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View Points

Shelf View Icons Shelf view is a style of icon mainly used in Mac OS X for utilities and settings. Shelf view can also be used with three dimensional objects that appear to be too distorted in desk view. Icons rendered in this view should be drawn with a straight on view with a drop shadow directly underneath and slightly towards the back of the object. Icons with more than one object can take advantage of the viewing angle by positioning elements to the front or back of the viewing plane. This is how shelf view is different from a flat view icon.

Shelf View The viewing angle for shelf view icons.

The reason that many utilities icons are drawn at this angle is the level of readability that is needed for these designs. These icons help people change settings, fix problems and generally work their software and computers, so a very straight forward icon is needed. The shelf view displays the icon design with a clear silhouette which, on a crowded Toolbar or settings dialogue, is easier to see than an icon drawn in desk view. This isn’t to say that this style of icon needs to be overly bold or plain, it’s just that the rate in which an icon is recognized can be improved by using a single view. You may also find that the Utility