So it’s February. That wouldn’t normally worth mentioning, but it is in this case because we said Iconic would be publicly available as of January 2014. So, what gives? We thought it important to give you an update on what we’ve been up to, where we are in the process, when we plan to ship and why Iconic is worth the wait.
What we’ve been up to
The process of making Iconic has definitely been interesting. The first thing we did once we got started was to take long look at the project as a whole. We determined that many of our stretch goals made sense to be worked on from the day one. So, we’ve been putting in extra time to include more stuff for you. Our public launch of Iconic will end up being more like a 1.2 release rather than a 1.0. This approach helped ensure that the stretch goal features didn’t feel artificially bolted on at the end. This will make a dramatically positive difference for you.
A lot of our time has obviously been spent designing icons. Hoever just as much time, if not more, has been spent creating the infrastructure to produce an icon that can do everything we’ve promised. There simply aren’t any existing tools to output SVGs in the way we need them, so we’ve had to make a lot of them from scratch. That’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of work.
Honesty, we’re close to hitting our public release milestone. A lot of the work now is around refining Iconic as a whole. We’re now shooting for a late-Februrary public launch.
We truly believe Iconic will help influence how icons are made in the future. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made and we think Iconic will live up to the promise of being the most advanced and forward-facing icon set on the web. Here are a few updates on specifics:
Another area that has taken a lot of time is working with all the eccentricities of SVG in various browsers. SVG can still act a little finicky in certain situations. We want to make sure our icons act predictably when injected in the browser, and that’s requiring us to create a few front-end tricks to ensure that’s the case. Iconic.js is our solution to these problems at it’s coming along nicely.
While useiconic.com will be the place to get Iconic, it's also a place to learn to work with Iconic. We’re iterating on the guides often, designing solutions for describing Iconic's abilities, and testing tools to help get Iconic in your project as efficiently as possible.
The icons come a long way in the past month—both in design and technology. Iconic has far surpassed the amount of icons we promised and we’re very excited to show you exactly how. All of the new techniques we discussed from day one have matured to the point where we’re now focused on the ease of use rather than making them work in the first place.
Icon styling didn’t get a lot of wows when initially showcased, but we’re convinced it will have the greatest day-to-day impact for designers and developers. We spent a considerable amount of time working through the best way to style our icons and we feel we’ve done a good job to make a streamlined process. We don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty details, but we’re confident Iconic will provide a level of visual control over icons not had before.
There’s been a lot of talk around the subject of responsive iconography and it’s one of those approaches that can easily be missued or even abused. Through using Iconic, we now have much more experience using responsive icons and therefore have gained a strong understanding of when/how to use it. Our goal moving forward will be to share what we consider to be the best practices of responsive iconography so that it will hopefully not be abused (too much).
It’s also worth noting that we’re happy with the aggregate aesthetic of Iconic across all of its icons and sizes. We’ve been working to create a consistent aesthetic across the illustrative style of the large size and the smaller size’s more utilitarian style.
We’ve also done a lot with responsive iconography from a technological point of view. The process of switching sizes is not going to be rocket science—we think you’ll get it in a flash.
Last but not least, we’ve made a lot of progress with our smart icons. In fact, we think it will not only change how you use icons but how you think of them. We have so much to talk about when it comes to smart icons, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise.
We’re more excited than ever
Things are really coming together and we’re convinced we have something special. We’re also convinced this extra time is going to make the difference between a product with interesting potential and a product that delivers from day one.