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By Jay LaPorte on March 29, 2013.

Last year, Adam Whitcroft came out with his lovely Climacons: a comprehensive set of tastefully understated weather icons. You’ve probably seen them at one point or another, because virtually every weather app that has come out since then has been using them. (And for good reason: they’re gorgeous!)

For most of it’s development, Forecast also used them: they fit well with the aesthetic, and they were an easy way to bootstrap our design. They always seemed to be missing a certain je ne sais quoi, though, and we had a very difficult time identifying what, exactly, it was. Eventually, it dawned on us that, given the animations we had elsewhere in the app, the Climacons simply felt too flat, too static; we therefore set about making our own set of animated weather icons that felt more alive—but not so much so that they distract—which are the icons you now see on Forecast.

We are calling them Skycons, and they are now open source on GitHub.

Some Technical Highlights

What’s Next?

We’re pretty happy with how Skycons came out, but there’s always room for experimentation and improvement.

As we get more time for playing around, perhaps you’ll see some of these things pop up. Additionally, since Skycons are open-source, if you feel a burning desire to experiment with them, we invite you to do so! We’re making the source code available in the public domain, with no restrictions whatsoever on its use, so use them however you see fit. (Naturally, we’d appreciate being credited for our work and for any interesting contributions to also be made open source, but we don’t believe that either should be a legal requirement.)

So that’s Skycons! We hope you enjoy them and find them a useful tool in the weather design toolbox.