Icons are perfect for so many different use cases, especially with graphic designers or web developers, looking to add flare into different blocks or page content. But where can you find the best free and premium icons? That's a really good question and today we'll show you the best sites to find free and premium icons.
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Flaticon offers an almost inexhaustible collection of vector icons for download, with over 2 million icons available in PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD and BASE 64 formats for easy use. Based under parent company FreePik, Flaticon is an open source platform geared towards designers and graphics users.
Members have to create an account, but have a choice between the free option - which offers basic access to icons, but has limited services such as a download and collection limit, as well as an advertisement presence. This would be the best option for beginners or casual users to use.
However, for those more familiar with the service, heavy users or industry professionals can choose the premium package. This unlocks a wider range of features and services - unlimited downloads, full licensing, unlimited collections, use of icons for commercial purposes and exclusive editing & coding features.
The premium package comes at either 7.50EUR per month/12 month membership, or a 9.99EUR/1 month membership. This flexibility allows new users to try out the service first before deciding to commit.
Flaticon also offers the possibility for users to become a paid icon contributor. By following the accommodating guidelines, artists can share their creativity and get paid for it; simultaneously growing the collection and generating an income.
Flaticon also offers a custom font generator that works in a similar premise as the icons, as well as a pattern generator which incorporates users’ collections in an intuitive, fun system to create different designs.
Overall, Flaticon’s icon collection can be applied to a myriad of personal as well as commercial projects and presentations, with designs from many different creators. Its interface is easy to use, available in many different formats and provides users with a tangible level of services and resources to play around with.
FreePik is very similar to Flaticon in that they provide high quality graphics resources available for creative projects. They are not limited to icons but also include PSD, vectors, stock photos and templates.
Anything from infographics to business promotions, FreePik curates diverse collections based on topic, keywords or theme. This allows the user to mix and match the resources as they choose based on their individual needs.
The quality control at FreePik means that users are granted independence and freedom to develop professional-level results without the heavy price tag.This is particularly useful for those with a smaller budget or limited experience in graphic design.
FreePik also invites creators to contribute their designs and get paid at the same time - just as Flaticon does. This symbiotic system of prod-users (producers/consumers) results in a dynamic combination of great products created by talented people available to a much wider market.
FreePik offers a ‘Free’ and ‘Premium’ option for memberships. For the choice of either 9.99EUR/month per month, or 7.50EUR/month in a 12 month contract, Premium users are offered the full range of services - including full licensing and freedom to use any illustration without needing to credit the author, exclusive content and access to a much bigger range of illustrations and graphics.
Free members are able to use and access FreePik, however they have a much smaller choice of resources available to them. But by offering different modes of commitment and options - FreePik provides an inclusive experience for new users and industry professionals without too much fuss.
FreePik also run a blog where they offer helpful tutorials, corporate news and resource updates for their readers.
Iconfinder is a paid service that offers icons and vectors for SVG, PNG, AI and other graphics and illustration formats.
It offers both free and paid icons available and members can choose between 3 different subscription types - offering monthly downloads, a roll-over plan for unused downloads as well as a single or multi-user account option. The services will vary depending on the subscription, but even at the most basic level, users can freely access the site.
Their most popular plan is 19$/month offering up to 50 downloads a month and the ability to share the plan between 5 people. At the next level, Iconfinder’s ‘Unlimited’ plan offers unlimited downloads and up to 25 members sharing the same account. This is particularly useful for design teams to share and access the same resources without an exorbitant price.
Premium icons are available from as low as 2$ and available in vector formats such as CSH, AI and SVG. This allows them to be edited and altered depending on the need.
Tying in with that is Iconfinder’s in-house editing software where users can change color, add text or omit aspects without the need for external programs such as Adobe Illustrator.
All icons on the site are created by independent designers and allows for users and producers to connect directly with each other to create specifically tailored icons.
Iconfinder’s trump card lies in its flexible membership capabilities. There is a pay-as-you-go option as that is cost-effective; for users to download and manage icons for one-off projects or infrequent use.
Then there is also an option to ‘pause’ subscriptions for up to 3 months; allowing users to temporarily halt their memberships without fully unsubscribing to the service.
These flexibilities are available to all users no matter what subscription they have, which in turn, generates user loyalty and longevity.
Iconfinder has also recently introduced a Forum page that allows designers to facilitate collaboration and discussion between designers to further the collective knowledge about graphic design and illustration.
IconArchive is a more basic search engine compared to IconFinder or FreePik, providing over 600,000 icons to download for web developers, end users and graphic artists. Supporting most operating systems such as PNG for Windows and Mac, as well as SVG for both Windows and Linux.
It has similar functions compared to other websites in that users can find, organize and create collections of different icons for their needs.
The icons are categorized by topic as well as popularity, resolution size, artists and alphabet. Featuring a simple, yet intuitive engine, users can easily search what they’re looking for.
IconArchive also feature user services that aren’t found on other websites; notably, the ability to create collections without the need for a login or account, icon group sharing through emails and an up/downvoting system to improve search results.
IconArchive also supports independent designers and consumers; facilitating communications between the two, which can lead to freelance work as well as an increase of icons created, which can then be added to the catalogue.
Designers can upload and submit icons which then undergo reviews before they are accepted, but IconArchive also provides information with each icon set to inform users on their availability and licensing status (allowed for commercial or private use and type of license attributed).
This means that all necessary information is provided on the one page for easy digestion.
Because IconArchive is essentially a free-to-use website, they are open for donations, thus allowing it to continue from community support.
