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December 12 2013


How to Create Flat Icons in Photoshop

Okay, let’s face it. Flat design is the new ‘thing’ for web interface. With iOS and even Windows now adapting this design scheme, it will not be any longer when almost (if not all) all websites in the World Wide Web adapt this design scheme. You would just be baffled to know one morning that as you woke up, opened your browser and typed in your favorite website (we hope it is 1stwebdesigner, just kidding!) and be surprised to see that it followed with the trend of flat design! So you would immediately re-code your website or blog, for that matter, to be ‘in’ with the trend, and that would entail a lot of grueling hours again.

So why not start today? Why not start your web motif revamp today? Try to be there before it happens. Try to be cool before being cool is cool. Be a hipster!

You may be thinking, “Where will I start?” Of course, revamping your website design is hellish as hell is. But that’s why we are here – so that you’ll have a helping hand in going with the flow of design. Right?

A good start for reconstructing your skeumorphic-designed website is to render the images you used in the interface to flat. This is probably the easiest because it does not require a lot of coding. What you really need is creativity and knowledge of a graphic designing software. There are a lot of images to ‘flatten’. It could take a lot of time to do this. But, of course, it is imperative to transform the more important images first. This will give you a sense of alleviation because these images will be present in every page on your website. You could start with your logo, or better yet, with the navigation icons.

In this tutorial, I will make that trouble less troubling. I will try, with my best efforts, to try to teach you how to make flat-design-inspired navigation icons. We will be creating navigation icons for your website or blogs. This tutorial will be using the Adobe Photoshop CS6 software. (You could use previous versions too) So brace yourselves, flat design interfaces are coming.

Here’s what we will be working on:


Open Photoshop. Create a new file using the preset photo (10inches x 8 inches, 300 DPI, transparent background, RGB color)


Use the Rounded Rectangle tool and create a new shape with the dimensions of 1736 pixels x 1736 pixels, radius 83px, color #82d8b5 (Or you could use your own color for this.) Do it according to the color motif of your website.


Using the Pen tool, draw something like the shown image below. Use the color #a30d00. This will serve as the roof of our ‘Home’ icon.


Next, still using the Pen tool, draw a rectangular shape like the image shown below.  Use the #ffffff color. Also, draw a small square using the Rectangle tool and color it #3498db.


Next, using the Rectangle tool, draw a 248px by 396 shape with the color the #fcab3a color fill.


(You could save it as an image in this part. This could actually be considered as a flat Home icon. But, I would still want to add a long shadow, so keep up.)

Next, using the pen tool, with the #000000 color fill, draw a shape. Start it with the right edge of the roof. (At the edge where the red and white and red colors intersect) Extend the drawing to the outside of the bounding rounded rectangle and close the shape in the bottom-left edge of the house image. You’ll arrive into this:


Send the shadow backwards. Rasterize the layer of the shadow. Using the magic wand tool, select the whole bounding rounded-rectangle layer and inverse the selection (you can use the shortcut CTRL+Shift+I). With the selection (marching ants) still on, click the shadow layer and press delete.



Your icon is done. To save it, click on File>Save for Web (Shortcut is CTRL + Shift + ALT + S). Save it as PNG-24, with transparency checked. We would be wanting everything to be saved as PNG-24 as it supports transparency.



Next, we’ll be working on with the Post icon:

1. I opened Photoshop and repeated steps one and two of the tutorial.



2. Draw a rounded rectangle with the size of 929px by 929px and a radius of 38 px. I used the color #f5ea74 to resemble a sticky note.


3. Draw a 1px line with the color #5d5608. Place it in the top of the sticky note.


4. Draw 15 pixelated lines as shown below:





Take note of the spacing. I spaced them a little bit wider to give a minimalist feel on the icon. Minimalism is a characteristic of the flat design trend.

5. Draw a rectangle to symbolize an image in the sticky note.


6. Draw the shadow as you did in the Home Icon Tutorial.



7. Save it!


Here are the About Me and Contact Me Icons:

Download the entire pack here.



I just hope that after these tutorials, you’ll start revamping your websites. I tell you this is a very difficult process but change is inevitable, so might as well go with it. And besides, the flat design scheme is designed to be appreciated not only for its beauty but for its purpose. So you’ll hit all whammies at once.

I remind you that these are just tutorials. You could experiment with these. Try to be as creative as possible. Your mind is your limit. You’ll never know how far it will take you if you won’t stretch it and make it work.

December 09 2013


December 05 2013


40 High Quality And Free Minimalistic Icon Sets

Here we have come up with another interesting collection of some cool minimalistic icon sets for you. These icon sets will be best suitable for those designs where you want to keep a subtle look while creating an eye catching and appealing design. With these minimalistic icon sets, you can create artworks that look simple yet appealing and gratifying enough that they grab the attention at the first glance.

