make sure that the icon theme blends nicely with the other ubuntu artwork.
- Be figurative, not symbolic. If you are making an "acrobat reader" icon, don't put an "acrobat" on it, foreign cultures won't understand.
- It is a bad practice to put text on the icon. More text = less picture. So avoid text unless there is a really good reason(putting letters on a .font icon is ok, on a .jpg icon it's not)
- It is a bad practice to write the extension on the icon. First because you should avoid text, second because in a perfect world extensions shouldn't exist, and third because sometimes the extensions aren't determinate like .htm and .html
- Play with colors. If you have to differentiate an icon for different mimetypes of the same type, you can just use different colors and the same symbol for each icon.
IconComposition: You don't have to be a good illustrator to know what works and what doesn't work for you. There are a lot of graphical assets within the SVG icons and a lot of icons not yet done that only need someone to make the required file with the right composition.
For example, if the icon for a PDF file type has been done but the application icon for a PDF viewer is missing. It may be as simple as removing the relevant assets from icons that contain PDF-specific assets and composing them with assets from icons that contain document-viewer/browser assets like a magnifying glass.
Creating the right composition is important. You need to know Shape, Balance and Suitability and you don't have to be an artist to contribute many many icons for the final set.
ArtworkCommunityControl: Definitely the most important task of all is making sure everyone involved is having fun.
Opinions are important and we need them however too much negativity could discourage people who would otherwise be great contributors.
Being a critic of artwork requires generosity, justification for negative opinions backed up by solid suggestions for improvements. We are effectively writing Ubuntu's signature for hundreds of applications so ideas and insight are both worthy of being passionate about. Lets just be supporting and not scare anybody off.