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To new creators: The DOs and DON'Ts of ICONS!
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ChocolateCookie 18+ Age Verified

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: To new creators: The DOs and DON'Ts of ICONS! Reply with quote

So I have seen that many new creators are not sure about how to make an icon, what is good and what is bad about them so I decided to write a few guidelines about it for new developers. Everyone always talks about how to make textures but having good textures is not that great if you do not have icons that make people want to try your product on.

Icons are the first thing that people look at while shopping and are also the one things that make people decide to try your product on or the opposite. Your product might be good but if it is not presented well in your icon and if it does not want make people try your product on then no one will find out how good your product is. That is why it is important for your product icon to present your product well.


DO have a simple, yet professional looking icon design. Let it be simple, do not go overboard with it. That way you will look professional and the icon does it job showing your product good. And many MANY customers will only try on products by creators who look professional.

This is what I use:



I do think that it is rather simple and services it purpose well. I will be using the same design in the rest of the examples because I'm too lazy to think of one to use here.


DO
have an unique look or feature to your icon that it can be recognized by. Customers often shop by icons and recognize creators by them. Having the same kind of icons as someone else does not make you unique or recognizable that easily. A simple signature or design add will do.
DO use your own products such as your own skins and hair in your icon, that way it will also show off other products that you have (just do not put too many things there, keep in mind which of the products are you selling with this icon).

DO show off the best features in your product and the most important parts to it, you do even always have to show the whole product for the customer to get the idea of what it is and make them want to try it on. The third examples shows the difference for this one

DO use other products such as skins in your icon that compliment and bring out your product well. But still keep it simple and do not go overboard.The fifth example shows this good.

DO fit your products in the icon as good as possible, that is why most of my products in my icons are turned 45 degrees, to show the product as clearly as possible.


TIP:
Unless your icon has a theme like Christmas, very bright and vibrant colors such as neon purple do not always represent your product well as the color draws attention to itself from the product but your product needs to be in the center of attention. Try using more neutral colors such as grays and not very vibrant colors more, dark colors are good as well. There is a reason why most creators known creators select that kind of colors in their own icon design.

The difference:

(you can choose yourself which color which color shows the product better)


TIP: There are various products and programs to help you make better pictures of your product such as make your avatar stand still and this and this to make a picture of your avatars arm and there are more like this in the catalog. There are also great programs that will help you take the picture such as Screenie - high res. screenshots to make good quality screenshots of your avatar and save them right to your computer and Catalog Muse by Sintek to resize your images to the correct icon size in a quick and easy way!

TIP: If you are not very good at icon design or are not sure what to do then you can always visit the offical Graphic Arts Services and Requests Forums but be careful with choosing from premades or ordering a custom. There are many artists there who sell premade icon designs and make customs but many of those artists are not actually creators or active creators so they do not always know what is good and what is bad when it comes to icons, they just want to earn their money like everyone else so it is up to you to select and buy the icons that will show off your products well, there are many pretty icons there but a pretty icon does not always represent your product good and it is up to you to order one that you know will be good to your products. this will cost you about 5-10k but a good icon design is worth it!

DO NOT add tint aka color layers to your products. That's because it changes the color of your product and if a person buys it without trying it first (which does happen at times) they will be angry and leave a bad review and not buy from you again. And people who do try these on, see that they have a different color than on the icon and people do not want to try on every single one of your products to know the color of them. Keep your products correctly colored even though even some known developers do it.

DO NOT blur or sharpen it too much. a blurred image looks fuzzy and just not good for the customers, a over-sharpened product on the icon can look bad as well and it can cause the product to even have a wrong color which looks bad and distracting and does not make people want to try it on.


DO NOT
steal anyones icons or design ideas, you can get banned for stealing and it does not look unique or professional.

DO NOT have different designs to each icon and if you have had one design for a while now DO NOT change it unless there is a very good reason to. This one came to surprise to me about half a year ago when I did not really like my older icon design so I decided to change it. My product with the new icon design did not get sales for a long time because people did not recognize my icons anymore, it is better now but my older products still sell better. I am not going to change it back but I do realize that I should not have changed it in the first place.

