Review of stock icon collections
for software developers & website designers

Welcome to Icons Review

pens.jpgIcons Review is a critically reviewed list of sources of professional-quality icons for website designers and software developers. The emphasis is on very high quality icons with the latest styles (as seen in Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X Tiger). The list includes both commercial and “open source” licenses, with prices ranging from free to a few hundred dollars. Also included are lists of Icon editors, Icon-related articles, custom-icon designers, and favorite icon utilities.

Suggestions and comments are more than welcome:

Why use stock icons?

Icons deliver the first impression when someone experiences your application or visits your website. Adding stock icons can be the difference between giving an impression of merely functional, or looking professional.
Standard Toolbar Right Arrow Stock Icons Toolbar
Standard Shopping Cart Right Arrow Stock Icons Shopping Cart

Designing professional-quality icons ranges from time-consuming (if you're artistic) to virtually impossible (if you’re not artistic - witness the shopping cart on the left).

For a fraction of the cost of having a graphics design professional on staff, the solution is to acquire a set of stock icons. A stock icon collection typically contains 100 or more icons that represents the functionality common to most applications and websites (help, copy, paste, shopping carts, flags, locks).

The icons that are not covered by the set can be designed in-house, if the expertise is available. Alternatively, custom-designed icons are often available as a service from the vendors of the stock icon packages. If this is affordable, it is usually preferred, since the original designer will be best able to maintain a consistent appearance throughout all of the icons.

Commercial or free?

Should you buy a commercial set, or use a "free" collection? In general...
  • Sizes:  Each image in a commercial icon collection typically comes in many sizes (16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48, etc) and sometimes in "alternate" states (hot, disabled, shadow, etc). Each image in a free collection typically comes in one size and state.
  • Cost:  Expect to pay $100 to $400, depending on the number of icons, for a commercial set. Some of the "free" icon collections require attribution (e.g. about box credits) or are only free for personal use.
  • Coverage:  The best free icons are of similar quality to many of the commercial icons, but are few in number (i.e. you may find one or two that look really nice, but not enough for your entire application). A typical commercial set has enough icons to cover most of your application, with the exception of one or two icons.
  • License:  The "free" licenses vary widely. The typical commercial license: 1) does not allow you to re-distribute or re-sell the icons. 2) allows you to make derivates of the icons (for your own use) 3) lets you use the icons royalty-free when "compiled" into your software.
TThis list contains commercial icon collections. With an incredible 300 000+ very high quality icons, the Icon Shock entire collections bundle is really tough to beat, and would be a good starting point for your search.

Component developers who distribute sample projects that include icons should review D-Icons, as the license may be the only one compatible with your distribution.
Rating Site License Format Comment
StarStarStar IconShock license 16x16 to 256x256, PNG, GIF, ICO, BMP free icons by email
Editor's choice
StarStarStar The Icon Base license eps(vector) or ico, icns, png, tif, 16x16 to 256x256  Vista preview Aqua preview  Nice, but not cheap
StarStarStar VirtualLNK License 16x16 to 72x72 PNG, BMP, JPG. GIF Disabled states
Editor's choice
StarStarStar Icon Experience License 16x16 to 128x128, drop shadow PDF Catalog $128 to $379
Editor's choice
StarStar IconKits license  16,24,32,48  png,gif,psd  disabled, hot PDF Catalog preview page sample set
StarStarStar IconGalore license 16x16 to 48x48 PNG preview page sample set Individual icons
Icons $3
Star Icon Cool XP Icons     1300 XP Icons with IconCool Manager ($35.50)
Star Star Star Icon Republic license 16x16 to 128x128, BMP,PNG,GIF,ICO hot,disabled preview page Buy 5 get 1 free deal. $1.91 per icon
Editor's Choice
StarStarStar IconVector   EPS $149 to $449, all vector icons
Editor's choice
StarStar PixelLogo   Many sizes (16x16 to 128x128) ICNS, ICO, PNG, TIF Many flags (World, US, EU) 5 flags for $20
StarStarStar GlyFX license 16x16 to 64x64 GIF,ICO, PNG, BMP $35 to $850 Hot, Disabled sample set preview page
Star Iconica licensee 16x16 to 48x48 sample set
preview page $300, vector
Star 1st icon designn license 16x16 to 256x256 preview page
preview PDF
StarStar Glyph lab license 16x16 to 48x48, GIF,ICO, PNG, BMP, PSD sample set
preview PDF
$199. PSD
StarStar WackyPixel license 16x16 to 300x300 PNG Inexpensive Packages starting at $4
StarStar AWIcons license ICO, PNG, GIF, AI preview page sample set
StarStar Icon Flash license ICO, FLA, SWF, PNG Flash (.FLA) style icons.
preview page
StarStar Aha-Soft / Sibcode license 16x16 to 256x256 BMP,PNG $39 to $179. preview1 preview2 sample
StarStarStar IconBuffet license 16x16 to 36x36 , GIF,ICO, PNG, BMP, ICNS, TIF preview page sample set
StarStar SuniSoft license 16x16 to 48x48 , GIF,ICO, PNG, BMP, ICNS, TIF preview page
StarStarStar Dev
license 16x16 to 128x128 PNG preview page
Good value 260 icons for $99
StarStar Glyfz license 16x16 to 128x128, BMP, PNG, PSD preview page sample set
Good value.
StarStar IconCart license 16x16 to 256x256 ICO, PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF ICNS, AI, EPS $199, vector, many states. preview PDF
Star Star IconPharm license 16x16 to 48x48, ICO, PNG, GIF Beautiful images. Small specialized sets ($150-$199)
StarStar Med-designs license 16x16 to 32x32 ICO, ICNS, TIF, PNG 3 collections.
$62 each. preview page
Star Advanced Icons license 32x32 to 128x128, AI, PNG, GIF, ICNS, ICO preview page includes vector
Star IconPacks license 16x16
tons of small icons
StarStar StockIcons license 16x16 to 32x32 PNG, GIF, ICNS, ICO, BMP sample set preview page. Nice, not cheap.
StarStar IconFish license 16x16 to 48x48 ICO. EPS, AI, PDF sample set preview page Vector formats
StarStar TastyStock license 32x32, GIF PSD Very Cheap ($10)
preview page
StarStarStar Orange Icons license 16x16 to 256x256, GIF, JPG, PNG, PSD preview page $3 each, with vector source
Icons $3
Star SimpleBits license 16x16, 32x32 GIF preview page Simple, Cheap, Good Value
StarStar GUIicons license 16x16 to 128x128, PNG, ICO, GIF preview page
sample set Good Value.
StarStar D-Icons license 16x16 to 48x48 ICO, PNG component friendly license preview page
Relaxed License
StarStar Axialis Object Packs license requires software preview page requires software
Icon Parts
StarStar ThinkMac license 32x32, PNG preview page. Mac Style.
Icons $3
StarStar Icons-Icons license 16x16 to 64x64, ICO, GIF, PNG,  BMP preview page
Good Value($49.95)
StarStar StockIcons license 16x16 to 256x256, GIF, JPG, PNG $179 - $349
preview page
Nice, not cheap
StarStar Techlogica license Specialty is 16x16 preview page

