Minimal dock icons

When I switched to mac, after getting over all of the minor differences that are just similar enough for my brain to find it incredibly hard to adjust — using cmd instead of ctrl, but maybe that was mainly down to muscle memory of all the shortcuts I used.

I turned my attention to the dock, on windows, I had the usual suspects pinned to my taskbar, but had never been bothered enough to think about changing any of them, even if a few were a sight for sore eyes.

I lived with those icons, and that was that.

Things changed when I switched to mac, and I feel, this was in no small part due to seeing a tweet from Darren Fisher – going on about some “appicns”…whatever they were.


They were a thing of beauty, those usual icons striped down to their core elements, no guff — just the essential pieces key to their recognition.


I eagerly downloaded them, followed by CandyBar, a lovely piece of software for making the process of icon replacement as painless as possible.

There they were, tiny pieces of beauty

Sadly, once installed, up and running I came to realise the downside, these beautiful icons were making my other applications I use look ugly.

Filling the void

So one night, straight after work, I could no longer resist the urge to create new icons for the other apps that were sitting in my dock.

I admit right now, I've no experience in icon creation, I don’t know my way round Illustrator nearly as well as I'd have liked, so don't judge me for opening my trusty copy of Photoshop without hesitation. I began with Canary, the slightly more than dev build of Google Chrome – using appicns chrome icon as a basis.

The confidence and foundation to go from there.

I'm not sure if this was me just delaying myself in having to create original icons of other apps, but it gave me the confidence and foundation to go from there. I went on to slightly tweak the colour scheme used for the original chrome appicn, as when seeing it at 100% size, in all it's glory, the colours didn't sit quite right with me. After this, I guess it only made sense to duplicate what I already had again in shades of blue to cover anyone that uses Chromium.

I Then started powering through a list of apps I wanted to give the “appicns” treatment — which is still a work in progress.

The done list

Still to do:

  • Codekit
  • Cornerstone
  • Flamingo
  • Clear
  • Sonos
  • Google Drive
  • Adobe CC Suite
  • Transmit
  • Toggl
  • Spotify*
  • Opera
  • Opera Next
  • Twitter
  • Tweetbot
  • Dropbox
  • Dribbble
  • Kippt
  • Remote Desktop
  • Appstore
  • Launchpad


My extra .app.icns ready to download on dribbble

You can download my first icon bundle in png format but remember to keep tabs over on my dribbble page for any new additions.

Closing thoughts

Let me know what you think of them, if i've done something you think could be done better? I'm pretty amateur at this so I'm looking to gain insight into any shortcomings so that I can learn from mistakes and take it to a higher level.

*I know these icons were already covered by the guys over at appicns, but I'm not happy with them. I've been a user of Sublime Text since it's windows only beginnings and way back then there it's icon lacked any crappy 3D effect and wasn't marred by a horrible bright orange 'S'.

Jamie Wright

Designer working at Engage Interactive. If my thoughts, view or opinions offend you in any way, please inform Simon Willans.

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