Icon Theme Spec + High Contrast Icons

Thomas Wood thos at gnome.org
Sat Nov 26 11:01:47 PST 2005

Following the discussions on GNOME developer mailing lists[1], there
seems to be a consensus that it would be a good idea for applications to
have the option of installing a high contrast icon for accessibility
purposes. GNOME currently maintains all its accessibility icons in a
separate icon theme, but it was agreed that this was too onerous a task
to keep up to date. I propose that we add a note to the current icon
theme spec to let developers know about the HighContrast theme in the
same way we currently do with the hicolor theme. This would probably
consist of two paragraphs. The first to explain where and how to install
the icon, and a second to give some guidelines on creating good high
contrast icons. I have made up a rough draft of this as follows:

    Applications that wish to include accessibility icons can do so by
installing a high contrast icon into the HighContrast theme. To do this,
a PNG file can be copied to $prefix/share/icons/HighContrast/48x48/apps.
You may also want to include other sizes, or perhaps install an SVG
version in $prefix/share/icons/HighContrast/scalable/apps instead.

    High contrast icons should be designed such that they are visible on
a black backgrounds, as well as white. The icons should also designed
such that they can be easily inverted to create a High Contrast Invert
themes. I am also CC'ing the maintainers of the GNOME High Contrast
theme to get their comments on how to go about creating good high
contrast icons.

If there are no serious objections to this, and after any comments and
suggestions about the design guidelines, I will make up a patch for the



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