Icons are essential building blocks used by designers and developers. The success of interfaces often depends on the suitability of the icons and animations employed, as well as the microinteractions that are executed around them.
Numerous sets of free icons are currently available to provide designers with everything they need to create dynamic and attractive environments. They are just as important as choosing the right font. Some designers buy fonts or design their own for specific projects. This happens less frequently with icons, but some repositories also offer premium icons to registered users, or in return for a monthly fee.
Having a good repository with sets of attractive icons that suit the designer’s personality is therefore highly recommended. Below we look at some of the more interesting options.
Flaticon is one of the biggest icon repositories on the market. According to the website, it currently offers 283,667 vector icons (once downloaded these can be used in any size and without ever losing image quality), divided into 5,014 different packs. There are all kinds of icons available: in color or black and white; social network logos, which are ideal for developing user interfaces; grouped by themes (icons for business projects, communications, education…), while there are also others associated with cinema, animals, art, buildings, and so on. There are plenty of different categories. Users can also filter for other characteristics, such as linear or filled icons.
Not all of the icon sets are free. To access the full range you need to register with the website and pay a monthly fee of 9.99 euros. Or if you pay for the whole year in one go the monthly fee would be 7.50 euros. This is the premium version of Flaticon. Paying this monthly fee gives designers access to a further 27,501 exclusive icons. This can be a real advantage when you want to give your project that extra special touch.
Like others sets with similar names, the name is derived from the Flat Design concept. This minimalist approach avoids elements that give the illusion of three dimensions, such as gradients, shadows or blurring. As the name suggests, it is a flat design that can be used to convey personality. The aim is to provide users with the most information possible with the least possible graphics. The trend began with Microsoft and its operating systems such as Windows 8 and Windows 10. The Redmond company likes to call it Modern UI. The design concept has since been emulated by competitors such as Apple and Google.
Linecons is a completely free set of 48 vector icons that are available in HTML, CSS, PDF, Adobe Illustrator, PSD, PNG and SVG formats. They can be used by designers to create web interfaces and mobile apps. They are suitable for any environment. Designers can simply download and use the icons even when the project is for commercial purposes.
Flaticons.co offers sets of icons for a fee, in various formats such as PSD, SVG or EPS, and in four different sizes (16 px, 32 px, 48 px and 64 px), although users can also download them in vector format to scale as required without sacrificing image quality. The site includes a search box to quickly locate icons based on keywords. The icons can then be directly downloaded via the search tool (dragging the PSD directly to graphic edition tools such as Photoshop, by downloading them in SVG format, or copying the unicode directly for use in a project).
Flaticons has more than 1,000 different icons available for a fee of 50 dollars, or a repository of 500 for 30 dollars. Paying for the icons is easy, using the Stripe payment gateway directly from the repository page.
Flaticons.net offers some icon packs for free, while others are available for a fee. What makes this set different is the option to customize icons prior to download. You can choose the fill color, background color and shape, icon size and margins against the background. The icon will be downloaded in PNG format. The images are grouped into different categories: banking, education, food, tech gadgets, mobile applications, and so on. Prices for sets of premium icons range from 9 to 37 dollars each.
Iconshock offers a wide range of flat design icons. It has now accumulated in excess of 2 million different symbols over more than 10 years of design work. They are grouped into 400 sets, with more than 30 different design styles (both Flat Design and styles associated with mobile apps and mobile operating systems like iOS or Android, such as the so-called Material Design) and 25 themes to choose from. The icons can be downloaded in PNG, PSD, AI (Adobe Illustrator) or FLA (flash format).
They can also be downloaded in vector format to allow scaling as required. Buying the complete pack of Iconshock icons costs 99 dollars.
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