So, let us add some life to your design and refresh them with these cool and inspiring minimalistic icon sets. We wish that this assortment will not only inspire you but it will also stand out from the rest of the collection that you will see in the next few days. Here is the full collection after the jump. let’s have a look and enjoy! Feel free to share your opinions with us via comment section below. Your comments are always more than welcome. Let us have a look. Enjoy!

Premium Pixels Icon Set

Minimal Outline Icons

Simple icons

Minimalist Icons

200 Handcrafted Micro Icon)

Micro Icon Set

Free program icons

Glyph UI Icon Set

80 Mini Icons

Thin Stroke Icons

Pixicus Icon Set

40 UI Icons

Clear Icon Set

Simple Icon Set

Free Icons

iPhone Tab Bar Icons

Mnml design


516 Web Icons


Simplify Icons

Icon Set Sketchapp

Application Icon Set

16x Version

Jericon Mini

350 Free Vector Web Icons

80 White Icons


Glyph Icons


Metricons Windows 8 Icon Set

Sharp pixel-icons

Pictype Free Vector Icons

Weather Icons

Free iphone toolbar icons


Glyph Icons

Mini Glyphs Icon Set

Awesome Icons

Mini Vector App Icons

November 29 2013


Freebie: Smallicons Icon Set (54 Icons, SVG, PNG, PSD)


Today we are pleased to feature Smallicons, a set of 54 flat icons. If you are looking for a way to make your design fresh and expressive, then this freebie is the answer. The set was created and designed by Nick Frost and Greg Lapin of Smallicons.

The freebie includes 36 icons drawn from a full commercial set available on Smallicons, plus 18 icons designed exclusively for Smashing Magazine.


Description And Features

The icons were made using Photoshop vector shapes and are available in different formats, giving you maximum convenience and saving you time for more creative tasks. The PNG files come in two dimensions (32 × 32 and 64 × 64 pixels). The set also includes swatch files, so that you can select colors in Photoshop using the color swatches palette. Smallicons is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence, freely available for personal and commercial projects.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • PSD file with 32- and 64-pixel versions;
  • Ready-to-use PNG files in 32- and 64-pixel versions (@2x sizes are also included with both versions, for making Retina-ready apps and interfaces);
  • SVG vector source files;
  • Photoshop swatches files.

Smallicons is a fully scalable set.

Nothing’s easier than customizing Smallicons with the embedded color swatches!

This preview shows all of the icons in the set. (Large view)

Download the Icon Set for Free

Behind the Design

As usual, a word from the designers themselves:

When you start to design in a flat style, it can be hard to stop — harder than you think! That is exactly what happened to us when we designed the icons for Smallicons. It turned into a big project, which we hope will help designers and other professionals whose work is based on graphics one way or another.

Thank you, dear Nick and Greg, for creating this beautiful set! We appreciate your work and efforts!

(al, ea, il)

© The Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2013.

November 25 2013


Freebie of the Week: Jungle-Artwork, Noupe Exclusive by


Today we have something really special for our dear readers. Instead of giving away icons or other more or less everyday freebies, we have decided to team up with the nice people from, to create unique artwork fitting the overall thematic of our lovely little jungle magazine Noupe. We went ahead and came up with 30 vector elements representing jungle life. You cannot download these pieces anywhere else. Read on…

November 11 2013


40+ Fresh And Free Icons In PSD Format

In the web designing, designers concentrate on every area of their designs whether it is color selection, icons, creativity, color blending and so on. Right selection of icons can make their designs stand out and look stunning as well. In the web designing field, icons play a very important role because beautiful and creative icon sets can easily make web designs more attractive and stunning. This is the reason that every web designer keeps in hand some high quality and useful icon sets that enhance their designs productivity.

In this collection we are showcasing some exceptional, fresh, high quality and free Icons in PSD files. All these stunning icons are in PSD format so that designers can easily edit these PSD files with their ease and requirements and save their precious time too. Click through and feel free to download. Use these creative and eye-catching icon sets and make your web designs more stunning and wonderful. Have a look at this collection and also share what do you think about this collection via comment section is below.

