Monochromatic icons = worst decision ever

Yes, I guess so, for developers or softwares, making a brand new cool mainstream ‘‘image’’ of software is more important than keeping usability thing like color of icons. Thats why many softwares keep changing icons to be more trendy and famous and unable to see problem with new icons they do. It happens on many software, free or paid…

Thats why there should be option to make all groups of people happy, not just deciding between colored and noncolored, if we can change themes to customize them, we should be able to change icons to be colorful or colorless by different icon sets, noone says lets remove colorless icons, so noone will dislike if its optional after change back to colored sets, GIMP already has different icon options, so its not impossible, we can keep the monochromatic icons and add a second iconset with more colored icons or even updating 2.79 icons for classic look. So if u like monochrome, u can still use it,
There are many type of users so there is more than 1 user experience, so we need flexibility on user experience, not every user is same, so best way is to give options to users rather than making polls to ignore minority .

I guess the best way to solve this issue would be :point_right: D5655 Support for custom interface icons


Can use the bforartist fork. I only threw up in my mouth twice while looking at their examples but at least they tried: Features - Bforartists (search for Colored Icons on the page)

Perhaps colors would help some, but not how they did it. Mono is perfectly fine for me at least as I hate living inside a constant rainbow. It is very distracting and is just visual noise. It’s the symbols that are more troublesome. I always get the Particle system / Constraints / Physics symbols mixed up nowadays.

Let’s sum it up, We have 2 core issues here :

1.)Technical Issue : the functionality extendability and the lack of, see @TheRedWaxPolice comment

2.)Human resource issue, You want new icon sets or current icons tinted?
I can get you a graphical designer TOMORROW that will do it for blender,
But my designer would want to get PAID , and blender foundation got their own budget and their budget allocation.

So, we are talking about volunteer work then, Well folks, If we had a guy who was willing to do volunteer work to tint all existing icons… That volunteer would have done that by now.

We do not need proposals, polls nor opinions, we need a designer volunteer and a resolution to issue in the backlog mentioned above that was abandoned.


Yess there was a work about it before, but it didnt continue as I heard… It can solve everything. It seems abandoned, do u know how can we change its status to reopen?

There is another example of issue with UI items similarity.

The problem is that black color is very fragile for design since is very sensitive to monitor’s screen quality and gamma setup. Black color forces all the UI elements and texts look bright and over-contrasted, as a result they look very similar, like stars in the midnight sky.
Every single element steals your attention, so absence of accents and precise contextual halftones ruins perception of UI blocking. As a result, you need to read the entire user interface in order to focus on something.

In general, overcontast bring a sufficient grade into element’s similarity.


This is quite common Aesthetics vs Usability design problem which is quite hard in general.
There are two UI design approaches, depending on goal:

  • Good look → Aesthetics → Software promotion → leads to Software in Marketing surviving.
  • Fast work → Usability → satisfying Production deadlines → leads to User in Production surviving.

The problem is that both approaches are mutually exclusive - UI designed for fastest work will never be the best looking and vice versa.

This problem also intersects with learning curve priorities problem:

  • Good looking approach is suitable for simple work, such a priority is typical in the beginning level (enthusiastic period - no obligations, production demands and so one, fun builds interest)
  • Fast working approach is suitable for complex work, such a priority is typical for experienced level (business period - production deadlines influence your life, the time and effort spent on the computer is starting to get expensive)

The purpose of design is to reconcile them or provide optional access.

There are tons of graphic designers who want monochrome icons with a dark GUI, because it doesn’t distract them from the color mood of the image they are working on.

Yes, colored icons are easier to find. But they also add clutter. Some people prioritize the one thing and others prioritize the other.

I personally would like colored icons more as well, because my eyes are quite bad and I’d like the extra contrast. But that’s not the only consideration. Blender is a graphical program. Some people use it to colorgrade their work. They want the ui to be as neutral as possible.

So I stick to my point:
I guarantee you that as soon as we change (back) to colored sets there will be people who dislike that.


Not sure that black color-based themes can be considered as “neutral” because of overcontrast. Some icons are heavily colored, buttons has bright blue highlighting, and black background make all of them look quite acidic, but it doesnot seems that too much people are disturbed with such a color influence.

In opposite, proper Grey theme can be considered as “neutral”, since it does not produce overcontrast, but it is not even presented in the available list of themes.

Anyway, I agree that UI design proplems are complex problems with lots of parameters (contrast, color perception, shape recognition, blocking readability) to take into account.
I faced lots of them when tried to make icons design in the past. My point is that there is no possible versatile solution that fits everything at once.

If dark is better, or white is better, or neutral grey is better is seemingly different every decade or so…
At least most people seem to agree ‘desaturated’ is better for a UI from a colorgrading perspective. :wink:

Now there we agree :wink:

The best for users would be working icon themes, maybe coupled to the overall theme. But that needs someone to implement is and someone to design the complete set. And keep it up to date. Which is not an easy task given the rate of new icons appearing all the time.