Leopard’s Preview No Longer has Creepy Icon

The Preview application in OS X never rouses a lot of fanfare as it’s functionality is pretty basic, but it’s one of my favorite programs. As a PDF viewer, it’s thousands of time faster than Adobe Reader and that alone makes it priceless. But the icon has always been sorta creepy.

In most aspects it is a nice original style OS X icon, with two stacked documents laid out at an angle and a tool across the bottom right. The documents are photos and the tool is a magnifying glass of the type typically used to examine pictures on a light table- I think the metaphor works. That’s not the problem though- the problem is that the kid in the top photo has these creepy eyes that are all whites.

Current Preview icon and Leopard’s new Preview icon

It just doesn’t scale down to that size well. At any rate, it looks like the criticism (and here) can stop soon. Leopard has a new kid in the icon and his face is different. Actually, it looks like some arcane Photoshop (or Acorn) surgery has been done to graft a new child’s head in place of the old one. Apparently too much visual branding and recognition has been associated with the current Preview icon, and Apple didn’t want to throw the whole thing away.This one looks much better with the new 512×512 pixel icons possible in Tiger, but it also scales better at more typical resolutions without any weird results. Actually, when you look closer it is impressive how much work has been put into the new version. There are lots of subtle changes, and they’ve essentially rebuilt the icon from the ground up while maintaining something very close to the look we’re all used too.

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