When I started computing, I never understood why people got so into customization and tweaking their desktops. After all, it’s just a visual thing, right? Wrong. As it turns out, changing your desktop can actually change the feel of your computer, and how you interact with it.
Similarly, icons – which are the first things you click when you are trying to access your programs – can change how you feel about programs or how you see your computer. I’d much rather have a friendly Ironman mask over the default boring ol’ system icons.. you get the picture.
Here are five resources that will draw you into the world of icons.
1. Online Icon Maker
If you’ve ever needed a icon for your app or shortcut, there’s a great application online that creates them very quickly! It’s called Online Icon Maker, and it allows you to customize icons that you create by adjusting its properties.
First and foremost, you can choose from a series of predefined shapes. I personally like the ones on the left the most: the top left icon looks professional, like an Adobe application, and the bottom left one looks like a great way to demonstrate that shadow effect. Highlighted on the left hand are the properties you can choose to adjust. This ranges from text colors to body colors and font.
Once you’re done, you can click on the respective icon and you will receive a .zip file with the icon ranging in various sizes. There you have it — you’re done making your own quick icon! Have a look at Online Icon Maker and see if it suits you.
If you’re running on a Mac, IconPaper is a great tool for you to discover new high-quality icons. It also contains a great selection of iPhone and iPad docks and icons.
You can download your icons in a high-resolution .png file. Have a peek at IconPaper!
You’re probably either very smug that you’ve got a Mac-exclusive source of icons with IconPaper, or you’re extra-cheesed because you think that Mac users get the best icons. Either way, I’ve got a solution — iConvertIcons is an online service that converts icons to formats that are compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
It’s really simple: all you do is upload a .PNG or .ICO file, and iConvertIcons will process and make the appropriate conversions.
As you can see, the .ico, .png, and .icns variants of this file are available. Have a look at iConvertIcons and convert all the icons to your heart’s desire! Don’t let file formats hold you back any longer.
4. DeviantArt Icon Section
Any design explorer would know about DeviantArt, and it has a great comprehensive icon section for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux systems.
This is by far the largest, but also the most unfiltered selection of icons. That means you might find some funny-looking amateurish ones, but you’ll also find very unique icons for your desktop or graphics here. Have a look at the DeviantArt icon section!
5. We Love Icons
As an icon collection, We Love Icons has quality and quantity to match that of IconPaper. However, We Love Icons has the unique function that allows you to sort by Windows or Mac.
That means that you can sort through only relevant icons. Of course, if you’ve got your eyes set on one icon incompatible with your operating system, you can just go over to iConvertIcons and create one that works. Check out
We Love Icons (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore).
Icons are just one aspect of customizing your desktop. If you’re running on Windows, you might find our look at the organizational system called Fences interesting. Enjoy your new sets of icons, and don’t let your time get sucked out looking for the perfect set!