App Icon

Download Popover

Gemicon Icon Set

Glossy World Globe Icon

Simple Flat Social Media Icons

SSD Icon


Download Button

Meteo Gauges

Facebook Newsfeed Icons

24 Flat Icons


Handcrafted Micro Icons

Winter and Summer Thermometers Icon

Simple Flat Icons

Cellphone Menu Pointer

Mini Glyph Icons

Task Accomplished Icon

Mini Glyphs Icon Set

Cloud Growl

Security Verification

Thin Stroke Icons

Phone Book Icon

20 Flat Icons

Abstract Origami Speech Bubble Icon

Mouse Cursor PSD and Hand Pointer Icons

Phone iOS Icon

Responsive Icon Design

Discussion Icon

Download Software Box

Organization Chart Icon


Not the new Clear iOS 7 icon

Flat Icons

Flat File Icons

Megaphone PSD

Glyph Icon Set

Glyph Icons

Trophy PSD

Credit Card Icons


Music App Icon

November 08 2013


25 Incredible Examples of Flat Design

It almost seems that this year flat designs have taken over the world of graphic design by force, but especially in the arena of mobile apps with the first industry-shaking flat design being for the iPhone5. Reality is that flat design has been around longer than the emergence of the iPhone5, but of course it was Apple that helped to bring such cross-industry awareness to the design style.

You ask almost anyone who owns an iPhone5 or who has read about the design in the news, and they’ll describe flat designs as, well, flat. In the design world, flat indicates a design style that avoids 3D effects, animation, and other bling-bling. Most flat designs also include lots of illustration, bold use of colors, and fairly minimal layouts. Just as with any style in graphic design, however, most flat designs do not include all of these aspects. A design can be usually agreed upon as flat if it includes more of these minimal aspects and less of the “extras”.

As mentioned beforehand, you can find flat designs in almost every area of graphic design. The list below includes websites, icons, and mobile apps that most would agree fall under the “flat design” category. Most very clearly follow the guidelines, if you will, for flat, but please feel free to share in the comments below if you have found a better example.


The following flat website designs use several flat aspects in a large part of the design scheme. A few do include a bit of animation, but were so minimal that they still fall under the flat design category.

Operativnik Website Design by Felix Baky

Bedford by Samuel James Oxley

Sacha Greif




Bob Galmarini

Mike McQuade





Flat icons are becoming much more abundant and easy to find as popularity in this design style has grown. Let us know if you have some of your own to share!

Flatilicious – 48 Free Flat Icons

99 Designs Icons by Northwood

Flat Icons Pack by Martz90

Circle Icons Pack by Martz90


In the app world, flat has almost seemed to become synonymous with everything “hip”. Google and Apple both seem to have taken a liking to the style, as well as the following apps and designers below.

TypeGrid by Ye Joo Park

Postcard iPhone App by Yasser Achachi

TV iPad App by Michal Parulski

Flight Search App iOS by Yasser Achachi

Flat Mobile App Music Player by Yasser Achachi

Samsung Smart Home App Concept by Ali Rahmoun


Workout Trainer

Color Zen

Which of the flat designs above do you think represent this style the best? Were there any designs above that you think should not have been included in the list?

November 03 2013


Freebie: Nice Things Icon Set (128 Icons, PNG + AI Source)


Inspiration strikes at funny times. Chris Behr was just watching TV and playing around with the Shape tools in Illustrator. His mind wasn’t focused on either task. He casually divided a square into a grid, then randomly colored it. Something about the colors inspired him to combine the grid with a couple of icons that he had been doodling the night before. Thus, Nice Things was born, a set of 128 original, beautiful icons that we are honoured to present to you.

A preview of the lovely Nice Things icon set

Chris wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to hit the ground running. So, you get three PNG sizes: 100×100, 400×400 and 800×800 pixels — all available with and without backgrounds. In addition, the set includes the original source AI file, complete with named layers, to help you find what you need.

Nice Things includes 128 carefully drawn illustrations of all kinds of pretty things around us — a bike, birthday cake, watch, traffic light, game console, doughnut, speaker, rollerskate, starship and much more. You may freely use it for both private and commercial projects, without any restrictions, including for software, online services, templates and themes.

The vector-based files are easy to edit and break out individually. (Sneak peek)

Hit the ground running with three different PNG sizes! (Sneak peek)

A preview of all of the icons in this set (View larger preview)

Download The Icon Set For Free

Insight From The Designer

Here is some insight from Chris Behr himself:

It would be easy to say that I started working on Nice Things in the belief that I’d actually finish it. Like most designers, my computer is littered with the remains of half-finished projects. I decided to make this a project that I actually finished, and I set in place some very simple rules:

  1. Every week, I had to finish at least one new icon.
  2. I could draw only what I considered to be a nice thing. No guns, bombs or the like.
  3. I had to restrict the color palette. In this case, I chose the “Russian Poster Art” swatches in Illustrator.

At first, it was easy to think of what to draw. But as the weeks wore on, it became more and more difficult. Thankfully, my wonderful colleagues at Skyscanner were only too happy to help; and with the creation of a quick Google Doc, I had enough ideas to last me through Christmas.

