Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm making a custom folder icon similar to the ones in the Home folder (Pictures, Documents, etc).

To do so, I extracted the images from the .icns of the blank folder icon and photoshopped my own graphic onto them. I followed Apple's guidelines for icon sizing. I then packaged all the images into an .icns using Terminal.

Now here's the problem: When I put my icon next to one of the home folder icons (with icon size set at 64 x 64 in Finder), it doesn't match. For my icon, OS X is displaying the 32@2x icon. But for its own icons, OS X is displaying a scaled down 128px icon. If I re-export my custom icns without the 32@2x size (so OS X is forced to use the 128 instead), it looks fine.

Here is a screenshot. The difference between 32@2x and 128 scaled down is subtle but definitely there.

enter image description here

share|improve this question
I have no idea why OSX is doing that but I can say that "icon without 32@2x" looks worse to my eye. Too soft. –  plainclothes Dec 18 '12 at 5:09
I'm not sure, but it's fairly hard to diagnose — Icon Composer doesn't handle @2x icons. Are you viewing on a Retina Mac or non-Retina Mac? –  Marc Edwards Dec 18 '12 at 5:50
@plainclothes I agree, but I'd prefer it not stick out like a sore thumb. "Without 32@2x" looks the same as the default icons. –  Ronen Ackerman Dec 18 '12 at 7:15
@MarcEdwards Non-retina –  Ronen Ackerman Dec 18 '12 at 7:17
Doesn't 32@2x mean that the image is actually 64 pixels? AFAIK, the 2x means "double pixel dimensions" and is used for double density displays. Note that the designation is a naming scheme and has no bearing at all with respect the actual data. (the table in the link clearly states this ["icon_32x32@2x -> 64x64"]) –  horatio Dec 18 '12 at 18:02
show 4 more comments

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.