Tuesday, May 4

pixels

I generally don't favor lots of sidebar context and graphical gunk in my web pages, but lately I have noticed some elegant, sort of minimalist little icons for software and services and ideological alignments and whatnot on a bunch of weblogs. They have a standardized look, and I've been idly wondering where you can find them. A quick Google search turns up Taylor McKnight's Steal These Buttons with most of the ones I've seen. Some of them are really impressive bits of graphic design. Frex:

PERL (I don't hate the Macintosh any more. Is that so wrong?) [Moz ill a.] Say what you will about ICQ, at least the green flowers have some personality.

There is also a link to a little web interface (to this PHP script) for making generic text buttons. If you're looking for something quick 'n easy, it produces one of these after about 15 seconds of fiddling:

It's a w34p0n! [UNL History Department] Play Ultimate!

A lot of the ready-made buttons are GIFs, but if you want a PNG and you're fortunate enough to have a working version of ImageMagick installed, you can always just do convert whatever.gif whatever.png. ImageMagick was a bitch to get working on this brain damaged, proprietary little beast of a server, but it's saved me a lot of headaches since. For a less painful potential installation, gif2png looks good.

Alternatively to all these frivolous graphics, you could use CSS to do the same thing.