Icons are an essential component of many design projects, but creating custom icons for each project is rarely practical as it's so time-consuming. On the other hand, finding those hidden treasures in a pool of tens of thousands of free icons also takes time.
That's why we've stepped in to help out – we've picked out a great selection of free icons, and hopefully you'll find at least a few sets that you can put to good use in your own projects, whether they're personal or commercial.
01. Social Materia
If you need a load of Material-style icons and have $42 burning a hole in your pocket then the 3,120-strong Materia set is a fine choice, particularly for Android. But if all you want is a set of social icons, then you can pick this little lot up for free!
Canadian illustrator Scott Martin, AKA Burnt Toast Creative, created this set of notification-themed icons when he had the opportunity to partner with Adobe XD. Designed with simplicity in mind, the 12 icons are a play on alerts and badges from the apps we're all familiar with.
An ongoing side project by London-based digital designer Bryn Taylor, Citysets is an ever-expanding collection of free vector icons that aim to provide a visual guide to cities all around the world. There are six sets so far – San Francisco, Manchester, London, New York, Paris and Sydney – each comprising around 20 icons.
This fantastic set of 80 wildlife icons manages to be thoroughly clean and minimal while also being wonderfully expressive. It's the work of Freepik, and the free download comes with the icons both in PNG format and original SVG vector files.
If you like a little splash of colour in your icons but don't want to go too far, this set by Iconshock may be just what you're looking for. Its pixel-perfect icons are mainly monochromatic but enlivened by eye-catching dashes of colour, and they come in AI, SVG and EPS formats.
This set of 30 isometric icons has been created with the accounting industry in mind, but there are some fab pieces in there that could easily be turned towards more general use if you're so inclined.
The iconmonstr website is a great place to find black and white vector icons. They’re available in various sizes, and you can download them either in .PNG or .SVG format.
08. Find Icons
Find Icons helps you track down everything from flat black and white icons to colourful 3D icons. Uncover what you're looking for by searching by colour, background colour and even style.
09. Icon Archive
At Icon Archive you'll have to sort the wheat from the chaff to a certain extent, but you are able to sort icons by colour, background colour, size, style and category, and download PNGs in four different sizes.
10. The Noun Project
Gaining more and more traction and use, the aim of The Noun Project is to provide icons that all have a similar and consistent aesthetic. It’s like a 'free icon set' that's been juiced up with a search area, a beautiful UI, and some fantastic icon designs.
The primary benefit of IconToucan is convenience. The site enables you to quickly view the transparent, PNG icons and then drag and drop them into a drawer on the right side of the page. Appearing underneath is a list of those icons you’ve chosen and with a single click you can download all the free icons you've selected at once in a ZIP archive file.
This site lets you create your own free webfonts of icons. You basically select the 'glyphs' of icons you want in your font from a few different (really nice) collections. You can change the pixel sizes, customise the file names, and download your webfont bundle. Everything is generated through the site and ready for publishing on yours.
Social media is everywhere these days, and the number and variety of social-based sites is increasing all the time. Every website designer seems to have the need for some good social media icons, and this collection provides some of the more common ones (Facebook and Twitter) to more niche ones (Dribbble and deviantART). The free icons come as a font, with the icons both in a circle holding shape and without a circle
An OpenType font for download, this free offering provides an attractive selection of free icons. The designs were created with simplicity and competence from the folks at The Design Office and are available on the popular free fonts site, Font Squirrel. (The icons apparently look good intermingled with Helvetica.)
If you need lots and lots of flat icons, then this project by FreePik will sort you right out, featuring 19,500 icon packs for free, adding up to over 736,000 free icons for both personal and commercial use.
Next page: more fantastic free icon sets