DO NOT show all of your product in the icon if it makes the product look tiny.

The difference:


(Choose yourself which looks better.)

This is one of the biggest mistakes that is done, especially when it comes to long dresses and hairstyles. If you really want to show your whole product then make your icons .GIF images show your product in a large scale still. If your product is very small on the icon then it looks unprofessional and fuzzy, if you show the essential parts of the product then everyone will get the idea of what you are selling and it looks professional.


DO NOT go overboard with your icon design, keep it simple and do not add huge lace boarders on the sides because the icon is small enough and it will leave even less space in the icon for your product and it does not represent your product well. It will also draw attention away from your product.

Example:



DO NOT
use IMVU default avatars to show off your product. Sorry IMVU but it just does not compliment the products made nowadays and it tends to look unprofessional to the customers.

The difference:


(choose yourself which looks better)


DO NOT show anything excessive in your product such as the pants when you are only selling the shirt.

The difference:

(both of these are product icons for panda ears, choose yourself which one looks better)

It will make the customers confused about what you are selling. Adding too much accessories to your avatar in the product image goes under this as well.


DO NOT use Access Pass products or rooms or poses or anything that is Access Pass on your GA product's icon or homepage. It will get you banned.

DO NOT make your icons into very flashy .GIF images, it tends to hurt peoples eyes and no one wants to look through a catalog full of flashing images, also it once again draws attention away from your product.

DO NOT add random image or images as your product icon.



It does not show your product which is the opposite of what your icon should do.It should only be done if it is for a voicebox or something that you cannot show on the icon. Also do not add any random images that are not of your product in between if it is a .GIF image, even when it is your name or something like that because it does not need to be there and in most cases, it also does not look professional. Also, do not add any of the textures you have used in the product as the icon, people want to see your product not the textures used in them.


DO NOT put pending images as your icon after you have published the product.



DO NOT publish the product if you have not done the icon for it yet. It will not look appealing to the customer if there is no icon of the product yet and you will forget to do it later.

It does not show the product and people will not try it on if it does not show the product or when they think that it is unfinished due to the pending icon. Pending icons are ONLY for when you cannot make the icon at that moment and will make it later.

I know that this is a long list but if you think about it, most of these should be logical if you think about it. My goal with this tutorial is to help you turn icons like into something like .

Note: If you have a nice icon design ready then it is the best to have it in layers, the layers like icon frame and other things that go on top of the product image, the product image and background layers that go behind the image.

I have also created a tutorial about the different ways how to advertise your products and you can find it here if you are interested.

@ older developers that already know this: I do not claim to have the full truth and be 100% about this and there are probably a few things that you will disagree about but the point of this is not to be truly correct but to help new developers who want help about this at least some useful tips how to make their icons look better. After all, we always say that you need to have good icons for your products to sell but we never explain what are good icons and what are not. If you have something you wish to add or disagree of then you can always post below.

@Mods: All of these icons were made by myself(and mostly from the same design that I use on my own icons) and have not been taken from anywhere else, a lot of these are even in my shop, just saying this so that you will not remove any of the examples.

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Last edited by ChocolateCookie 18+ Age Verified on Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:55 am; edited 11 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay! Well done and long needed.

Cookie, do you mind if I link to this from my help site?
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ChocolateCookie 18+ Age Verified

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keef wrote:
Yay! Well done and long needed.

Cookie, do you mind if I link to this from my help site?


Thank you and not at all Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cookie - Something that you could add.

If the Icon for your Newest Product is not yet ready then don't Publish the Product until you have done the Icon. It is far better to only Publish a Product (Make it Visible in the IMVU Catalogue) after the Icon and Product Page have been Completed to reduce the number of times your product has to go through peer review

N.B - For GA Products then the Product, the Icon and everything on the Product Page has to be GA.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally a post with a positive subject, I got tired from the negative threads lately. Thanks for the tutorial c:

And E.T. is as always right, the products shouldn't be published without their product icon. It's very annoying especially when the items have been there for months in some cases.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnglishTiger wrote:
Cookie - Something that you could add.

