A few weeks ago, Matthew Cone showed us how Macinstruct’s beautiful icons, courtesy of the talented Gary Gehiere, came to be (http://www.macinstruct.com/node/40). In that article, you were shown the beginning stages of icon design – how the meaning of an idea is distilled down to a few carefully placed pixels. The end result, of course, is seen here - on Macinstruct - in the icons scattered throughout the website.
Sitting discreetly in Utilities folder (nestled nearly unnoticed amid your applications) is one of the most powerful tools ever created for the Mac. It is simple and elegant, yet can be intimidating (if not terrifying) and has the power to cure some of your computer’s most puzzling ills. It also possesses the fearsome ability to wreak unimaginable havoc on your system. We are talking, of course, about the Terminal, that magnificent gateway to the hidden underpinnings of the Mac OS.
Several months ago, Macinstruct decided to commission a set of custom-designed icons for its new website. We had no idea what we were doing. After researching the heck out of icon designers and emailing more than a dozen of them, we found somebody we liked who managed to create the beautiful icons you see today on Macinstruct. This article is a crooked chronicle of our experience.
What the @#$%?! Why Mac Icons on a Website?
The Terminal is an application from Apple used to gain access to the power that is “under the hood” of the operating system. Historically, there have been two ways to access the operating system; a Graphical User Interface (GUI) shell, or a command-line shell. The Mac OS graphical interface allows us to do our daily computing tasks in a manner that is familiar to us – if we want to throw an item away, we drag it to the trash. What is really happening “under the hood” is that the kernel is given a command to remove a file system object – a file or folder – from a directory.