Scrivener's Icon

I know this will seem like a trifling wish, but I have had trouble with Scrivener’s icon for quite some time and I think I’ve finally put my finger on it. It doesn’t follow the same sort of perspective or shape as most OS X icons I deal with. When switching between icons using apple-tab, I often miss Scrivener or take an extra second to find it.

I know this seems bizarre and even idiosyncratic, but I’m a long time Mac user and Scriv is the only app I seem to do this with, even after a good deal of regular use!

I’ve had the same thing. OS X dock icons seem to always be offset from vertical if they’re rectancgular, or have a strong diagonal component. Otherwise they’re circles. Sys Prefs, Terminal and Calculator are the only ones in my dock that are a simple rectangle like Scrivener. It’s easy to think of it as a divider rather than an icon.

Well, for one thing I think that the Scrivener icon stands out quite well in my somewhat overpopulated Dock, thanks to it’s high contrast and graphic form language.

BTW, have you seen the lastest Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 icons? Judging from them, the trend is TOWARD horisontally aligned squares and rectangles… :laughing:


Oh Dear, now we get into religious and ethnic issues - well, not really. But I adore the icon. Maybe it could be tizzed up a bit with a 3D makeover, but I would feel saddened to see the intelligent and elegantly simple S play on Yin and Yang with the Quotes disappear.

If you really need to personalise your icons you can quite easily in the Resources of the app.

Control key pressed first then holding it down click on the app icon go to Show Package contents and play with all the icons you want to. But do it ever so carefully and just replace the EXACT name for the icon you are replacing and keep the original in a special named folder (ie Original Scriv Icons). Technically you are fiddling with Keith’s app but it is a manual process and dead simple.

Control key down - hold > click on Scrivener app icon > Show Package Contents > Contents > Resources > Scrivener.icns

Keep the name and replace the graphic using that name. It needs to be about 36KB to render the same size.

PS Don’t cry to Keith if you mess up!!!

I use this one on the Splash panel and on the dock - it perfectly matches the latte cup. Rename it as (Scrivener.icns)
Scrivener picture.jpg

I absolutely love the current icon. It’s got quotation marks, hinting at writing… it’s got yin/yang, implying balance… it’s got black and white, just like text… it’s got an S for Scrivener… it stands out in the dock… it’s got individuality… it’s got two adorably cute little tadpole creatures peering out at me (well, I like to think it does)… I think it’s perfect as it is. :slight_smile:

Goodness me Siren, you are dead set observant - they are little creatures. That Amber is a clever girl. I knew she was keeping an eye on me.


Also love the icon and I seem to have no problem at all finding it. Perhaps it could be what’s around it on some docks? I have Journler’s icon right next to it, though, which is kind of similar when reduced, and still, Scr.'s icon stands out for me. Different strokes, I guess.

Four Koi swimming in a pool.

I love the design elements of the icon individually, but I think the overall look isn’t as elegant as some I’ve seen. I wonder if it’s a question of the rectangle having less than ideal proportions. To me, the Scrivener icon appears to take up too much vertical space, even though I’m sure it really doesn’t. I also think the most successful icons have more detailed contours–points and corners, etc. I can find Scrivener with no problem, but it doesn’t thrill me.

I love the Bookends icon, where the bascially rectangular book block is skewed and the whole thing looks more exciting. I love the L&L homepage icon too. Probably my favorite is Mellel-- I think it’s just breathtaking.

But I really admire the work that’s been done–I could never do that myself. The concept is terrific, and the result is really distinctive.

Please explain this intriguing little phrase.

Grasshopper, you must respect the Scrivener icon.

Honestly, if the finer details of the icon are all you’ve got to complain about, then I have done my job very well. I will avoid saying “Get a life” ( :slight_smile: ), and instead say that I like the icon, and that AmberV kindly implemented it and that it is unlikely to change any time soon. Moreover, if you read the Apple HIG, you will read that icons that set out a certain logo look - even if they don’t fit the “on the shelf” look - are perfectly fine.

All the best,

I think it is a wonderful icon: clean, with the appropriate, suggestive symbolism.

Besides on my work dock with (gulp) 42 applications it is instantly distinguishable.



I would say that is a matter of taste. I really tried to avoid the “dipped in fifty layers of high-gloss lacquer” look, specifically because so many icons already look that way. The Dock looks a bit like The Strip in Las Vegas, in my opinion. Everything clamouring for attention with colour, perspective and gloss tricks. You can either “join in the chant”, or attempt to accentuate by stepping back from the cacophony a bit. Here is where taste comes in: Honestly I think the bookends icon is a mess. My opinion: Icons are almost a bit like business logos. They should be simple; have a “graphic” style (as opposed to photographic); and if possible have a semiotic translation.

Oh, and the reasoning behind the aspect ratio is simple: It’s the average aspect ratio of a notebook. I wanted to suggest a notebook (since that was one of the design concepts), without really going out of my way to make it look like a notebook. I’m not a big fan of using recognisable objects as a basis for an icon. Tilting the entire icon off axis would have, in opinion, tipped the scales towards actual objective representation, away from abstraction.

Oh, and L.Lightning, I really like your “antique” variation.

Definitely a taste thing then! :slight_smile:

Just wanted to say thanks so much for sharing your thought process. It’s really interesting to hear how people think about design, especially the ones who actually do it.


You are welcome! And I appreciate critique. It really is impossible to make an icon that will work for everyone. The world is too big, and there is too much variety between peoples and cultures. It is fun to try and bridge as much of that as possible, though.

Ah, lovely.

Koi is Japanese for carp. Together with the Chinese Yin & Yang I assume that we are swimming in a somewhat East Asian something ?


I think it is what the Danish might refer to as biksemad.