This feature allows for IconArchive to maintain its integrity with its artists without adding necessary pressure for artists and users with smaller budgets to commit to a membership or pay upfront.
Icons8 provides vectors, icons, stock photos, illustrations and royalty free music. With the number of icons provided at around 91,000, they make up for it with unique services such as a stock photo and vector creators and music editing software.
What sets Icons8 apart is that all content are created in-house - that is to say, they have a dedicated team of 40 designers who take in user feedbacks to create the icons and content requested.
This means that while users may have a smaller range of icons available to them, they are directly supporting this business and the artists.
While all content is available for free, only paid memberships unlock a myriad of helpful services involved with graphic design. New and one-time users can try out what icon8 provides for free and without commitment.
For heavy and more frequent users; the 19.99$/month package is the most popular with single users as it covers a majority of services and needs that independent or freelance artists usually need.
On the next level there is the the 17$/month Team package which as described; offers full access to their services for multiple users in teams and companies to utilize.
All that being said; icons8 focus and keep in mind the needs of their customers and users while still supporting their own small company. They believe in being transparent and inclusive.
They offer Lunacy, a free graphic design and editing software available to Windows OS that ties in directly with their content collection - which means that small and independent designers don’t have to be out-of-pocket simply to do their job.
Icons8 is a great resource for those who want to support smaller businesses without sacrificing quality. To be a part of a larger community and have access to professional services and advice without worrying about their budget.
Findicons is a very basic icon search engine - simply type in what you’re looking for and it will show up with related results. Its minimal interface means that users don’t need to make any accounts, it’s completely free to use. Users can also group, organize and create collections of their favourite icons.
Supporting ICNS, ICO and PNG formats, which may seem a bit bare at first, but makes up for it with an additional nifty feature - it has an icon converter attached to it.
The highlight of this website will have to be its icon converter. Supporting two types of conversion; integrated and stand-alone, users have the ability to convert the icon they need, which might not be in the right format, into the one best suited for the job.
The integrated converter can convert any icon available into BMP, GIF, JPG, PSD or TIF format. The stand-alone converter enables users to upload and convert a local image into ICO, ICNS, ICO (multi-res), ICNS (multi res), BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, PNG, PSD, SVG, TGA and TIFF formats.
Findicon’s search engine is also quite intuitive. Users can finetune their results with more information - dimensions, colour filters, relevancy and licensing rights.
Simply adding more keywords into the search bar will yield better results.
One thing that users have to keep in mind is that while the website and search engine itself is free, the icons themselves may have a price.
Icons made by Findicons are free, but may be limited in terms of design and choice. Other icons provided by external websites such as istockphoto are higher in quality, but cost more. Users can have the option of paying outright for that icon, or creating an additional account if they require more options.
Icongal (short for icongallery) is another minimalist icon search engine with over 400,000 icons and 2000 icon packs available for download. The formats available are PNG and ICO, but are completely free.
The icons can be categorized by keyword, backing type (light, checkered or dark), pixel size (from 16x16 up to 215x512) and license conditions (personal only, commercial use etc.) The website also features tags as an additional means of labelling and searching for icons.
Independent artists and designers are encouraged to submit and share their works, however, only as a means of exposure instead of an income as there doesn’t appear to be any kind of payment system attached to Icongal.
The only requirements that Icongal need is that while all the icons can be of any size, they must include a 32x32 px version for both display and use. This is both for packs and individual icons.
Designers are also able to attach any type of licensing and copyrights they choose, which will be maintained and displayed alongside their creations.
The appeal of Icongal lies in its aesthetic; the almost vintage-like appearance of some icons is appealing to those looking for a cleaner or more simple aspect. There are no frills or fancy attachments on icongal.
It’s here to do one thing and one thing only - to provide icons for those who need it - and in this, it has achieved.
Vecteezy is a website that focuses on producing and curating high quality vectors for graphic designers, marketers and users alike. With thousands of vector graphics including icons, made by independent artists from all around the world, Vecteezy offers fresh designs for private and commercial use.
Each vector comes with its own licensing label that clearly informs prospective users of their availability. The formats that Vecteezy supports are AI and EPS for free accounts, with an addition of JPEG, PNG and SVG for paid accounts.
Vecteezy is split into free accounts and Pro/Premium accounts; users can expect vastly different services.
The free option still allows users to access the vectors and graphics they need, but come attached with attribution rights and ads. In terms of the Pro/Premium accounts, users have a choice of a prepaid credit system which can be topped up as they go, but is limited to 15 downloads.
It’s not clear whether this is a daily or monthly limit, but at the cost of 19$, it’s an affordable price for one-off occasions.
Then there is the monthly subscriptions which have a similar price range, but slightly more downloads possible. Users can choose between a monthly or annual commitment.
Then there is the popular unlimited plan currently priced at 14$/month which, like its name suggests, offers unlimited downloads and Brusheezy, which is a platform for Photoshop brushes, included.
It’s helpful to note that all paid memberships of any type will have the full range of tools and resources offered to them - this includes exclusive content, Vecteezy Editor (an in house editing tool directly on the web browser) and no attribution required for content. For the reasonable price its asks for, Vecteezy gives users bang for their buck, with a few extra freebies thrown in.
Supplementing Vecteezy is the Eezy network of Brusheezy, Videezy and Themezy which provide additional creative tools and resources. While it’s unclear if a singular account can be utilized over these other platforms, but at a minimum, this can be considered a one-stop shop for many users.
Hopefully we've given you some insights into the best sites to find free and premium icons online. Whatever you need to use icons for, there's a wide range of websites out there to get millions of different icons.