Building your Logo for D7, or another custom app? Or simply trying to create icons for Windows?
Give this stuff a shot.
1. Use a free app like Greenfish Icon Editor Portable from http://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_pictures/greenfish-icon-editor-pro-portable
or IcoFx from http://icofx.ro/
2. Use .bmp for your Desktop Icons...Why? Because .bmp images show up just a bit larger than a .png. So if you have ever wondered why your Icon looks smaller than oh let's say Google Chromes Icon, that's why.
3. Follow one of the many useful Icon building walkthrough's on the web. http://www.howtogeek.com/65291/how-to-make-your-own-custom-windows-7-icons-out-of-any-image/
was the first one I started with, and since then I have been able to customize just about any image to give HD results with transparency, etc.
1. Gimp 2.0 is your friend...There is a plethora of online tutorials that you can find to teach you how to use Gimp, and it has a great community in my opinion.
2. Research competition!...Understand why your competitor's went with their color scheme's, or pictures. Also look at some big name brands and how simple their logos are (LL Bean, Google, Microsoft, etc. just for a few references). If your not going to jump onto a color scheme bandwagon (Their are tons of businesses using the same colors as Google these days, and it creates some recognition in doing so) then consider keeping this simple, and not rainbowy*sp. I find that using too many color's makes people lose recognition of your brand.
3. Keep it Simple...If this is your first go round at creating a Logo, and your not a pro at creating original imagery...then you fit this bill. Simple images are the easiest to create, as you have fewer layers and special effects built into the image.
4. Build it with your Audience in mind...Don't make it the way you like it, get some input from clients, friends, family, the web. Sometimes not even the brightest idea's, or Logos, in this case are cumulatively thought as being that great. So do yourself a favor and do some rough drafts, let others preview them, and get lots of input...I can't stress this enough, input is everything! Because after all you want other's to look at your Logo, and think of You, Your Business, or Your Product/Service. If it doesn't do that...head back to the drawing board.
Your mileage may vary from OS to OS...I use Win 7 (64bit)
You can use the above to pretty much create all of your D7 Logo's/Icons quickly, and for FREE...I know I did!