Every now and then I come across source files for old icon sets like this one that really makes me appreciate how far we’ve come in just a few short years. I created this set back in 2006 for a friend of mine who was working on a tech-based web portal, and it’s interesting to see how much detail I put into these. Back then, it was all about dimensionality – trying to make web graphics look as much like “real” objects as possible, with a whole heck of a lot of beveling, drop shadows, and gloss going on. But nowadays flat design is all the rage, and there would be very little reason to make icons look this complicated. And it’s probably not a good thing that the most noticeable thing about each of these icons is the heavy industrial-looking frame – and not the iconography itself.
But for as complex as this icon set is, I like it, and I think it still has value. More specifically, it’s the outer container that is the most interesting – the white icons floating in the center of each one aren’t all that creative, but that outer frame could be turned into something cool I think. It reminds me a bit of the game UI graphics I posted last year – so you might be able to take this outer frame, combine it with some of those UI elements, and create a pretty cool looking game portal (or something).
Here’s the vector source file for the frame:
Vector source file for the outer frame graphic
Anyway, the icon set at the top of this post is in PSD format. They are quite small, but it wouldn’t take much to rebuild them into a larger and more useful set that follows current design trends. This would make for a pretty cool-looking flat icon set if you remove all the gloss and shading.