I don’t have any noble goals with Nice Things beyond it being of help. Since starting college eight years ago, I’ve enjoyed the fruits of the design community without really giving anything back. Fonts, icons, templates — each and every one of them has helped me where I’ve needed it, and I hope that I can offer that same help to a designer or developer in need.

While I don’t have any noble goals, I do have a selfish one. I’d love to see my icons used as widely as possible. And if you happen to see me in a list of conference attendees, well, I can guarantee a “Hoorah!” from the audience if you use one.

Thank you, dear Chris, for the fantastic icon set. We sincerely appreciate your time and effort!

(ea, il, al)

© The Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2013.

November 01 2013


Free Resources for Creating a Flat Design

Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.

The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of “white space”. The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, without strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.

Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention “free for commercial use” are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.

UI Kits

A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.

DesignModo Flat UI

This free (commercial and personal) flat UI kit from DesignModo comes with all of the basics you’ll need to create a flat user interface – buttons, menu, input, tags, switches, icons, color swatches, glyphs, and much more.

Modern Touch UI Kit

PixelKit offers this flat UI kit. It comes with a very unique, slick look and feel and the free version is for both personal and commercial use.

Flat Design UI Components

A beautiful UI kit, this one from GraphicBurger comes in a well-organized PSD file. The color scheme is nice for when you need a darker look for a website or application.

Free Flat UI Kit

This amazing free kit includes flat icons, buttons, and more in a blue/white color scheme. Just be sure to contact the developer, Enes Denis, about commercial use.

Featherweight UI

Designed by Sarah Hunt of, this kit is completely free for both personal and commercial use. It is both vector-based and retina ready, and the font works both online and offline.

Flat UI Kit created this aweome free UI kit for Webdesigner Depot. Enter your email address to download it for both commercial or personal use.


Flat icons are, as mentioned already, are those that have no 3D pop. They are simply flat. Most come in the normal, flat style of primary-like colors. However, you can find a few that are line style and others that are even a bit uniquely colored, for a flat design. Icons are another great way to save time in both web and print design.

Metro UI Icon Set

This fantastic set comes with 725 flat icons that also come with a reflective quality if you decide to go less flat in style. The designer, dAKirby309, has generously make them free for use as long as you credit him in your project.

180 FREE Flat Icons

On a mission to providing Open Source resources for the WordPress world, WordPress Design Awards created this icon set for anyone to use in commercial or personal projects.

Free Flat Icons

This collection does not contain very many icons, but they are very unique. These are free for both personal and commercial use and are perfect for adding a unique touch to any flat design.

Free Flat Icons by Studio 4

In this free collection, you will find 47 icons designed with flat colors and style. The details are phenomenal!

100 Free Vector Icons

This set of line icons work great for a flat design. The precision in the icons are superb, and the best part is that they are completely free.

90 Royalty-free Flat Icons

With round and square icons, social media icons, common objects icons, and more, this royalty-free icon pack is amazing!


For those with even less time, templates are a great way to quickly throw up a website in a matter of minutes. Unlike a UI kit in which you have to arrange every element onto a page, a template already comes with elements laid out. All you have to do is add content.

Free Flat HTML5 Website Template

This free template comes with a call-to-action section, header and footer, portfolio area, and menu. With it all located in a single HTML5 file, you can easily edit it for your own use.

Free Flat Design PSD Template

A very minimal, flat design, this template for a website is called Illustrate. A WordPress theme is also available in this design.

Free Flat Website Template

The colors in this flat template are very calming, making it a great website template to use for a company that wishes to instill trust in clients.

iPhone Flat Design UI Templates

This collection of iPhone templates come with different pages in a free sample project download. A sidebar, settings screen, activity feed, user profile, and login screens are all included. Each of the screens come with 2-4 design styles.

WordPress Themes

For those creating a WordPress website, there are a few new themes out there that fall under the flat category. All of the following themes, except the first one, are Open Source themes just like WordPress, so no need to worry about hidden prices or commercial-use.

Photo Free Responsive Gallery WordPress Theme

This absolutetly free theme is very minimal and flat in its design. It would be perfect for anyone needing a basic portfolio website.


Each of the content boxes in this Open Source theme can include an image to enhance the home page. You can even color code the categories, upload your logo, etc without coding.


This is a great flat theme for easily showcasing images with blocks of text. The theme now comes with the option to turn off either the featured section, just the top section, or just the secondary section off.


This incredible Open Source WordPress theme is retina ready, responsive, and very clean. The other big bonus to this theme is that it is also available with 5 different translation options.

Iconic One

This WordPress theme is not only flat, clean, and simple but also it is responsive, has a page speed score of 95+, and implements SEO. It also uses Live customizer so that custom changes are easy to make.

