In our era of visual user interfaces, icons have become an essential component of software, help files, web sites, on-line publications and more. Hiring an icon artist is not an easy task. It's not a problem if you can hire a skilled full time artist. But, unfortunately, only large IT companies can afford this. The rest of us have to rely on casual contractors.
When ordering custom icon designs from a freelancer, you never know just how "custom" the results will be. According to our experience, most freelance designers simply change a palette or a few effects to sell the same icon set again and again. At the same time, they charge you as if it were a unique icon set. Normally, you'd have to pay about a thousand dollars for the 20-30 icons that you'd need for your project.
Why pay more if you can have an all-purpose set of more than a hundred royalty-free icons for less than $300? We've tried to find the best set of stock icons available on the market today. Our criteria were:
* Windows Vista look
* Large number of different images and not variations of a few dozen basic icons
* Vector sources
After searching many specialized resources, we discovered two simple rules. Good-looking icons never come with their vector sources, and other sets of icons that sell for only $100 surely means most of the collection is missing.
Finally, we came across the Realistic icon collection from Lokas, the developers of a well-known icon editing program. They offer several icon sets but we've chosen 'Realistic' because of its Windows Vista look. These icons will look up-to-date for the next 5 years. The collection comes with full vector sources. This allows you to easily modify existing icons or construct new icons without being an artist. Their icon sets constantly grow. When you buy an icon set from them, you will receive all updates (new icons) for free!
See also: icon, xp icons, vista icons, stock icons, icons