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The smallest detail in any website being designed can affect the entirety of the project, knowing that these small details could also play an important role in the bigger picture. Icons, most especially, have taken on a whole new level of importance as people become more mobile and the need to make things more compact arises.

Understanding Icons

What are these icons for? Well, icons actually have a pretty wide scope, depending on how you look at it. See those little boxes on your smartphone that represent different applications? Those are icons. Did you notice those little boxes on your favorite website, that, when clicked, would trigger a new action such as open a new email window or identify a link being promoted, such as a Twitter or a Facebook profile? These are all icons.

The word ‘icon’, when taken from the dictionary, is defined as a representative or symbol of something. Its digital definition does not lie far from this, as a computer icon is a small picture that represents a program or an object within the system.

The Rise of the Icons

When did icons become important? Basically, when Windows-based programs started, the need to have something small and simple to click became a rising need. Older computer system would need a command typed into the system for anything to happen. With windows-based systems however, it was as simple as aiming that mouse pointer on the right object, clicking it, and voila, a new window opens up.

Because of the way these icons made things a whole lot easier, their use became an instant norm in all things digital. Today, a lot of younger computer and mobile users cannot even imagine what the world was like when icons were not around. Because of the value they add to modern technology, it has become a constant in almost everything.

This is why one of the important things that web developers consider is their choice of icons in every new website being designed. Icons should be straightforward enough to show the user directly what they are for, but it would also be helpful if they were creatively designed to add that pop into an otherwise functional and practical part of any page. Although designers can create their own icons, there are also a number of sites that allow you to download amazing icons for free, both for personal and for commercial use.

Here are some of them:

Find Icons

Icon Search Engine

A database of over 475,000+ icons.

The Noun Project

Noun Project

Thousands of glyph icons from different artists. Some icons are free and some for a fee.

Font Awesome

Font Awesome

Scalable vector icons and CSS toolkit.

Skycons

Skycons

Simple animated weather glyphs.

Icons8

Icons8

The world’s largest original set of free icons for Windows8 and iOS.

Ionicons

Ionicons

An open-sourced and MIT licensed icon pack.

Evil Icons

Evil Icons

Simple and clean SVG icon pack.

Icono

Icono

Icono is a CSS icon pack.

Flat Icon

Flat Icon

A search engine for 16000+ glyph vector icons.

Icon Archive

Icon Archive

Search through more than 588000 free icons.

Iconmonstr

iconmonstr - Free simple icons for your next project (20150331)

A large collection of glyph icons from a German artist. Free to use without attribution and free to modify.

Icon Finder

Free icons!

More than 100000 free icons in one place.

Freepik

Freepik

Freepik helps you to find free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos for commercial and personal purposes.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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