Twenty Thirteen

This theme looks good on any device and comes in a blog format. The flat style gives it simplicity and the color scheme is a nice burnt look.


If you are just beginning or even if you have some areas in flat design you’d like to improve upon, the following tutorials are excellent. All give detailed instructions on how to create flat designs or flat elements in a design.

How to Create a Website in Flat Design Style

This 17 minute tutorial from Designmodo uses their free UI pack listed in the UI kits above. Learn how to create a flat website in Adobe Photoshop using an interface kit.

Flat Long Shadows

This step-by-step tutorial is from Awwwards and includes resources and examples as well. Easy to follow along, this is probably one of the best tutorials on flat shadow design on the web.

Make My Design Flat

This is not necessarily a tutorial but best fits under the “Tutorial” category simply because after using it several times, you will probably will learn how to change code around for flat designs. Using this tool, you can convert any button into a flat design. Simply upload your code to receive the “flat” version that you can then copy and paste or use as a guideline for your own flat code.

Flat Design Tutorial (part 2)

This video tutorial thoroughly walks you through how to create a flat design. The designer gets a little detailed on downloading the resources he uses, but once he gets to the designing part, he does a great job of making it easy to learn flat designing.

Mastering Flat Design

You’ll have to sign up on TutsPlus to see this full series, but it is very much worth it. TutsPlus provides a comprehensive video course on flat design comprised of over 2 hours worth of videos.

Remember to share in the comments below if you have a flat design resource you’d like to share with the rest of us!

October 30 2013


BlendMeIn: Free Photoshop Extension Gives you Access to Dozens of the Most Popular Icon Sets


At the beginning of October we introduced you to Flaticons by Freepik. The hyperactive guys from Spain developed a Photoshop extension to let you access their more than 13,000 icons large repository from within Adobe’s pixel giant directly. Being able to have thousands of icons at your fingertips and not having to leave your design environment is a potential time-saver, to say the least. BlendMeIn enters the market with a similar, yet slightly different concept…

October 28 2013


[Giveaway] 3 Business Plans from Web Icon Set – 3 Years of Subscription

Planning on redesigning your website or application? In need of a fresh icon sets for the new look? Well, well, well, look no further! Get a chance to win one of the 3 business plans from Web Icon Set, each worth $199 or 3 years worth of subscription!

Web Icon Set provides professional and quality royalty-free stock icons for designers. By being a member, you can have access to over 1,000+ premium icons including Pictograms, Stock Icons and Mini Icons with for a very affordable subscription fee. All of the icons are perfect for websites, web and mobile applications.

So, what are you waiting for?

What You’ll Get:

Aside from the free icons, you’ll get the items below including all future updates for 3 years.


Stock Icons

Mini Icons

How to Join:

Simply fill up the form below. Remember, you can gain several entries!

Can’t Wait? How about a 20% Discount?

Web Icon Set is gracious enough to provide our readers with 20% discount! Simply visit their site and use this coupon code: 1STWEB


15 Beautiful PSD Badges for Free

Looking for a PSD template for web badges? We got you covered! We realize that hiring a graphic artist to design even just a small badge, icon, or logo can be expensive, so we made the following badges for you!

Feel free to download, edit, and use these badges for your projects, either personal or for commercial purposes.

We designed these badges with different types of websites in mind. Whether you have an online store, membership site, digital goods, and just about anything,  you’ll easily find which one will fit.

Free PSD Badges, Just For You!


Download the PSD here. (46MB)

Don’t forget, sharing is caring!

October 23 2013


October 21 2013


The 500 Dollar Blogger Bundle Giveaway: Noupe is Looking for 3 Winners


Dear readers of our lovely Noupe magazine. Today we teamed up with Envato to bring you the opportunity to win The Blogger Bundle. The Blogger Bundle consists of over 500 dollars worth of files. For a limited time, you can buy this bundle over at Codecanyon for just 20 dollars. But we encourage you to first try your luck and participate in our giveaway game. Three readers will be randomly drawn from all correct entries. Read on…

October 16 2013


Colors of Fall 2013: 21 Fresh and Free Design Resources


Hello designers, developers, web enthusiasts of the globe. We are back with another edition of our monthly collection of the freshest design resources the month of September had to offer. If you know our series already, you know you can expect the best HTML, CSS and PSD templates, as well as UI-kits for your next great web or native app. All of the resources showcased here are fresh, free and easy to download, suitable for experienced and amateur web designers, so be sure to download the ones you love and share them with everyone you know!

