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Windows icons

Windows 3.11, like most other graphical operating systems, made extensive use of icons. Icons back in those days were only 32×32 affairs (but not 16×16), in 16 colours. 16 very awful colours. Having spent hours on my BBC Micro doing pixel-level artwork in Watford Electronics Quest Paint, Windows icon design was a whole new ground to flex my pixel-twiddling skills. The biggest challenge with Windows icons was to reduce the jagged steps of outlines, or to design shape outlines that did not suffer too badly from steps. Windows would be another 10 years or so away from true anti-aliased (32-bit) icons.

Personal icons

While a Windows 3.11 user, I drew a number of icons for my own purposes, be they either just for fun and as a challenge, or for use in my Windows shell to represent programs. The Gorillas Deluxe icon still lives on to this day, of course, as Gorillas Deluxe came to be released to the public some years later.

PC Gorillas Deluxe Back-up
Compression Jolly Roger White skull
Yellow skull Read me Pirate flag

PhAtfiSh’s custom icons collection

I was asked by PhAtfiSh to draw him lots of icons for Windows 98 and 2000. I have not presented the entire collection here; just the interesting icons.

Windows drives

PhAtfiSh wanted lots of icons for Windows drives; whether he really had a separate partition for all of the following categories I do not know (as that would be extreme).

Floppy drive CD-ROM drive Applications Files drive v1 Files drive v2
Downloads drive Games drive Windows drive Windows 98 Windows 2000


He also wanted icons for his games, presumably MS-DOS games and those Windows games which lacked decent icons.

Descent Quake (gold design) Quake (silver design v1) Quake (silver design v2)
Sim City design 1 Sim City design 2 Sim City design 3 Sim City design 2.1
Jedi Knight (blue) Jedi Knight (blue) Jedi Knight (red) Jedi Knight (magenta)
Jedi Knight (dark magenta) Jedi Knight (dark red) Jedi Knight 2 (dark blue) Jedi Knight 2 (dark magenta)
Jedi Knight 2 (dark red)

While the Descent and Quake icons were based on existing designs, the Sim City and Jedi Knight designs were my own. You can see that I was trying out a variety of designs for both. For Jedi Knight 2: Mysteries of the Sith I reversed the design and included some dubious lightning; I am guessing that this was something to do with the game’s own title screen but I forget now.


One final icon for PhAtfiSh: the Windows command line.

Windows CLI

Download my Windows icons (Zip, 19 kB)

These icons are all placed in the public domain except where they use copyrighted and trademarked graphics from other companies.