Craig Hockenberry has been designing award-winning software for over 40 years. He is currently a principal at the Iconfactory, a company that has been changing the face of the computer desktop since 1996. Their work includes the design & production of icons for Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and other leading software companies.
He’s responsible for the secret control panels at Iconfactory.com, a website that gives away about 2 terabytes of pixels every month. His personal website at furbo.org has also helped many aspiring iOS developers.
He loves writing cool software for the Mac, iOS, and the web.
In past lives, Craig has built robots, processed satellite imagery, and created effects filters for Photoshop.
Craig’s e-mail is his firstname.lastname@example.org
- University of California, Irvine – major in Computer Science, minor in Fine Arts
- Coastline Community College – Italian, Printmaking
- University of Sydney, Power Institute of Fine Arts – Art History
The Iconfactory – Chief Typist (1996 to present)
I have been using the Internet since 1984. During this time, much has changed. One thing has not: community.
The Iconfactory is a place for people who appreciate beautiful pixels on their computing desktop.
1997 to 2002
My association with the factory began with admiration of the wonderful icons. While developing a new shareware application, I consulted with the foreman and workers. With guidance from this talented group, IconDropper was released to the public in May 1997. Further collaboration resulted in the release of IconBuilder in December 1998.
In February of 2000, our iControl product was released in collaboration with Polymorph Software Development.
2002 to 2006
In June 2003 we began offering stock icon collections for sale at Stockicons.com. These collections, already in use by hundreds of companies, allow developers to improve the look of their application at a fraction of the cost of a custom design.
2006 to 2010
In August 2006, we completed another major redesign, this time of the Iconfactory website itself, using Ruby on Rails and other state-of-the-art technology. We also retired our IconDropper and iControl products at that time.
Our first release of 2007 was Twitterrific, a wildly popular client for Twitter. In February 2007, we released our first game: Frenzic, another collaboration with ARTIS Software. November saw a major update in CandyBar 3 in which we combined many great features from our Pixadex product into a new Leopard optimized application.
We started 2008 off with a major update to our xScope application, including the revolutionary Dimensions tool. In June, we were honored with an ADA for our work with the iPhone version of Twitterrific. A month later, the product was released at the launch of the App Store. In November 2008, we released our second product in iTunes: Frenzic.
In 2009, we released three products in iTunes. In May we released an update to Twitterrific, followed by two new games: Ramp Champ in August and Pickin’ Time in October. We even created the best flashlight app.
2010 to 2012
During the spring of 2010, I was honored to be named to the MacTech 25, a list of influential people in the Mac Technical Community. A couple of weeks later, my first book was published! In collaboration with Robert Negau, we released Astronut for the holiday season.
Our first release for 2011 was the long awaited update to Twitterrific for the Mac. That was followed by a new digital darkroom app for photographers: Flare. Flare was awarded “Best of the Mac App Store” for 2011.
2012 to 2014
In 2013 we began a project to make The Iconfactory a responsive design that would look great on the desktop as well as on mobile devices. That update was launched in the middle of 2014 and was followed by a new blog at the beginning of 2015.
A new version of Flare 2 was also launched at the end of 2014. This new version uses iCloud to give customers access to photo effects from both their Mac and iOS devices. Like its predecessor, Flare was named “Best of the Mac App Store” for that year.
2015 to Present
2015 saw the launch of the Apple Watch, and Twitterrific was one of the first apps to add support. We also released a new watch app called Clicker which was a hit with folks who just wanted to count stuff. Later in the year, we also did a major update to my first Cocoa app: iPulse.
Major projects for 2016 included two new apps for iOS. The first was BitCam, “the world’s most advanced camera for your mini pocket computer” and a fun way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Iconfactory.
To end 2016, I also published my second book: Making Sense of Color Management. Filled with tons of important information for a changing display landscape, the title is a hit with developers and designers of all types.
There were two big events for me in 2017: the first was a launch of a new iPad app called Linea developed in a partnership with our friends at Modern Logic. After that app got off the ground, we did our first Kickstarter: Project Phoenix, a new macOS version of our popular Twitterrific app.
The first four minutes of WWDC 2018 were quite memorable for me: I got to steal another actor’s muffin. If that wasn’t enough of an honor, I got featured in the App Store the week before WWDC 2019. My mom still has no idea what I do, but it makes her really happy to see me in my element.
We are always expanding and enhancing the Iconfactory so that it continues to delight visitors from around the world. And having a great time doing so!
FileNet Corporation – Principal Engineer (1999 to 2003)
FileNet is a leader in content and process management for large organizations. FileNet’s recent launch of the P8 platform included many web-based systems for managing information.