October 10 2013


IcoMoon, Fontello and Best of Icon Fonts


Icons are the best invention since canned beer, at least designers might agree. They are definitely on the rise in popularity. Mobile devices with their comparably small screens boost the use of icons as natural choices for navigation menus in modern web design. New icon sets get created by the hour. Especially mobile design is the trigger for a new breed of icons. These are no longer implemented in the form of individual PNGs or so-called sprites. Icon’s successor is the icon font. Iconfonts have many advantages with the biggest being their free scalability to any size, while at the same time reducing server requests to an absolute minimum. The downside of icon fonts is, that in most cases you will not need the whole font set or – even worse – need icons from different font sets. Font generators have come to deal with both of these problems. Today we’ll take a look at three of the best generators the web has to offer…

October 02 2013


Icon Talk: Choosing the Perfect Icons for Your Website

This thought might be the prevailing philosophy that hides beneath the shroud of web design: that small details sometimes happen to be the most important ones. That the things we think do not matter in our design are, in fact, necessary for the smooth flow and exchange of information.

Sometimes small things tend to have the biggest importance.

One of these small things that are commonly taken for granted are icons. Icons can be considered as a worldwide-understood element of web design. They are apprehended by most people, making the websites benefit from the addition of such. It is in this universality that icons are considered to be one of the most important design elements that have ever walked (figuratively) on the face of the earth.


By Kev Simpson

Icons are good tools of stamping an impression to an audience. They play a vital role in making the viewers understand what the message or the context of the website or application is.

What’s amazing about icons is that, even in their small space they occupy in the pixels of the screen, their role is immense. A lot of websites have invested a lot of effort, creativity and even money just to produce good icons that would suit the needs of their website. The ones created, in turn, reciprocate this by producing more viewers and easy to understand content. However, due to the variety of available icons, it becomes slippery to a point that designers seem to be confused. Iconography is a rather broad field because it encompasses a lot of concepts in fulfilling a lot of roles. As you all know, icons can be used for a lot of purposes, methods, occasions and motifs. Thus, the need to choose the correct and most appropriate icons is heightened.


By Joshua Sortino

As web designers, this lesson will make us more equipped with the ideas on how to choose the right icons.  Most website failures result in poor iconography. This all branch out and eventually lead to the effect that readers find themselves to be out of place, just seeing the website. And how could we evade that situation? Here are a few tips.

Icons should be appealing and readable

Icons should be visually appealing. They should be beautifully designed; thereby, be remembered by ordinary people. When designing or looking for icons for your website, remember that the people’s memory retains for two things: either they are beautiful enough to be remembered, or horrible enough not to be forgotten. If you prefer the former, then you should always look for beautiful icons.


Photo from Mike Clarke

They should be universal

Choose icons that are easily understood by people. These icons should be famous enough that it would not produce confusion. Because you are dealing with imagery and its interpretations, the image that you should produce should always be universal. You need to make every person, at the very least, know what you are talking about. Make your icons be transcendent!

Example, never use a wrench, or a gear icon if you will not going to refer it as a settings link or menu. Of course, the average people, who are so used to seeing gears or wrenches for settings would think of it as a link or menu to the preferences of your website. They will get lost. Think of it as if you are making road signs. If you were the traffic sign manufacturer or installer and you happen to have made a mistake by switching signs, people might get lost, or worse, their cars might stumble with each other and your face will be all over the news.


By Barry Mccalvey

They should be consistent

Ever experience having a nice conversation with a friend and then suddenly, you say something that is out of context, and your friend will pose a besmirched face, with an eyebrow raised and say, “Huh?”

Well, that will happen if you don’t start adding consistency to your icons. It will result into a breakage in the flow of information, and you won’t want that to happen.

For this, you should remember to use the same color or color scheme. Adding a very consistent color theme will make the identity of your icons stable. People will see your website and remember it. Also, you should remember to use, as much as possible, the same shapes. Shapes are also very good memory tools. Third, is that you should style your icons without borders. Borders, shadows, and gradients affect the technical and aesthetic quality of the icons.



It should complement with the motif

The illustrations have to look legit. They need to be visually compatible with the motif of your website. Before choosing the icons, ask yourself, how would my site look like? Will it be comical, formal, creative, flamboyant or plain? The answer to your question, should match the icons that you will use. Like fonts and colors, icons are thematic. They are occasional and prefer to be represented and used in specific occasions.



They should be functional

Icons should be functional. Period. Their quality should not defeat its true purpose. Sometimes, we tend to extravaganize the design by adding unneeded icons. But you should remember to put what you need. Don’t be greedy. Less is more. Lesser is most. The more that you add, the more it becomes visually heavy. So be wise.




The thing that you need to know in choosing icons for your web design is that you need to be understood and purposive. You have to be so universal that even a simpleton will understand you. You have to apply the purpose and try to achieve it in your design. A great web designer does not stop just because he is tired of looking for good icons. A great web designer will just stop, when he sees it in the website.

