Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Legend has it that these words were said by Albert Einstein, and it may seem a bit bizarre to quote him in the context of a certain collection of simple, monochromatic icons about which this text is written. But these words make sense when we talk about design – buildings, visual identification systems, logos, websites and even icons. Although icons on the Internet and in printed materials take many different forms, sometimes we need something very simple and universal – best developed in a uniform style. Perhaps we are submitting a new CV and would like to distinguish sections of the document, or maybe we are designing a model for the client and placing simple visual elements would enrich the message?
In such a situation, it is good to have access to a monstrously rich gallery of free, high quality downloadable icons in many formats and colors, for free. The iconmonster project is the responsibility of Alexander Kahlkopf, a graphic and interface designer. The service currently offers over 4019 icons in 273 thematic collections. The graphics show interface elements, everyday objects, social network logos, emoticons, as well as concepts or ideas (e.g. conversation, direction, etc.).
Icons can be used for both free and commercial projects. The license does not allow us to resell the icons or use them as a trademark or logotype. We also cannot benefit from the service by placing icons in the company of pornographic and offensive content.
Free icons for websites
Those who want to use iconmonster in their web projects can use a collection of more than 300 icons available in the form of a font (icon font), which can be connected using the generally available CDN, linking the resource in the header of the website:
Icons implemented in this way can be inserted into the content, using a system of classes assigned to the HTML tag
i, for example:
<i class="im im-check-square"></i>
Iconic Font from iconmonstr is a great alternative to the Font Awesome project, whose icons are present almost everywhere – on many websites it is the basic library with icons. So if you’ve got the graphics from Font Awesome on your hands, you can reach for a competitive set.
Custom icons and pictograms – buy or have a design developed?
iconmonster is a monstrously large gallery of free icons. For many, however, it can at most be monstrously ugly. If the aesthetics of the project does not convince you or you need a bit more sophisticated illustrations, you can commission a graphic designer to create icons or look for the right set on the Internet.
If you do not need customized icons and the quality of free graphics is not high enough, you can search for ready-made sets, e.g. at Graphicriver. It is quite likely that for a dozen or so dollars you will be able to buy a large set of icons and source files, which will allow, for example, for a quick adjustment of the color scheme to your brand.
This website is a gallery of coherent, legible, simple and repeatable icons, which can be used free of charge in any project. Graphics found on the site will be a great addition to the content, the nature of which does not allow the use of extensive, colorful illustrations. Icons created in such aesthetics can give rhythm, subtly emphasize important things or, on the contrary, be a carrier of information about complementary content to the main text.
This is not the only page where you can find free illustrations. There are many places on the web that offer free downloadable graphics. However, the style and consistency of the iconmnoster project makes it worth mentioning and it is worth adding the website address to your favorite bookmarks.
Let us know in comments if you know similar, useful projects that you would like to share! I am also interested in your opinion on the use of icons in designing. Some people love them, others hate them. This is a very interesting subject. What is your opinion?