If you’re designing software applications, you need icons. Lots of icons.
You could buy an icon set or commission to have your own icons custom made but, if you’re just getting started on a design project, chances are you don’t actually know what you need yet.
At least, not until you’ve explored the app a little more and developed the requirements.
That’s where a good set of free icons can come in very handy.
Many free icon sets are high enough quality to use in production. But, whether or not you use the free icons in your final application, having a large set of icons at your disposal will prevent you from stalling in your design project and get you to your deliverables faster.
You can mix and match but when you have to find and combine icons from lots of different sets, you lose congruency in your design. That’s not so bad in the initial stages but can get distracting as the design progresses.
Hunting for Icons
To that end, I’ve been on the hunt for some good icon sets to use in our own projects, and to share with you. I thought it would be a simple task…
After many days of searching, I found hundreds of free icon sets. But there’s a reason this post only lists 10.
Rather than hit you with as many sets as I could find, I’ve chosen fewer, high quality icon sets containing a large number of icons, so you can maintain consistency throughout your project.
The images, below, are typically just a small fragment of the overall set to give you an idea of the icon styling in the sets.
In most cases, these icon sets are free to use for personal or commercial projects. Some may need attribution. None may be re-sold or re-distributed. Please make sure you read the terms and conditions or license file for each set before use.
Using icon sets in GUI Design Studio
GUI Design Studio lets you incorporate icon images of practically any type into your mock-ups and prototypes, and can scale them to any size. You can also choose to display them all in monochrome to minimize distractions.
For details on how to incorporate these icon sets into GUI Design Studio, please take a look at these Forum Articles:
Now, on to the icon sets themselves…
1. Farm-Fresh Web Icons
|Provided by:||FatCow Web Hosting|
|Created:||2010 – 2012|
|Sizes:||32 x 32
16 x 16
|Quantity:||3000 (of each size)|
|Ideal for:||Web, Apps|
An incredible set of beautiful, well-crafted icons to cover a huge variety of applications. In two sizes, perfect for ribbon bar applications with buttons that need to adapt.