Truly, small things tend to have greater roles and those bits of facts can mean a great deal of inspiration. And I bet the icons agree.

Useful links

Any Tips to Share?

06:30 Use 11,000+ Free Icons from within Adobe Photoshop


Freepik, our friends from sunny Spain just did it again. They pushed out a new project by the name of is a platform hosting more than 11,000 icons, all in the looks of the ever so popular flat design trend. This week they added a brand-new Photoshop plugin to the free service. This makes it possible to access each and every icon directly from within Photoshop, which makes for a must-have for any designer out there…

September 17 2013


106 Free Flat UI Kits to Boost Your Designs in No Time

Over the past several months, we have noticed that in web design the use of flashy illustrations, extraneous textures and drop down shadows were minimized if not totally removed. This is due to the growing influence of flat design – a user-centric web design style.

Microsoft, Google and now even Apple is digging this design trend. If you have observed that you were left behind and you still have those beveled, bulged and eye popping gradients, you can catch up by learning the Basic Principles of Flat Design .

And here is more to help you get started. I compiled 100+ FREE downloadable Flat UI kits to help you kickin’ in no time.

UI kits are great packages for starters for they can save you time, which is important when you are catching up the trend. These kits usually come in PSD file formats and include brushes, patterns and a lot of user interface elements.

1.  Flat AP UI Kit

From: Andrew Preble

2. Featherweight UI – A free, vector based and retina ready UI kit

From: Sara Hunt

3. Flat UI Free – PSD&HTML User Interface Kit

From: Designmodo

4. FREE flat UI kit.


5. UI Kit

From: Abhimanyu Rana

6. Polaris UI Free – User Interface Pack

From: Designmodo

7. Square UI Free – User Interface Kit

From: Designmodo

8. Freebie PSD: Flat / UI Kit

From: Sebastiaan Scheer

9. #flatlyfe UI Kit [FREEBIE]

From: Dylan Opet

10. Flat UI

From: Andy Law

11. Blog/Magazine Flat UI Kit

From: Raul Taciu

12. PSD Flat UI Kit Template Vol2


13. Simple UI Kit with Flat Colors


14. Free flat UI kit (.psd freebie)

From: Emanuel Serbanoiu

15. Flat Design UI Kit Vol. 1

From: Bloom Web Design


From: Adam Robertson

17. The Free Modern Touch Kit


18. Free Color UI Kit

From: Cüneyt ŞEN

19. Flat UI Kit


20. SmoothBerry – Free UI Kit

From: Mansoor MJ

21. Free Minimal UI Kit

From: Ramil Derogongun

22. Mega Flat UI Kit

From: Kim

23. UI Kit – Free PSD

From: Rebecca Machamer

24. Vertical Infinity – A Mega Flat Style UI Kit PSD


25. Flat UI Kit (Free PSD)

From: Devin Schulz

26. Metro UI kit


27. Flat UI Kit

From: Zachary VanDeHey

28. Beach GUI

From: Mike Clarke

29. UI Kit – Free download

From: Hüseyin Yilmaz

30. Dark UI Kit – Free download

From: Hüseyin Yilmaz

31. Flat UI Freebie Pack

From: Shaun Stehly

32. – Application Artboards (Free PSD)

From: Amit Jakhu

33. Flat Design UI Components

From: Raul Taciu

34. Free Flat UI Kit

From: Enes Danış

35. Flat dashboard. Free UI kit PSD

From: Prowebdesignro

36. Flat Web & UI Kit Final Pack

From: Dart 117

37. UI Kit

From: Jamie Syke

38. UI/UX Flat design – Free PSD

From: Julie Champourlier

39. Freebie PSD: Flat UI Kit

From: Riki Tanone

40. Freebie PSD: Flat UI Kit 2 (Blog)

From: Riki Tanone

41. Flat UI Design Kit PSD

From: Asim Craft

42. UI Kit (Free PSD)

From: Sanadas Young

43. Flat UI Kit – Freebie PSD

From: Ryan Bales

44. Avengers Flat UI Kit

From: Tristan Parker

45. flat UI kit

From: Daniel

46. Responsive UI Kit (PSD)

From: Emrah Demirag


From: PremiumPsds

48. Freebie: UI Kit PSD

From: Andreea Nicolaescu

49. Flatastic UI

From: Designerzbase

50. Flat UI Kit

From: Eric Bieller

51. Flatilicious User Interface Free

From: Patrick M.

