Nov 02 2012

Endless Icons & Iconmonstr – Loads Of Free PNG-Icons And Growing Fast

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There is a fresh repository in town and it deals with icons. We all know everybody loves icons. That’s understandable as icons are necessary replacements or at least additions to traditional navigation concepts in the wake of the mobile era. Today we introduce to you a project by name of Endless Icons, created and maintained by web developer Min Kim, based in Orange County, as well as a slightly more established project from Germany. Alexander Kahlkopf has already gathered almost 900 symbols, while Endless Icons is still working towards its first 100 icons. Both projects are subject to continuous and steady growth.

Endless Icons: new repository born in sunny Orange County

With a little over 100 icons, there are new ones every few days, Endless Icons provides various symbol sets for different use cases. There are only two things they all have in common. They are drawn in plain black and white and are individually downloadable as PNGs.

All the Endless Icons are freely usable as well in commercial as in private projects. You are prohibited to separately sell the icons or offer them as a download from your own web space, of course. Needless to mention that you are not allowed them for unlawful purposes such as racist websites and the like. Backlinks are not necessary but appreciated.

All Endless Icons are black and white with background transparency and come in the file-format of PNG. Their resolution is 614 by 614 pixels which allows you to use them in almost all scenarios even though they are pixel-based. But who’d need bigger icons?

That is where the commonalities end. Looking at the style, the design principles, the looks overall the icons are different as can be. My favorite style is the scribbled look of the icons to be found in the charts-section of the service. Other symbols depend on simple tile-like patterns and can come over as a little plump at times. Are you after some sports icons? Endless Icons is strong here.

iconmonstr: 876 icons in consistent design style

Although iconmonstr and Endless Icons resemble each other quite strongly, there are differences. With iconmonstr you not only get a lot more icons than its competitor has to offer. You also get them not only as PNG but also as SVG vectors. That way the icons are fully editable in vector apps such as Adobe Illustrator or the free Inkscape and can even directly be used in web pages using HTML5 markup, while the PNG should be scaled to target sizes beforehand.

Iconmonstr’s symbols are also drawn in black and white only. Different to the Endless Icons all the symbols on iconmonstr follow a consistent design trail and thus can be used in random combinations to illustrate various sections of your next design project. Iconmonstr’s symbols come in the more common resolution of 512 by 512 pixels with background transparency.

Looking at the terms of service and the underlying licenses there is not much of a difference between the two repositories. As with Endless Icons all symbols in iconmonstr are freely available for private and commercial projects. Backlinks are not mandatory, but appreciated. Of course you are not allowed to sell or redistribute iconmonstr’s icons in any way.

Conclusion: Designers should extend their toolboxes and integrate Endless Icons and iconmonstr. As they both grow dynamically I advise you to visit them from time to time. Endless Icons offers a RSS feed to keep the information flowing, iconmonstr doesn’t. It is worthwhile to create your own hold-file to stay up-to-date with the German service.

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About the Author

Dieter Petereit is Noupe's Editor-In-Chief and a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called webdesign and has carried on ever since. Almost a decade ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. Dieter is a heavy G-Plusser, so why not meet him over there?

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Comments and Discussions
  • Aakash, 16 November 2012

    Loved Iconmonstr icons.. :-) Great share

  • Totio Filipov, 16 November 2012

    Awesome icons. I like the first pack the best. Thank you.

  • may phat dien 3 pha, 26 November 2012

    The first part look a little funny and lovely, it is nice!

  • Matt Price, 06 July 2013

    Great article Dieter. I’m a graphic designer based in Cardiff and I constantly use Iconmonstr as a go to instant icon resource. They’re always adding to the library and the quality is excellent. Can’t recommend enough!

  • fab, 09 October 2013

    Hi, do you know if the iconmonstr icons could be published inside an open source javascript framework, as icons of the framework skin?

    It’s not clear for me from the license page and the iconmonstr guys are not answering to my question when I contacted them.

    Thanks

    • Dieter Petereit, 09 October 2013

      Iconmonstr never answers. I made the same experience. Thus, we can’t tell you for sure…

      • Fab, 10 October 2013

        Hi, thanks for the reply. Actually he did answer to my questions. It’s not possible to include the icons inside the project folder, but it is possible to use them as data URI directly inside the CSS.

        I hope this answer will help you too.

      • Dieter Petereit, 10 October 2013

        But, what if the URL breaks? Several reasons for this are thinkable…

  • Fab, 10 October 2013

    If you use the base64 encode of the svg you don’t have any dependency from iconmonstr and the url cannot break

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