Creating Buttons for Windows Vista Applications

Producing standalone application or designing a Web site? Ensure your application looks modern and contemporary by checking the images used against modern standards. This article explains the latest trends in designing contemporary, good-looking images for your off-line and on-line projects.

With every new version of Windows, Microsoft refreshes guidelines for image designers. If you want your product look consistent with the newest Windows, it is important to read and understand the guidelines.

Not going much into technical details, Microsoft points out that Vista-style images differ from older XP-style images in several ways. The style of the new images becomes more realistic than cartoon-line XP icons, but still remains on the symbolic level without becoming too realistic. Microsoft also extends the standard by defining the largest size of the images to PNG-compressed 256×256 pixel images, effectively ensuring that programs look good on modern hi-definition displays. Finally, Microsoft recommends that toolbar icons are optimized for smaller sizes, and advises that toolbar images bear enough visual distinctiveness even in their lowest resolutions. Toolbar icons in Windows Vista have no extra details such as shadows, and are flat with no perspective.

Well-designed and carefully thought of graphics enhance the appearance of your programs, making them more consistent with Windows and third-party software installed on the user’s PC. Good icons improve usability and efficiency of products, making it faster to use and more intuitive through better communication of ideas through symbols. Good images make objects and actions easier to find and to use day by day.

Vista Toolbar Icons

Vista Toolbar Icons are a set of stock application and toolbar icons drawn in the new Windows Vista/7 style. Strictly adhering to the latest guidelines, the images share common style, colors and gamma, and come in all standard sizes, including the recently added 256×256 True Color format with alpha-channel. Vista Toolbar Icons can be used in products designed for Windows Vista, as application or toolbar icons, on Web sites and on-line portals. Just visit to view full-size previews of Vista Toolbar Icons.

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