52. Free PSD: Flat UI Kit


53. Flat UI Elements


54. Free Flat UI Kit

From: Wahib El Younssi

55. Free Deal: Flat User Interface Set


56. Flatter- A Free UI Kit

From: Andrew Coyle

57. Freebie PSD: Oniam UI Kit

From: Federico Espinosa

58. Flat UI Kit (free download!)

From: and

59. (FREE PSD) Flat UI

From: Zeki Ghulam (Flat & Filthy)

60. Orange/Cyan UI

From: Marc Konno

61. Tablet-Friendly Almost Flat UI Kit


62. Flat + Transparent UI


63. Flat UI kit


64. Ecommerce Flat UI Kit Vol.1 (PSD)


65. Minimize UI Kit

From: Alessio Atzeni

66. Free Flat Design UI/UX Kit

From: Julie Champourlier

67. Human After All -UI Kit Free

From: Tim Meissner

68. UI/UX Flat Design Kit – Neon Theme – FREE PSD

From: Julie Champourlier

69. Flat UI Kit – Free Download

From: Mark Peck

70. Gideo UI Kit

From: Paul

71. Flat UI Kit Free

From: Giuseppe Severo

72. Free RockMedia Media UI Kit

From: Lester Gonzales

73. Free modern UI PSD

From: Fatih Ocak

74. Flat UI Kit


75. REDMILK FREE UI Elements (PSD)

From: Emile Rohlandt

76. Metrostyle Web UI Kit (PSD)

From: Josep Roselló

77. touch50px UI Kit (PSD)

From: Angelo

78. UI/UX Flat Design – Sorbet Theme – Free PSD

From: Julie Champourlier

79. Flat Design Buttons for Websites

From: Asim Craft

80. UI Kit

From: Sanadas Young

81. Grooveshark PSD (Flat redesign)

From: Zeki Ghulam (Flat & Filthy)

82. Metro Vibes UI Kit (PSD)


83. Free Flat Flags

From: Muharrem Şenyıl

84. “Pizza” UI Kit – PSD

From: Boris Valusek

85. Eerste – Flat User Interface Kit That Is Free To Download


86. Minimal Blue UI Kit


87. Weekly Freebie – Reservation Box


88. Metro UI Kit


89. Metro UI KitRegister UI — Free PSD included

From: Ionut Zamfir

90. Friends list UI (Free PSD)

From: Nicolas Mata

91. Sign Up Form

From: Dylan Opet

92. Flat Web Ui

From: Josep Roselló

93. Simple UI – Free PSD included

From: Ionut Zamfir

94. Simplistic UI Kit

From: Tanveer Junayed

95. Flattastic Free

From: Vlade Dimovski

96. Ui Kit [Free PSD]

From: Pele Chaengsavang

97. Freebie PSD: UI Kit

From: Patryk Adaś

98. Transparent freebie

From: Patryk Adaś

99. Simple UI Kit – Free

From: Sadat

100. Freebie PSD: Flat & Casted Long Shadow UI Kit

From: Jacopo Spina

101. RED UI


102. Leo


103. Almost Flat Dark UI Pack


104. City Break UI Kit

Free Flat UI kit 104

105. Arctic Sunset GUI Kit Free PSD (Exclusive)


106. Sweet Candy UI Kit


Having a library of UI elements can help you make your design process faster.
Download these Free UI kit now and you will never get left behind!
Hands down to our great designers who share their works for free!

September 13 2013


Freebie: E-Commerce Icon Set (33 Icons, PNG, PS, AI)


Today we are happy to feature a set of 33 flat e-commerce icons that were exclusively designed and created for Smashing Magazine by the team at Responsive. The icons are ideally suited to e-commerce projects and include many popular payment providers, including Bitcoin.

The icons come in different-sized PNGs (32 × 32, 64 × 64, 128 × 128 and 256 × 256 pixels), and the set includes Photoshop and Illustrator files containing all of the icons.

Responsive’s e-commerce icon set (33 Icons, PNG, PS, AI).

Easily change the color to suit your project.

The icons can also be adapted for mobile applications.

Bank notes icon from up close.

Download The Icon Set For Free!

Preview of all icons.
A preview of all the icons in the set.

Behind The Design

As always, here is some insight from the designers:

“At Responsive, we create a lot of e-commerce websites, occasionally using freebie icons found on Smashing Magazine. We thought it was time to give back! This pack has been created for modern stores and other e-commerce websites, and all of the icons are completely free to use.

The set is designed to be flat and minimalist. In designing the icons, our goal was to create a multipurpose set in which the icons could function not only as icons, but as actual buttons; for example, for payment options and navigation. Because the layered source files are included, the icons can be easily modified or transformed into something entirely new.”

A big Thank You to the team at Responsive for the fantastic icon set — we all sincerely appreciate your hard work!

(al) (ea)

© The Smashing Editorial for Smashing Magazine, 2013.

Tags: Freebies Icons
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