Infographics are an essential tool that should be included in the arsenal of every marketer, designer, research firm, and brand. Yet, when creating stunning infographics it’s important to understand that there must be a proper balance between the information and the visuals used to represent it. One great way to achieve this balance is through the use of infographic icons. Icons are a great way to visually represent text because they are minimalistic yet still provide enough visual balance to offset the text. Today we’ll discuss this topic in more detail and help you locate the best sites for finding free and premium infographic icons.
Table of contents
- How to Use Infographic Icons for Your Infographic Design Needs
- Which Color Should You Pick For An Infographic Icon?
- Consider The Type Of Data Being Illustrated
- Where Do I Find Free Infographic Icons?
How to Use Infographic Icons for Your Infographic Design Needs
Regardless of how experienced you are with design, there are new things to learn all the time. And you’ll notice that a few of these things will begin to drive you crazy after some time. One of the worst things is bad icon usage.
While this may sound like something so insignificant that it doesn’t matter for infographic design, the truth is, it does! There’s nothing worse than looking at good information that’s surrounded by poor design choices, as it can jeopardize your infographic’s integrity. When this occurs, readers focus on the misplaced icons rather than the context of the information.
Yet still, even if you are a designer by trade, the right icons can be hard to choose. But not to worry, we’ve compiled a guide that will teach you exactly how to use infographic icons like a pro! Let’s start with some general tips that you should follow:
#1 If you’re unsure, use labels
This is one tip that’s popular in the web design community, and designers repeat it constantly. And that is the best way to make an icon useful is to use text or a label with it. So, the same thinking can be used with making infographics too.
But the key here is to make sure that the icons you choose provide context and then the labels are used to drive the point home.
#2 Use backgrounds for your infographic icons
An easy way to make your icons stick out and look fantastic is to use a background shape. While you can use any shape, you really can’t go wrong with a simple square or circle background. Sure this seems like a small task, but it’s vital for helping with both design and clarity.
#3 Pair infographic icons and text
Some people compare pairing icons to pairing wines because it takes time to learn precisely how to do it. For non-designers, it can be challenging to choose the right icons for your infographic. And the difficulties can be further exacerbated by the fact that there are no set “rules” for the process. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible for those who aren’t designers to choose suitable infographic icons. Remember that consistency is key, so always use the same general style for each icon you pick.
#4 Create organization and order with icons
In design, icons help establish order and move readers through infographics. Infographic icons can be used to highlight anchor header text or essential details and break sections apart. Just think about a time when you looked at a new infographic; most likely, your eyes were drawn to the strongest icons, especially those situated in a sea of text. Hence, it’s a great idea to use infographic icons to create a simple path through your infographic.
#5 Use color marginally
The key with icon color is to make sure it catches the reader’s eye but does not distract them. Below we will discuss how to choose colors for infographics in more depth. So, we won’t go into too much detail here, but these are some tips to remember with icons:
- Be sure colors fit your brand and theme.
- Always use a color wheel to select complementary colors.
#6 Size infographic icons appropriately
Something else to keep in mind when choosing the correct icons for your infographic is to ensure they are the appropriate size. And much like colors, icon size needs to be noticeable without distracting the reader.
#7 Visualize your text
Remember that good infographics don’t just use text. It should be a perfect mix of visuals and text. You can use visual tools such as photos, icons, charts, and shapes. As we mentioned above, use corresponding icons to highlight important text, as this will help your infographic become more digestible and visually appealing.
#8 Use infographic icons to create lists
Another excellent infographic design tip is to use icons rather than bullet points or numbers. So, rather than writing out the benefits of drinking enough water or steps to growing an online business in a text-based list, use icons instead. Since most infographics are informational, infographic icons can really help you take the point home.
#9 Decorate the header
Infographic icons can also be used to help illustrate an infographic’s main idea in the title header. This is actually the perfect way to tell people what your infographic is about without making them read, and this comes in handy when it’s shared on social media, where people tend to scroll pretty fast.
Which Color Should You Pick For An Infographic Icon?
In the article, Color Psychology: How To Use Colors In Marketing And Branding, we discussed how colors are linked to emotions and how different colors make people feel. So, when choosing the perfect hues for infographic icons, it’s essential to keep that information in mind. Here are some key takeaways from that article for this step:
- Cool colors such as green, blue, and purple promote feelings of relaxation and calmness but can also depict sadness. These shades are perfect for infographics looking to display beauty, security, or health.
- Warm colors are hues of red, yellow, and orange. They usually relate to feelings of happiness, optimism, and energy. These are great choices when you want to draw attention or are discussing food.
- Sad colors are those that are dark and muted. While gray is the first color that usually comes to mind, shades of brown, green, or blue can also evoke sadness.