As a part of this initiative, I was responsible for the development of several browser-based user interfaces. These UI designs were standards based (XHTML/CSS) in an environment utilizing XML/XSLT and Java technologies (JSP/EJB).
FileNet was acquired by IBM in August 2006.
Furbo Filters – Partner (1997 to 2003)
From November 1996 to October 1997, I worked on some personal projects. One project was to develop a set of Photoshop filters for graphic designers; some of the algorithms were based on research I had done for processing satellite imagery.
These filters, originally conceived in 1995, were completed in November 1997. With the web genius of my partner, Jeffrey Zeldman, we started the Furbo Filters web site and began selling the filters on-line.
David King & Associates (1997 to 1999)
DK&A is a company which produces software for the prepress industry. My responsibilities included the development of INposition Lite in English and Japanese versions.
These products are used to prepare desktop publishing documents for large press runs. My work required detailed knowledge of the printing industry and the applications used to produce Postscript and PDF output. The development was done in C++ using a cross-platform application framework.
Educational Insights – Director of Technology (1995 to 1997)
Led a group which produced educational software on CD-ROM. My group consisted of artists, writers, production assistants and support staff (including temporary employees and contractors).
I was responsible for all phases of production. My responsibilities included:
- Determining project budgets and schedules.
- Supervision of asset acquisition, licensing and archival.
- Prototyping new techniques for processing and displaying assets.
- Writing specifications of product requirements for use by outside vendors.
- Procuring outside vendors for programming and asset digitization.
- Establishing milestones for the project and monitoring progress.
My main accomplishment at Educational Insights was to reduce software development costs. For the development of GeoSafari Animals, a 50% reduction was realized by putting in place object-oriented programming methodologies, re-engineering internal development processes, reducing staff requirements, and maintaining strict control over asset costs. The budget for the project was over $1 million.
The development changes I put in place allowed GeoSafari Animals to be built using reusable components. The company will be able to leverage these components to further reduce the development cost of future products.
GeoSafari Volume 1, the group’s first product, sold 60,000 units during its first year. The product is distributed through mass market retail (CompUSA, Wal-Mart, etc.) and specialty toy stores. GeoSafari Animals, which I produced, was released in October 1996. In November 1997, the original product was repackaged into 3 separate SKUs using the software components I put in place.
Genasys – Senior Software Engineer (1991 to 1995)
Responsible for the design, implementation and integration of software that analyzed, modified and rendered spatial image data. Senior member of development team based in Sydney, Australia.
Specifically, my individual activities included the design and implementation of:
- A software product that allows users to dynamically composite and manipulate multiple images using layers with geographic coordinates.
- A software product that allows users to geographically register (warp) images using affine and polynomial transformations.
- A software product that allows other products to display raster and vector data as tiles; this product allowed users to scroll smoothly through datasets.
- Software utilities for re-sampling, conversion and formatting of image data.
- A library which abstracted data access for different file types (TIFF, JPEG, and multi-band uncompressed) and formats (tiled and stripped, planar and contiguous); the library also implemented a sophisticated caching mechanism.
- A library which abstracted the output of images for different devices (monochrome to 24-bit color, paper or video display).
- Output drivers using the PostScript language.
These products and libraries were developed using C/C++ on UNIX and Windows, and comprise over 80,000 lines of source code.
My products are currently being used by thousands of customers worldwide. They include government agencies, scientific researchers and corporations who process spatial image data. The licensing of these products added about 20% to Genasys’ gross revenue.
FileNet Corporation – Technical Support Manager (1987 to 1991)
Managed the international software support operation based at the world headquarters of Olivetti in Ivrea, Italy. The operation’s function was to provide technical expertise to Olivetti’s subsidiaries. FileNet contracted with Olivetti to distribute its systems outside the US.
As FileNet’s sole representative within Olivetti, my activities included:
- System analysis and design.
- Pre-sales and post-sales technical consultation.
- Development of training courses for new products and releases.
- Coordination of international software releases.
- Distribution of technical and marketing information.
- Problem reporting and resolution.
- Localization of software products.
FileNet Corporation – Software Engineer (1984 to 1987)
Member of the team that designed and implemented the world’s first document image processing system. The FileNet system is a client/server architecture developed in C/C++ on multiple platforms.
Developed the software that controlled the distribution of images and their properties. I designed and implemented a suite of tools to perform the complex task of configuring a distributed system.
Wrote client and server stubs using RPC, used SQL to manage databases, and developed utilities to aid system analysts (running on the Windows platform).
Others (1979 to 1984)
Cooper Industries, Martin-Decker Division — process automation software for oil drilling rigs.
American Hospital, Liston Scientific Group — robotic system for automated blood gas analysis.
Intel Corporation — graphics software for plotting financial statistics.