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What are some good resource for programmers to design icons?

I have been developing web and iPhone applications for our company to use internally. For the artwork I've been using Procreate Inkpad and Sketchbook on my iPad and Inkscape and Gimp on my Mac.

I'm wondering if there is a simpler package. I'm, for the most part, only designing icons that the user clicks on.

If the tools I'm using are sufficient, any reference material for creating decent artwork, for the usage I have outlined, would be greatly appreciated.

  • Can you describe where you are falling short with your current tools and why you need to seek something new?
    – Farray
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 15:47
  • I am an analyst programmer and not trained in design. I've been managing to get by though these packages are quire powerful tools where I'm suspecting there is possibly a far simpler tool to achieve decent results.
    – Brett Ryan
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


If it's icons for a company to use internally, there might be no need to re-invent the wheel: you might get best results using some of the existing libraries of free and/or decent quality icons.

(The last link also includes a suggested icon creating program, if you do need original icons)

Of course if your product is aimed at an audience who you need to impress, this isn't an option.

But if you have a small, captive audience of people already engaged with the product (usually true of internal company tools), and your needs for the icons' design are purely that they are good for usability and don't look unprofessional, and if you're not getting very far with standard design tools, I'd say don't spend time learning how to reinvent the wheel - good icon design is harder than it looks.

  • Thanks for this, icons by others would be invaluable. We do have a graphics department who are capable of doing this for us if we need anything serious however we aren't a software company and can't rely on taking up their time for internal projects where artwork isn't a primary concern and only required for usability reasons.
    – Brett Ryan
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 15:48

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