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How to resize icon sets in Photoshop?

I'm redesigning the icon for my Android application.

I designed it at 512x512 and then rescaled it to 96x96 and 32x32. However, it looks extremely ugly at that size. I'm using a vector of an airplane as a part of my icon and it gets all blurred on shrinking. Finer details like gradients and shadows are nearly lost.

I noticed many other icons on the Android market which have lots of detail at 32x32. What should I do to make my icon look good at low resolutions?


Note: I made the vector of the airplane by tracing a plane with the pen tool in Photoshop, then using software called VectorMagic to make it a vector in pdf format. I then opened the vector in PS and used it in my icon. Am I using vectors incorrectly?


1 Answer 1


Simple answer: Reducing image size will always reduce details. There's no getting around that...you simply have fewer pixels at your disposal.

More detailed answer: Typically you want to tweak every icon size by hand as needed. You may very well end up with multiple versions of an icon. For instance, on the iPhone, sometimes you want the iPhone 3's icon to use flat colors, but with the iPhone 4's resolution, you may want to add texture back in for that icon.

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