Seagate external hard drive icon for Mac

Making your external hard drives look like themselves

Here's the icon. It's a front view of a Seagate external hard drive, from the same viewing angle used in macOS's built-in external storage icons.

Download and usage

This disk image contains a volume containing one folder, whose custom icon is the icon in question.

To use it, open the disk image, then Get Info on the “Copy my icon” folder on the volume that appears, and select the icon in the Info window. Use the Copy command in the Edit menu. Then, Get Info on the volume you want to apply the icon to, select its icon in that Info window, and Paste over it.

Screenshot of Finder with the Info window for the “Copy my icon” folder open, and its icon selected. The Edit menu is open and the Copy command is highlighted, ready to be chosen.


Making of

I made this icon by photographing a real Seagate external hard drive that wasn't connected at that moment using a Canon DSLR, then loading the photos into Affinity Photo and assembling a composite.

Here are the two photos (not at full resolution):

Front view of the real hard drive. The top face and front face are visible, and a label on the front reads “ThinkPad backups”.Top view of the real hard drive, being held up in position by my left hand.

I manually constructed a Bézier path around the drive in each image to mask out the background.

I started by drawing straight lines only, loosely following the straight edges of the subject and then jumping across and within the rounded corners. Then, zooming in, I adjusted the anchor points to be more precisely located at the start and end of each straightaway of the subject—at each point where a straightaway ends and a curve begins. Lastly, I used the pen tool to pull the corner-cutting vertexes out to curves fitting the curves of the drive corners in the image, and the node tool for final tweaks to the control points.

Screenshot of Affinity Photo showing the document for the front-view photo, with the path layer selected and its anchor points and outline visible. The path is used as the mask for the photo layer, so only the drive is visible; the background has been completely masked out.

Screenshot of Affinity Photo zoomed into one corner of the drive. The path has been released from being the mask for the photo layer, so now the background is visible and the path's fill covers the drive in solid white. The anchor points at the start and end of the corner are visible and selected, and their respective control points are also visible, each pointing roughly (but not exactly) toward the point where the straight lines would intersect, and without extending far enough to reach there, thereby creating the needed curve.

With both photos so masked out, it was time to assemble them.

In a new document set to 512 by 512 points at 144 dpi (which I verified contained 1024 by 1024 pixels), I first pasted in the macOS external-storage icon for reference. (It turned out I nailed its viewing angle pretty much exactly the first time!)

Then I added the front-view photo, and adjusted its sizing to match the standard macOS icon. The front-view photo only contributes the drive's edge in the final composite, so I didn't worry too much about making it perfectly straight.

The top-view photo provides the top face of the drive in the composite. I rotated it into the proper orientation, scaled it up to the correct width (of the far edge of the drive in the front view) and down to the correct height (of the top face of the drive in the front view), then used a Perspective live filter to turn it from a straight-down top view into the top face of a foreshortened three-dimensional object.

The front face of the drive is entirely vector illustration. I traced the front face in the front view with the Pen tool (which, yes, does mean I plotted the bottom of the drive twice) and filled it with a garish magenta color. Then I created a Fill layer and set it to a linear gradient, consisting of mostly dark grays (not quite black) with a couple of very light gray (not quite white) highlights at the drive's corners, imitating the highlight pattern in the front-view photo. I placed the gradient from the left corner of the front face to the right corner. Another Perspective live filter distorts the straight perpendicular bars of light and dark to match the perspective in the photo, and the magenta path masks it to the shape of the front face only.

Screenshot of Affinity Photo with a temporary partially-transparent copy of the gradient fill and its perspective warp added, and the mask path selected, thus showing how the front face is constructed.

I duplicated the front-face path, then pulled in its top corners so they'd be out of sight, to make the shadow. It's one of the lowest visible layers and has an Outer Shadow effect applied to it.

Screenshot of Affinity Photo with most of the layers turned off, leaving only that path visible. Its bottom edge exactly traces the bottom edge of the drive, while its top edge is sloppy since it only exists to complete the path and is concealed behind the drive normally. The path has an Outer Shadow effect with a radius of 10 pixels and offset straight down by 5 pixels.

The activity LED is also just a path with a built-in effect. It's a single straight line with a 1-pt white stroke with round caps, and the effect is Outer Glow, with 12 px radius.

Screenshot of Affinity Photo zoomed into the activity LED at the far left corner of the drive, showing the above-described path and its effect settings.

From there I just had to export that as a TIFF and convert it to an IconFamily (.icns). This proved trickier than expected, as the tiff2icns tool that comes with Monterey is apparently broken and generates only empty files. I ended up bashing out a quick replacement that reads any image file using CGImageSource and copies all of its images to a CGImageDestination for the IconFamily output. That worked and produced the icon in the disk image above.

The final icon.
(Don't right-click and save this one. This is a JPEG. Use the download at the top of the page, which will give you a higher-quality version.)