sample set
StarStar Fast Icon Limited to use in 10 products. license text 16x16 to 256x256, ICO, ICNS, PNG, BMP, TIF, GIF $69 to $449 Vista icons. preview page
StarStar Arcamis license 16x16 to 256x256, BMP,PNG,GIF,ICO preview page
High quality Vista icons $79 to $299
Vista Icons
Star Star Star IcoZon license 16x16 to 256x256, GIF,PNG,ICO,PSD,BMP preview page Good value, choice and quality
$0.69 to $2.99
StarStar Icon Icon license 16x16 to 48x48 BMP,GIF,ICO, PNG,ICNS preview page

sample set
StarStar Icons-Land license text 16x16 to 256x256, ICO, PNG $30 to $80 Vista icons, emoticons, etc sample set
StarStar IconDrawer license 16x16 to 256x256 PNG, ICNS, ICO, PSD preview page

Star Star Star studio license 10x10 and larger preview page. Specializes in small Icons
Mini icons
StarStar Itookia license 16x16 to 256x256 PNG, ICO, PSD, GIF, BMP preview page Sample set

This list contains free (no monetary cost) icon collections. Licenses vary widely, and many are custom written. With a large number of high quality icons and a LGPL license (commercial use allowed) the Nuvola collection is a good place for anyone to begin consideration. collection is a good starting point for your search.
Rating          Site License Format Comment
StarStarStar Nuvola LPGL PNG, SVG Large number of very high quality icons. Vector and PNG
Editor's choice
StarStarStar Eclipse IDE icons   many sizes(7x7 to 65x66) GIF preview available or download. 1200+ icons. high quality
Editor's choice
StarStar Tango Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 16x16,
22x22, 32x32 SVG
preview page also on wikimedia.
StarStar FamFamFam Silk Creative Commons Attribution PNG (16x16) 700+ icons. PNG. Fairly Popular
StarStarStar Feed Icons free for any use GIF,JPG,PNG, many sizes Standard Icon to be used for Syndicated content (e.g. RSS)
Editor's choice
StarStar Icon Experience Samples   license text Many sizes
(16x16 to 128x128)
PDF Catalog (200 KB)
Sample set (1.5 MB)
StarStar Iconkits free license text (link to  website) PNG, TIF 10 office, 10 smiley icons (16x16, 24x24, 32x32) High Quality
Star FamFamFam Flags Free for any use   239 Flags of the world. Very small (16x11). GIF, PNG
StarStar Sweetie Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 PNG, PSD. Most 16x16,24x24 includes photoshop sources
Star AIGA symbols free PNG, EPS 50 standard passenger/pedestrian symbols
Star N.Design Studio Mini   14x14 GIF 320 mini icons. < 10 icons free. 10+ link to author or pay $30
StarStar glyFX license text BMP, GIF, PNG, ICO 37 high quality icons. 16x16, 24x24 and 32x32 to 64x64 sets
Star Tango ArtLibreSet GPL 22x22 SVG work in progress. For graphics/drawing applications
free for personal use. commercial   Sample Set
download page
StarStar The Yellow Icon varies. most free for personal use various (win, mac, linux packages) Be sure to change the  "navigation" selection
StarStar Xp Icons license various sizes. ICO preview page

sample set
StarStar Techlogica license Specialty is 16x16 preview page

sample set
StarStar Iconshock license free use, except no resale. 16x16 to 256x256. BMP,PNG,ICO,GIF Register, icon sets emailed periodically
StarStar Ganato license PSD icons, menus, buttons, etc preview page

sample set
StarStar Itookia Relaxed licence 16x16 to 256x256. BMP,PNG,ICO,GIF,PSD Great naviagation icons
StarStar Icon Drawer license Awesome flags icons preview page

sample set
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