The Breakroom

Game of Thrones Folder Icons

April 16, 2019

By Ged Maheux

The macOS folder collection for Game of Thrones depicting major house sigils

This week marked the start of the final season of HBO’s epic fantasy adventure – Game of Thrones. We’re huge Thrones fans here at the factory and so it seemed natural to create our second set of macOS desktop icons centered around the saga. Our Patreon backers who have subscribed at the Hero level have been enjoying our first release, Captain Marvel, for a month and today we’re pleased to announce they have access to today’s Game of Thrones icons as well. They are also enjoying ep 002 of Pixelcast where Ged & Dave talk about designing wallpapers for Game of Thrones and our predictions for the finale.

These folders are a great way for fans of the series to customize the look of their macOS desktops or to simply enjoy as collector’s items. With only five episodes of Game of Thrones remaining, now’s the time to subscribe to our Patreon and enjoy these iconic folders emblazoned with the sigils of the major houses of Westeros. Don’t be left out in the cold, head to our Patreon and subscribe for this and more amazing, exclusive content every month!

Patreon: One Month In

April 5, 2019

By Ged Maheux

Various mobile devices sporting our Patreon wallpapers

One month ago today, we launched a grand experiment to bring our fans amazing wallpapers, icons, and avatars using a brand new Patreon account. So how’s it going?

It’s only been a short time, but we already feel like we’ve gotten our pixelated grooves back. We didn’t realize just how much we’ve missed creating these digital goodies!

Over 100 people have signed up and backed us, and that’s a good start. We’d love to devote the majority of our to time creating this type of content, but for that to happen we’ll need more patrons. These things take time, so we’re committed to building up a base of great content. We’ve been hard at work this past month making great stuff that people can enjoy well into the future.

If you’re not a patron, here’s a quick rundown of the goodies you could be enjoying by joining us. First of all, there are the wonderful wallpapers for your iPhone, iPad, and computer:

In the icon department, we released our first set of Mac desktop icons in over 6 years, to celebrate the arrival of Captain Marvel in theaters. We also created several fun avatars for use on social media, including Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi from the LEGO Movie 2 and Japan’s iconic hero Ultraman.

Captain Marvel desktop icons

But wait, there’s more! Wallpapers featuring Twitterrific’s Ollie and a Captain Marvel in outer space are completely free to download and enjoy.

We have some exciting things in the works, too. This week we teased our upcoming Game of Thrones goodies with a free wallpaper that fans of the series are sure to love – White Walker.

Patrons have also enjoyed our brand new podcast, taken part in polls, chatted with us on Discord, and taken advantage of custom-made goodies. We love making things for you fine folks, so subscribe today and help us spread the word online.

We’ll report back next month and let you know once again how it’s all going. Thanks!

Now You Know How It Feels

April 3, 2019

By Craig Hockenberry

keyboard keys

Are you one of the many people affected by a MacBook keyboard failure?

If so, you now have the slightest hint of what it’s like to live with a disability. You can’t use a product like everyone else and it’s preventing you from achieving your goals.

Maybe you say “screw it” and write an article for the Wall Street Journal without those keys. Or maybe you hang on desperately to an old laptop (these words are coming from a MacBook purchased in 2013.) An external keyboard might be a temporary workaround.

But there is a clear distinction here: you have a course of remedy. You can take the laptop in for service or choose a different model. And while a failing keyboard is definitely a problem, it pales in comparison to someone’s permanent disability.

Unfortunately, options are often more limited for people with physical challenges, and they may have to make the best of a less-than-adequate product. There’s no store that can fix the problem.

The good news is that there’s plenty you can do as a developer to start helping someone. Try using that new keyboard to make another person’s life better – it not only feels great to be making a positive change in the world, but you’ll also end up with a better app that appeals to a more diverse audience.

A Plus for Us

March 26, 2019

By Sean Heber

A Plus for Us

Yesterday Apple announced they’re stepping into the games industry with a new subscription service called Apple Arcade. While we have dabbled with making games in the past, this news doesn’t currently affect our software business – but it may someday.

Running a successful development company has never been easy, but over the years the rise of mobile and the App Store has seen the difficulty level go from “Hurt me plenty” all the way up to “Nightmare!” Game makers have been hit especially hard and have adapted using endless in-app purchases and addiction mechanics which are neither economical or healthy for the player. Rather than change App Store policies across the board, Apple seems to be experimenting with a whole new sales model for Arcade.

While we don’t yet know much of anything about the business side of Arcade, we can speculate yesterday’s announcement is a peek into a what might be a new way to sell all software on the App Store. What would it mean if your app didn’t have in-app purchases or ads, but instead earned income based on an “attention” or “engagement” metric? We’re curious to see how the games in Apple’s Arcade adapt and how it will affect the larger ecosystem.

