By Daved Brosche, Naveed Javaid and Smashing Editorial Team
When it comes to freebie designs, beautiful icons sets are tops. Designers scour for these free treasures more than anything else. You can use icon sets in Web applications, website designs and on your desktop. If well designed, they make a great impression on others. Beautifully designed icons also prove the quality of a designer’s work, so many designers make theirs freely available online, thus giving their work more exposure.
In the overview below, we present 50 beautifully designed, free and professional high-quality icons for desktop and Web design. All of them can be freely used for private projects, and some are available for commercial use as well. Regardless, always read the licenses — they may change from time to time.
You can also scan through our other icon-related articles:
Cemagraphics Icons A set of various beautiful icons in PNG (32 × 32 and 512 × 512 pixels).
To-Do List Icon Use these icons in your Web applications to make them more attractive.
Social Media Handycons Handycons is a free hand-drawn set of 12 social-media icons. All icons are available in four sizes: 16, 24, 32 and 48 pixels.
Canon 400D + lens 17-85mm Set of two icons: camera and lens. Comes in sizes of 512 and 16 pixels and iContainer, ICNS, PNG and ICO format.
Retrofukation A stylish set of icons to complement almost any theme out there. Designed to be easily distinguishable, simple and intuitive. This icon pack contains over 100 icons. Designed by Jamie Green.
Green and Blue Icon Set Five icons, each in 128 × 128 pixels and PNG format. Included are icons to represent gallery, downloads, emoticons, calendar and folder.
Airport Express This icon is for personal use only. Download includes iContainer, PNG and PSD formats.
Coquette Part 3 Icons This free playful icon set contains curvy and colorful icons made with one goal: to get some affection and playfulness into your projects. The 50 high-quality icons come in sizes of 16, 32, 48, 64 and 128 pixels, and in 32-bit transparency PNG format.
Email Me Icons These icons are free for personal use and available in 32, 48, 64 and 128 pixels.
Reality A set of beautiful, realistic icons of different daily-use object. These are free for non-commercial use.
Music Icons Beautiful icons of music instruments. Icons are absolutely free for any purpose.
Set of Social Icons A set of beautiful social icons in PNG format and sizes of 16, 32 and 64 pixels.
GP Icons A set of 23 PNG icons of different software products. Has a great grunge style.
Banking Stuff Icons Banking-related icons for non-commercial use, in sizes of 32, 48, 64, 128 and 256 pixels.
Smashing Magazine’s Icons
Smashing Retro Icon Set A set of 10 beautiful, high-quality “vintage” icons. The set contains 10 original icons: search, sign-up, calendar, news, RSS, comments, email, ads, home and address.
Flavours Icon Set This set, aimed to help designers in their Web and user interface designs, contains 177 icons in a resolution of 48×48 pixels. The files are available in the PNG and PSD sources, so you can modify the files as you wish. Created by Oliver Twardowski.
Stationery Icons Set A useful set of 22 vector icons (256 × 256 pixels). It contains book, brush, crayon, clip, color pencils, document, eraser, pad, palette, post-it note, scale and scissors, as well as the Fireworks source file.
On Stage Icons Set The set contains 49 free vector icons, including PSD, which can be useful for both corporate and personal projects. You can use the set for free, without any restrictions whatsoever. The icons are available in PNG format in a resolution 128×128 pixels. Also included in the package are 100% pure shape-based layered PSDs.
Fresh Icons Set This set contains 59 raster and vector icons. The set includes icons in PNG, ICNS and ICO formats. An EPS vector file is available as well.
Practica Icons Set A free set of 11 useful high-quality icons, designed by DryIcons especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers. The icons are available in resolutions of 64, 128 and 256 pixels, in 32-bit transparency PNG format.
About the author
Naveed Javaid is a Web designer and runs the blog SmashingApps, which focuses on free resources and inspiration especially for designers and developers. If you want to connect with the author, you can follow him on Twitter.