Palm ships a desktop application for both Windows and the Mac OS. When Apple and Microsoft released updated versions of their operating systems, each with an all-new look and feel, this forced a major visual upgrade effort for both versions of the Palm desktop application.
I assigned the project to a member of my team, and acted as creative director during the design phase. We identified hundreds of individual graphics that required modifications and selected the Icon Factory, a design agency in North Carolina, to do the actual pixel pushing. Most of the work consisted of updating existing icons to a new look. The project did give us an opportunity to improve the metaphors used in many icons.
Certain icons, such as the application and HotSync icons, presented an interesting design problem—since they were virtually corporate trademarks, how much could you change the image before you affected the brand?