Apple Card's circular interest UI

Apple also revealed a new way to spend money and help you understand where it went after it’s gone. We really like the Activity-inspired design of the Apple Card’s interface. It’s a huge step up from every other banking app we’ve ever seen. (We help app designers of all kinds build better interfaces – hire us!)

Besides the interface, we also see Apple’s long history of privacy and security playing a huge role as they launch this ambitious new product. Customer trust is at the center of this effort and we hope it pushes the rest of that industry forward as they discover the values of these features.

Apple’s redesigned TV app looks to be a welcome step in the right direction. We’ve always been fans of television and movies at the Iconfactory – as you can see by exploring all the goodies we’ve created for our backers on Patreon – so we’re anxious to learn more about the new shows. With luck, we’ll end up loving some of them enough to make wallpapers!

Finally, Apple announced News+ which combines their traditional news aggregation with rich magazine content bundled as a subscription. The design looks (mostly) great as does their selection of partners. Hopefully this new service will fare better than Apple’s earlier attempt in this space: Newsstand.

Yesterday’s Apple event showed us they have a very specific vision for the future – both with delivering content and how we pay for it. It seems clear that Apple sees subscriptions as the only way forward, and not just for the software industry, but also publishers, TV, games, and movies. It’s probably safe to assume that all apps and digital media will soon be sold via a subscription model. Things are beginning to move quickly and now is a perfect time to consider how these changes affect all our businesses.

More Captain Marvel Goodies

March 15, 2019

By Ged Maheux

In October, 2013 the Iconfactory released its last macOS desktop icon collection. For more than a decade prior, we had built our brand on crafting, among other things, amazing and fun Mac icons that people could use to customize their folders and hard drives. We eventually stopped creating desktop icon sets as the world turned its attention to the iPhone and away from the Mac but today we’re pleased to report we’re back with an all-new icon set created exclusively for Patreon subscribers!

Captain Marvel Icons by the Iconfactory

Inspired by the blockbuster film from Marvel Studios, our new Captain Marvel icon collection contains hard drives, folders and objects that are a great way to re-live some of the most fun moments from the movie. We’ve included objects like the retro “Fonz” lunchbox and Director Fury’s interstellar pager as well as fan-favorites like Goose’s name tag and even a cheeky Blockbuster video rental membership card.

But that’s not all.

Since Captain Marvel takes place in 1995, we thought we’d add an extra bit of retro fun to include System 7 versions of every icon in the collection. :-)

Captain Marvel System 7 Icons by The Iconfactory

Designed with love using the same 16 color palette that was in wide use on the Mac desktop at the time, these pixel-perfect icons are a nostalgic treat that are sure to bring a smile to the face of any long-time Mac addict. The best part is these 4-bit wonders may look ancient but they still work in modern macOS Mojave. We can’t wait for you to try them out!

Captain Marvel Bonus Wallpaper shown on iPhone

Finally, since the reception to our first Captain Marvel wallpaper was so positive, we’ve gone and cooked up a bonus wallpaper that we’re making free for everyone to enjoy. Head on over to our Patreon page to download it for your iPhone, iPad or desktop – even if you’re not a subscriber.

The Captain Marvel icon set is available today to Iconfactory Patreon backers at the $12 Hero level. Be sure to check out our other Patreon tiers to find one that’s right for you – and while you’re there, don’t forget to grab today’s free wallpaper release. We hope you enjoy this journey in the Wayback Machine, but stay tuned, we have lots more great goodies in store in the future!

Exclusive Captain Marvel Wallpaper

March 12, 2019

By Ged Maheux

Captain Marvel Wallpaper by the Iconfactory

Marvel Studio’s blockbuster film about Airforce pilot, Carol Danvers, turned super hero, Captain Marvel, has burst onto the scene and broken box office records around the globe. It’s a soaring adventure and a noteworthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that inspired us to craft something very special for our Patreon supporters.

This stunning wallpaper by artist Anthony Piraino, is the perfect way for fans of the film to show off their love for Marvel’s most powerful new super hero. Optimized for use on iPad, iPhone and macOS, this exclusive download is available to backers of the Iconfactory Patreon at the Hero level which includes wallpapers, avatars and even macOS desktop icons each and every month. Backers also chat with us on Discord, get special offers, discounts on Iconfactory products and services, and custom-made goodies just for you.

Become a Patron and and download Captain Marvel today!

Digital goodies just for you!

March 5, 2019

By Cheryl Cicha

Dragons Teeth WallpaperFor over 20 years The Iconfactory has been drawing icons, designing user interfaces, and building great software. We also used to create loads of free wallpapers and desktop icons just for fun, but we got busy and that tradition got lost. Before we knew it, years had gone by without any new freeware.

Let’s Do This Together
You’ve been telling us that you miss our fun releases – and we did too! Rather than sit around and reminisce, we decided it was time to do something about it. Introducing Iconfactory Patreon! Now, every month you can get social media icons, behind the scenes sneak peeks and previews, amazing wallpapers, and macOS icons for your desktop. Chat with us on Discord, get special offers, discounts on Iconfactory products and services, and custom-made goodies just for you. The fun is back! Become a Patron and come play with us!

