As some of you may have noticed by now, OSNews has started using icons from the Tango Project to replace many of our old icons. You can spot the new icons conveniently on the topic page. In the Tango icon library we have found numerous icons we could use, but understandably, Tango was not made for OSNews: we cannot replace all the icons we want with Tango icons – yet. And this is where you come into play. So, read on for the rationale behind choosing the Tango icon set, and how you can help us – and win a subscription to our ad-free version!OSNews has 78 news categories, each of which has its very own icon. Most of them are logos from companies, projects, operating systems, you name it. Some of them, however, are ‘general purpose’ categories, and they cannot use a specific logo. They need general icons. Since many of those general icons had a nineties feel to it, we decided a ‘modernification’ was in order – especially seeing version 4 of OSNews is right around the corner.
The big problem with choosing icons for your website has to do with copyright and licenses. Many of the good icons you find online are ‘free for personal use’, which obviously excludes them from use on websites like OSNews. Even CC-licensed material is often unusable for OSNews, since they regularly include the ‘non-commercial’ clause – and OSNews might be a voluntary effort, but we are still a commercial endeavor.
After browsing the internet for a long time, we narrowed our choice down to either the Tango Project’s icon set, KDE’s new Oxygen icon set, or Fedora’s new Echo icon set. Oxygen turned out not to be an option, seeing they use the CC license with the ‘non-commercial’ clause, so Echo and Tango remained; Tango was chosen because we concluded the Tango icons were easier to ‘read’ at 32×32 pixels.
We announced that we were going to use Tango icons on the Tango mailing list, and placed an attribution link at the bottom of OSNews, and this way, we fulfilled the license requirements for using the Tango icons.
Now, as explained, the ‘stock’ Tango icons do not provide us with replacements for each of the icons we want to update. This is where you come in. We ask you to make us the icons we need, following the Tango icon guidelines and colour palette. These are the icons that need updating:
The rules are as follows:
- Create icons for any or all of the categories as shown above, following the Tango guidelines and colour palette.
- Send them to OSNews in 32×32 GIF format. Make sure to use as much of that space as possible, so that the icons ‘touch’ the edges of the little boxes OSNews draws around them.
- You can publish your icons wherever you want, but only icons licensed under the same CC license as the other Tango icons are eligible (alternatively, you can make your icons public domain). You can, of course, also donate them to the Tango Project.
- Allow OSNews to use your icons without having to add yet another attribution link at the bottom of OSNews – basically, give us a written exemption of the attribution part of the CC license.
We will announce the winners in a follow-up story, where we will give full attribution to you, the author (to compensate for rule #4). As said, the winners will receive a life-long subscription to OSNews (ad-free, fast-loading version of OSNews). So, fire up your favourite vector drawing tool, and get drawing!