I am proposing a new icon set for AOO 4.1 that will make them more usable and recognizable to users.
Our focus should be to be the best user experience. To do this, you need to step out of your shoes and think "if I were a user would I care about X in this context?"
This is an example size for document instances. The Templates are similarly designed.
Optimal size, great for showing how fabulous and sophisticated our product is.
At this level we should still be able to see the branding well as well as identifying the file type quickly.
At 16px, space is limited, we want to be the least busiest.
Tools To Complete Task
GIMP - Free - Can exports icon files with varying sizes. Tutorial on layer sizing and exporting: http://www.gimp-tutorials.net/How-to-make-an-icon-from-a-picture
Base - .odb Database Document
Calc - .ods Spreadsheet
Calc - .ots Spreadsheet Template
Draw - .odg Drawing
Draw - .otg Drawing Template
Impress - .odp Presentation
Impress - .otp Presentation Template
Math - .odf Formula Document
Writer - .odm Master Document
Writer - .odt Text Document
Writer - .ott Text Template
Writer - .oth Web Template
Existing references and resources for icons:
AOO.next Flat Desktop Icon Exploration
Submitted by Kevin Grignon
Palette is based on AOO blue as key colour.
AOO Desktop Icon Exploration - Samer Mansour
Improvement in icons to emphasize file type (enlarged application icon and colours, decrease in birds and black styling taking up space.)
AOO Desktop Icon Exploration 2 (Round) - Samer Mansour
Rounded to match branding, Went flat, sharper, increased contrast between designator and background icon. Less busy, dropped the gulls.
Changed templates to be dotted, different perspective than we used in the past, left the solid bar at the top so previous 3.x users transition to new icon set.
Then I thought keep the circle theme going (lines don't scale down as nicely in circle version because its smaller to start with):
One more example for comparison on Windows 8 (can be done by Properties->Shortcut->Change Icon... dialog in windows):
You can see how having a circle or rounded square makes the Icon slightly less readable/less pixels to work with. BTW The anti aliasing isn't fine tuned.
Oct 15th - Logo with offset - Samer Mansour
Logo with offset (new style of previous icons)
Feb 17th - Samer
Fine tuned pixels in inkscape "Icon Preview" under File Menu "View" -> "Icon Preview", If you will be modifying please see changes under that view to see if it causes pixelation or drowning of color.
Working on more file icons tomorrow.
Branding (arguable how this is beneficial though)
Makes Icons busier at smaller sizes
Looks like an App, user is familiar.
Tougher to see when small
Looks like logo, consistency is neat idea.
Toughest to see when small
Easier to see when < 48px, majority of icon's life is < 48px (Windows).
Can be a shock at first.