Sketching With Linea Through Thick and Thin

February 26, 2019

By Ged Maheux

Linea instagram illustration mosaic

Today’s update of Linea for both the iPad and iPhone brings cool new features that offer increased flexibility when sketching and additional templates for musicians and designers. Combined with greater power and more options when importing and exporting, today’s update unleashes your creativity and helps make sketching in Linea even easier.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

We’ve added more flexibility when sketching with the Pen and Marker tools: you can now use variable stroke widths. Previously, the Pen drew lines with a fixed width and the Marker always varied its width based on pressure. With today’s release, we’re adding a simple control to both that lets you pick the type of stroke you want for each tool: fixed or variable.

Fixed width lines are great for lettering, cartoon outlining, and graphing. Variable pen widths create a more organic feel and are perfect for inking comics, illustrations, and more.

Lines and Trebles and Wearables, Oh My!

Grids and Templates are one of Linea’s most popular features. With good reason: they offer an easy way to help you sketch everything, whether it’s blueprints, interfaces, storyboards, to-do lists, or even Dungeons & Dragons mazes. Our customers love sending us suggestions for new templates, like the ones in today’s release.

Linea showing a circular grid template and an example mandala illustration

Circular grids, sheet music staves, and Apple Watch templates help you be more productive when using Linea. Whether you’re drawing mandalas, writing your next hit, or working on a wearable app, these portrait and landscape layouts will boost your creativity!

Linea showing a sheet music template with notes sketched in the staves

We’ve also added new options for existing grids like reticles (crosses) and large dot grids. To help manage this ever growing collection, sections now include group headers to help you find what you need.

Crop & Go

Crop and Export is now easier to use with presets for popular aspect ratios like 4:3, 16:9, and square. Additionally, the format, size, and position is now saved, making multiple exports of the same content simpler. We’ve also added a long-requested feature — support for PDFs. Save out your sketch in this flexible file format and send it to iOS’s Files app, email, or iMessage easily.

Linea showing the new aspect ratio options for cropping sketches

Other improvements in today’s release include the ability to merge selections into a specific layer, consistent selection undos, better placement of images dropped into Linea, new keyboard shortcuts, and a host of bug fixes.

One More Thing

We recently marked the two year anniversary of Linea on iPad. To celebrate, we’ve put the iPhone version on sale for a limited time. Linea Go is perfect for jotting down ideas or browse your existing drawings when you don’t have your iPad handy. Since sketches sync seamlessly via iCloud, they’re always with you, in your pocket, wherever you go. We think you’ll love the savings, too!

Don’t forget to check out our Tips & Tricks page for some great ways to improve your workflow as well as Sketch’s and Go’s version history pages for the complete list of what’s new.

If you aren’t using Linea yet, today’s update is a great reason to get on board! Head on over to the App Store to download Linea Sketch for iPad or Linea Go for iPhone and you’ll be creating in no time!

Advertising with Ollie

January 22, 2019

By Ged Maheux

When it comes to online advertising, the big question has always been: how do I get the most bang for the least bucks? If you’re a small developer with a limited budget (like we are), then you’re accustomed to carefully picking and choosing how and where to promote your product to reach the widest possible audience. We understand the struggle – which is why we created the Twitterrific Ad Network!

Now you can advertise your app, website, product or service directly on Twitterrific’s expansive network of tech-savvy users for just $100 a month. For that price we guarantee 1,000 tap-throughs – not impressions but actual visits – to your App Store page or website. What’s more, we take care of creating the ad for you ourselves and even provide App Analytics for iOS or Google Analytics for websites.

Signing up is as simple as sending us a few lines of text and subscribing via PayPal. We can usually get your ad up and running within 24 business hours. If you have an app, website, product or service that deserves a quality ad run for minimal cost, advertising with Twitterrific is the way to go. Head on over to our website to learn more and then get in touch. Let us help!

Artistic, Yes, but I Like It Too!

January 9, 2019

By Craig Hockenberry

For many artists, Linea is a creative tool that’s just as important as Procreate and Photoshop. It makes us happy to see the app we created for our own sketches become something that so many other designers rely on.

But recently we’ve been seeing that more technically inclined folks are also discovering Linea’s power. Whether you’re an engineer designing bridges or a podcaster who needs to push a few pixels, Linea is a wonderful development tool.

Marco Arment’s experience of annotating building plans alongside an architect and his wife gets at the heart of it: your iPad becomes a miniature whiteboard with layers that you can use to think about problems.

I made this discovery during Linea’s development and have been preaching it ever since. Here are just a few things I did with Linea last year:

These tasks are certainly creative, but not really artistic. If your work falls in similar lines, check out Linea today. You’ll thank your lucky stars!