The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks.

Icon Design Process - Smashing Conference Oxford 2014

It was my great pleasure to speak at Smashing Conference Oxford this week, in the guise of ‘The Mystery Speaker’. If you follow me on Twitter, this will explain my behaviour that week:


My talk was ‘The Icon Design Process’, a tour through creating your own iconsets, from starting brief to choosing the right deployment method – iconfonts or SVGs. So much has changed the last few months in regards to deployment methods, and I fully expect the techniques to go out of date in another few months time! Such is the way of the web.

I will be writing a longer, more comprehensive blog post soon, going into the various options for using SVG, and providing fallbacks as there are many useful methods. While I couldn’t go through all of them in my talk, I highlighted the one that I prefer at the moment, Grumpicon. Until then, please download the slides which includes notes and links!

Icon Handbook Site Updates

When the Icon Handbook was first released, back in 2012, it coincided with some rather more important life priorities and as such I didn’t market it as well as I might. In particular, the website was left half-finished, lacking a mobile view, SVG icons and a icon size reference chart that was rapidly going out of date. I’ve since not found the motivation to go back to it…until now. Smashing Conference in Oxford this week (more on that next) gave me a kick

I still have more plans for the site, but at least for now I’m not so embarrassed about the stylesheets, or outdated information. ALL the icon reference charts have been updated to reflect the missing new changes (Android xxhdpi and xxxhdpi, iOS7, Blackberry 10, Windows 8), and charts for Symbian, Meego and Ubuntu have been removed. Ubuntu will be back as soon as they send me the new info! I’ve also updated the Favicons page to add new sizes like Windows 8 Pinned Tiles, and remove things like Opera Speed Dial images that are no longer applicable.

If you haven’t bought a copy yet it’s on sale until the end of March, so now is a good time!

Bike Cleaning Tip

Winter! Your bike gets clogged up with destructive gritty paste off the roads and it feels like the drivetrain needs cleaning every few days to keep it running smoothly. However I recently picked up a tip that has made a big difference, and you may already know it:

Before you do anything, spray the cleaner on the bike first.

I normally try and rinse of the bike first, and get rid of any big clods of muck, and then I use Muc-Off Bike Cleaner, for which you can buy concentrated refill bags to dilute and top up. Even that directs you to rinse with water first, but doing so means the degreaser is diluted on contact and therefore less effective.

I now spray the degreaser first, let it soak in, and then attack it with one of these Park Tools brushes:

You only get them in a pack of several types, but this is the only one I find I need to use (apart from occasionally the one for cleaning between your cogs). It gets into all the nooks and crannies!

The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

Upcoming Talks

I sometimes pop up at conferences and waffle about design, icon creation in particular. Here's where I'll be next:

Web Expo Guildford- "Icon Design Process" - 26th September 2014

Beyond Tellerrand Berlin – 3rd-5th November 2014

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Contact

Hicksdesign

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Witney

Oxfordshire, UK

OX28 6JA

+44 (0)7917 391 536

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