Delphi - Branding

When an application is run, there are several items used to identify it Taken together, these brand your application.

Icons | Identifying text | Program Version | Skin


Under Windows, an Icon is actually a set of images of different sizes and color depths. They are either stored as an application resource in the exe file or in a separate dll file (usually if they are shared). If a particular size or color depth is requested but not found, then Windows will create one based on what is available.

In Delphi5, the application icon is added at design time via

Just click the Load Icon... button and select an appropriate ico file. To create an ico file, use GIMP.

In Windows Explorer (XP), the following icon sizes are used by the associated view options

Running an application places Windows Vista (and beyond) uses higher resolutions.

The Image Editor that comes with Delphi 5 is able to create ico (icon) files that contain only 2 icon sizes - 16x16 and 32x32 - which is why I suggest using a more powerful editor (such as GIMP).

I have also provided a test application and some guidance on using icons in a Delphi 5 application.

Not really related to this, but Windows XP appears to have a design problem when displaying the icons for the ico file. In each view option, Windows Explorer displays the same size icon for both the exe file and the related ico file .. except in the Thumbnails view. In that case, the exe shows the 48x48 icon and the ico file shows the 16x16 icon! Of course, in the Tiles view, they both show the 48x48 icon.

By the way, Favicon (used to brand web pages) is 16x16.

Identifying text

In addition to the filename, applications have 2 important identifying strings

Program Version

Windows allows applications to contain a VersionInfo resource containing the following 10 parameters.

  • Original Filename
  • Internal Filename
  • File Description
  • File Version
  • Product Name
  • Product Version
  • Comments
  • Company Name
  • Copyright
  • Trademarks
This information is displayed by Windows when you right click a compiled file and select properties.

In Windows Explorer (XP), when the mouse hovers over an exe, dll, or other file with a VersionInfo resource, then
  • File Description
  • Company Name
  • File Version
are displayed in a help window. For example

In addition, the same data is displayed in the Windows Explorer Status Bar (if enabled) when the file is selected (highlighted).

In Delphi 5, this data is added via


The other main form of branding is the application skin - the colors and shapes used for the user interface.

Author: Robert Clemenzi
URL: http:// / Languages / Delphi / Branding.html