When it comes to website design, you are going to find icons in pretty much every single design out there. Icons have become an inseparable part of web design, but also graphic design, and stretching out as far as infographics, flyers, brochures, and more.
Rather than making you recreate the same design elements every single time, you can download icons and customize them individually. In most cases, it doesn’t matter that someone else is using the same icon. It doesn’t matter because your design is completely different. It’s unique, and as such, validates the use of publicly available icons.
Further, a lot of our focus has gone into icons that are modern and built with trending design elements. So, in case we missed a site that you know, it’s likely because that site didn’t meet our criteria.
Now, without further ado, here are the best websites in the world for finding and downloading free icons based on modern design principles.
Flaticon has such a strong reputation that you’re going to run into this platform almost every time that you look for new icons. And for good reasons, anyway. Flaticon is a byproduct of the FreepikCompany organization, which specializes in delivering stellar visual experiences to everyone across the globe.
Other than letting people download icons for free, anyone can become an author on Flaticon and earn money from premium royalties. In other words, Flaticon requires that anyone using their icons leave a link back to the original author.
Also, if you are a Mac user, you can download the Flaticon OS X application and browse icons without needing to use the web browser!
Is there even such a thing as free icons? Iconfinder is trying to prove that there is, and with tens of thousands of free icons up for grabs; we know these guys are doing something right. Similarly to the previous platform, Iconfinder runs most of its free icons under the CC 3.0 license.
And this means that you must give appropriate attribution to the creator of the given visuals. However, the great news is that you can also use these icons in your commercial projects, without needing to pay. Attribution can be added pretty much anywhere, so you won’t need to plaster it all over the place if that’s what you think you must do.
All that aside, Iconfinder has a massive database of more than 3 million icons altogether, in SVG format nonetheless. And you can get access to unique icons by signing up as a premium member for just $9 a month. This plan will let you download up to 10 icons a month. And for $49 per month, you can get unlimited downloads.
cons8 has to be one of my favorite icons sites in recent years, not only because they publish great design content and design tips, but also because they are truly dedicated to making the web more visually-friendly.
So, one of the areas in which Icons8 excels at is the diversity of icon styles. For example, you can choose a ‘Printer’ icon, and then select from more than 30 individual styles for that icon. On top of that, you can edit each icon directly from the browser. And when we say edit, we truly mean it.
You can Recolor, add Overlays, or add custom text as part of the modification. Furthermore, you can enable custom effects such as Strokes, Backgrounds, Padding, and more.
More often than not, Icons8 feels like a real-time vector editing software that’s available directly from your web browser. The overall quality for icons is phenomenal, and you can download them extremely fast.
Last but not least, if you are a Windows user and don’t want to pay money for Sketch: check out Lunacy — a free Sketch alternative for Windows users.
Freepik has been around for more than a decade and clearly has become a well-known resource for all kinds of digital content. Specifically, graphics, stock photos, and other types of visual files. And that goes for Icons, too.
Each icon has a dedicated page that includes download links, licensing information, and a ton of related content that might also capture your attention. This was one of the features that stood out for me personally. The level of precision that Freepik provides in related suggestions is astounding.
And oftentimes, I find myself downloading up to 5 resources simply because they are so great to look at. If you’re working on an infographic project or doing a major overhaul for web design — Freepik will give you the necessary graphics resources to make your new project stand out.
Iconshock is run by Unusual Minds, an organization specializing in modern graphic design, but also develops software on the side. These guys have been working as graphic designers for more than a decade, and have managed to accumulate more than 2 million original icons for their Iconshock platform.
Their work is featured not only amongst top magazines on the planet but also in some of the most popular software in the world. If there were ever to be true pioneers of icon design, then these guys would be quite high up on the list.
Apart from having a library of 2 million icons, Iconshock also specializes in custom styles. Specifically, favorites like Material, iOS, Flat, Modern, and countless others.
You can choose between downloading a single icon, or downloading the whole icon set.
In total, there are probably more than 5-6 million unique icons here that you can find. But, it’s not just about the quantity.
Judging by the quality, these are also some of the best sites in the world where you can find, modify, and download icons for free.
I am a huge fan of many of the platforms mentioned in this post, and if you know of any other sites then please don’t hesitate to recommend them in the comments.
Freebie sites and such are welcome in particular.
Other than that, please enjoy the sites we have discussed, and look forward to seeing you in the next roundup!