- Happy colors are bright and warm such as shades of red, pink, orange, and yellow. However, pastel colors such as baby pink and lilac work well too.
- Energizing colors can be neon, strong, and bright. So, when looking to make a reader feel more energetic, be sure to include colors such as electric yellow, neon green, or bright red. Since such colors can irritate the eyes with too much exposure, use these shades sparingly.
- Calming colors work well in infographic design. Shades of blues and greens are usually the best options. However, lighter hues such as baby blue, mint, or lilac are great options as well.
Consider The Type Of Data Being Illustrated
When it comes to choosing the best types of design icons, always consider the kind of data that’s being illustrated. Infographics don’t simply have to use bar graphs and pie charts. For example, if you’ve gathered large amounts of numerical data, present it in a simple, eye-catching manner that doesn’t make the reader do the heavy lifting in terms of interpreting what it means. In this case, it works well to use flat icons to highlight key points you want the reader to take away.
And while you may be skilled at translating data, every reader may not be as well-versed. So, here are some things to consider:
- What are the most important points you want to highlight?
The biggest mistake many people make is simply regurgitating the data rather than making it appealing. So, take a few minutes and decide what your most surprising discovery was and figure out what design icons you can use to connect with them. You want the icon to spur the audience into changing behaviors or taking action.
- In what ways can you make data visualizations more cohesive to the big picture?
Remember, consistency is key! Rather than just copying and pasting charts directly from Excel, ensure they are consistent with the rest of your infographic design.
Where Do I Find Free Infographic Icons?
Now that we’ve discussed a bit about properly using infographic icons, it’s time to discuss what brought you all here – finding free, high-quality icons for your infographics! Sure, conducting a Google search will bring up many websites that claim they offer free icons, but the truth is that most of them are actually paid sources.
So, we’ve scoured the internet for you and created a list of the 10 best sites for free web icons. Though all of these sites offer free icons, be mindful that some of them may require a backlink or attribution in exchange. But don’t let this deter you because it’s usually as simple as adding a backlink into your footer or even on your About Us page.
With that being said, here is our list of the best icon sites for finding free and premium infographic icons:
Iconfinder makes finding design icons simple. This site provides access to over half a million free and premium icons. Not only is this site one of the most prominent icon marketplaces in the world, but they are made up of submissions from top designers. Downloads are easy and they come in a variety of file formats and sizes.
Icons8 is a one-stop-shop for free infographic icons, UX illustrations, music for videos, and photos. Each icon is independently created by a designer and features consistent quality. This site makes it easy to choose icon packs to help stay on theme for all of your infographic designs.
Dryicons offers beautiful icons available in many sizes and file formats. If you’re looking for commercial use, they require the user to pay for an extended or regular license. However, this is a great site to find infographic PNG icons, infographic symbols, and much more.
Flaticon has one of the largest databases for free vector icons and is owned by the same people who run Freepik. Flat Icon is unique, though, as they allow you to convert icons into downloadable fonts. While this site does offer free infographic icons, they do require attribution. But, picking and saving design icons to your library with Flat Icon is simple.
#5 The Noun Project
What’s not to love about The Noun Project? This site offers high-quality icons that are easy to download and they have fantastic search functionality. All of their design icons are free, but you are required to give credit to the designer. If you’d rather get access to unlimited royalty-free icons, then simply sign up for their monthly membership. They offer lots of flat icons, infographic symbols, and more.
Are you looking for infographic vector icons? Then look no further than Vecteezy! With nearly 60-pages of vector-based icons, this is one site you don’t want to miss when looking for assets for your next project.
If you’re looking for free infographic icons and more, then check out Freepik. You’ll find many types of gorgeous icons such as person icons, infographic icons for Powerpoint, infographic icon PNGs, and much more. This site is free to use, but don’t forget to add attribution for each icon you use.
Iconscout is a great resource when you’re looking for icon packs. They offer all icons in vector format, and the best part is they are 100% free to use in digital format. Regardless of if you’re looking for Powerpoint icons, marketing icons, or performance icons, they have you covered!
If you’re looking for infographic icon vectors, then Vectorstock is a great place to visit. They have nearly 600,000 images and multiple plans from which you can choose. This is one of the best databases for infographic vector icons.
Iconshock offers thousands of free personal use icons. And with a tagline like “freebies that don’t suck,” you can’t go wrong. So, if you’re working on a commercial project and want to use icons, there is a one-time fee you’ll have to pay. They have lots of general flat icons that come in various shapes, such as people and lots of different objects.
In conclusion, design icons are a valuable asset that every designer should use when creating infographics. The key takeaway is learning the proper way to use them as far as color schemes and other design elements are concerned. And when you’re ready to try using them, don’t forget to check out some of the sites on our list of the best sites for finding free and premium infographic icons!