If the Icon for your Newest Product is not yet ready then don't Publish the Product until you have done the Icon. It is far better to only Publish a Product (Make it Visible in the IMVU Catalogue) after the Icon and Product Page have been Completed to reduce the number of times your product has to go through peer review

N.B - For GA Products then the Product, the Icon and everything on the Product Page has to be GA.


Thank you for reminding me, added!

@Alby: No problem!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it may be beneficial to add links to certain products that may be able to further help make icons and previews/displays look more professional as well. Pose packs can help bring out the personality of a product, but sometimes you just want your avatar to stand still.

Or maybe, someone wants to take pictures of the new nails they made, but are having trouble doing so. In this case, products like this or this may be useful.

Of course there are other products that accomplish these simple things as well, but sometimes it is the simple things that are most essential. Just a thought, perhaps to help get people on the right path.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very good
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done Cookie!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent advice for new people!! ( Heck some of the older devers with lots of pending icons too!) I always make sure everything is done before I submit an item... icon, picture. html description... then it is just a few simple steps to have it all finished and ready for display.... Thanks cookie for the wonderful tut!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guide. I'm glad to see the part on pending icons in there. You could potentially point out the difference between submitting/publishing since you do mention publishing. I've noticed that people seem to have quite a hard time finding appropriate fonts for use on their icons too.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice tut!

I do the scouting for our mag Smoked Mirror (read it here) and the icon is the very first thing that gets to me to look at the product. So essentially I skip right over "pending" icons and anything that has an unattractive icon.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good help for new creators!

Something I disagree with though, and I'm probably disagreeing with a majority here, is to not publish if you dont have a catalog image made for it already.

I agree with this statement only if you tend to forget to make them, and end up with a whole catalog page full of no image icons.

However, I sometimes (not very often) do publish with a 'coming soon' icon. (I have one there at the time of this post), because I wanted it to be submitted and out there, before I knew I wouldn't be able to get on photoshop for the next 4 days. I know that as soon as I am back home, I will have the chance to make the icon. Whenever I do this, by the time I get back home and am able to make the icon, it will have a few sales on it. Thats better than none at all because I didn't want to submit it without an icon, right? Those people who may have bought it may never browse my catalog again or just randomly decided to try it on while browsing the catalog and were pleasantly surprised.

So, I would say, it's better to be submitted without an icon than not at all (ONLY, if you are going to make it in a few days, and arent planning on submitting a whole catalog full of these). Whenever I see a whole catalog full of those icons, I dont sit through and try all of them. It's actually a turn-off.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may just post the link to Catalogue Muse here for anyone who may find it of use

http://www.imvu.com/catalog/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpbb2&file=viewtopic.php&t=367427&start=120

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cindyy wrote:
Very good help for new creators!

Something I disagree with though, and I'm probably disagreeing with a majority here, is to not publish if you dont have a catalog image made for it already.

I agree with this statement only if you tend to forget to make them, and end up with a whole catalog page full of no image icons.

However, I sometimes (not very often) do publish with a 'coming soon' icon. (I have one there at the time of this post), because I wanted it to be submitted and out there, before I knew I wouldn't be able to get on photoshop for the next 4 days. I know that as soon as I am back home, I will have the chance to make the icon. Whenever I do this, by the time I get back home and am able to make the icon, it will have a few sales on it. Thats better than none at all because I didn't want to submit it without an icon, right? Those people who may have bought it may never browse my catalog again or just randomly decided to try it on while browsing the catalog and were pleasantly surprised.

So, I would say, it's better to be submitted without an icon than not at all (ONLY, if you are going to make it in a few days, and arent planning on submitting a whole catalog full of these). Whenever I see a whole catalog full of those icons, I dont sit through and try all of them. It's actually a turn-off.


I understand your point and it is good if it works out for you BUT I took into consideration that this is for new developers who do not have customers who would regularly check their catalog. When they publish a product then it will go straight on top of the newest products - at that time it is the most visible in that catalog and in a few days it will sink deep into the millions of other products. But the point when they publish a new product is when they have a bigger chance of being noticed but a pending icon does not do it for them, that is why I wrote that they should not publish a product without a proper icon.

@sintek & Twila - thank you, will add them there as well.

@everyone else - Thank you

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