Icons are a great way to add visual interest to your nonprofit’s website, whether you’re showcasing services or using them to better explain a complex process. If paying someone to create custom graphics isn’t in your budget, you’re not out of luck! If you’re looking for where to find icons, there are plenty of places online with very affordable prices.
Planning for Icons
First, you’ll want to choose a general look. You’ll find varying icon styles out there, and will want to find a consistent look that fits well with your organization’s branding materials and website. Do you want something with one color and clean lines? Or maybe something a little more playful and illustrative? There are countless options to meet your needs.
You’ll also want to think about the meaning of each icon. Will it be accompanied with text labels? If not, make sure the icon can be a standalone graphic that clearly illustrates whatever concept you’re trying to represent.
Where to Find Icons
I know what you’re thinking. How do you know where to find icons in the vast landscape that is the internet? Below is a short list of where to find icon artwork.
Creative Market is a well-curated gallery of thousands of icon sets. Most sets range from $10 – $30 and come with jpg, png and vector files.
Stock Photography Sites
While these sites are most popular for finding and purchasing stock photography, they also have an expansive offering of illustrations and icons. Simply search for the types of icons you’d like to find, (such as “charity icons”) and be sure to select that you’re looking for illustrations only. These prices vary, but you can expect to spend around $15 – $40 per download.
Icons8 allows users to browse icon artwork and even customize colors, backgrounds, and other features right then and there. You also have the choice to either download a png for free (as long as you link for attribution) or you can pay per icon to download additional file types (which doesn’t require attribution).
Typefaces made entirely of icons are also available for download (some free, some paid). This is another way to get your hands on a big group of icons at a time, and allows you to use the typeface in a couple of ways. You can either A) find individual icons from the set that you’d like to use and export them as images, or B) talk to your developer about potentially incorporating them into the site with code.
Helpful icon typefaces include:
Pay Attention to Download Files
As you’re browsing artwork, it’s important to pay attention to what type of file you’re downloading, based on what matches your organization’s needs.
- JPG and PNG Files: These file types are great for organizations that need ready-to-use icons. These image files are not editable, and can be uploaded to your site as-is.
- Vector Files: These files will end with the file extension .eps or .ai, and can be edited with programs like Adobe Illustrator to better suit your needs. These files would then need to be saved out as jpegs, pngs or svg files to be ready for the web.
- OTF and TTF Files: These font files let you install any given typeface onto your computer. With the icon files, you’d need to install the font, and then ultimately save the desired icons out as image files, or talk to your developer about hosting the entire font on your site (if possible).
Some artwork providers include a zip file with several file types, so that you can use whatever best works for you. Just be sure you double check what types of files you’re downloading before you pay for artwork.
Go Forth and Discover
Hopefully this gives you a good starting point on where to find icons and newfound confidence to go browse some icon artwork. Are you on a mission to spruce up your website with icons? Let us know in the comments below.