25+ Fresh Icon Designers & UI Ninjas

Categories Articles, Web Design

We recently needed an icon designer for a quick job and it was far more time consuming that we thought to find a good freelancer portfolio for this kind of work. So we spent a few more hours and came up with this awesome list of icon designers and UI professionals.

Christopher Downer

christopherdowner

Louis Harboe

louisharboe

Joshua Blankenship

joshuablankenship

Marcelo Marfil

marcelomarfil

Jesse Dodds

jessedodds

Taylor Carrigan

taylorcarrigan

Philipp Antoni

philippantoni

Adam Bets

adambets

William Wilkinson

williamwilkinson

Jonathan Lundstrom

jonathanlundstrom

Medard Konopík

medardkonopik

Dustin Schau

dustinschau

Mischa McLachlan

mischamclachlan

Jeremy Harrington

jeremyharrington

Craig Keller

craigkeller

Josh Teague

joshteague

Louie Mantia

louiemantia

Bryan O’Neil

oneil

Jonatan Castro Fernández

jonatancastrofernandez

Henri Liriani

henriliriani

Agustin Zambrano

agustin

Emanuel Sá

emanuelsa

Jonas Rask

jonas

Sebastiaan de With

sebastiaandewith

Laurent Baumann

laurentbaumann

Totushi

totushi

Michael Flarup

michaelflarup1

Have any other recommendations? Leave a link in the comments!

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<a href="http://twitter.com/zorzini">Catalin</a> is the founder of <a href="http://mostash.com/">Mostash</a> - a <a href="http://mostash.com/">social marketing boutique</a> - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.
  • check out a theme i just released for iphone / ipod :)

    http://tinyurl.com/kvq4ml

  • Andrew

    Kind of surprised Sebastiaan de With of Cocoia wasn’t on here, by far one of my favorite Icon gurus (otherwise, great list!)

  • Very beautiful icons for me. Thanks a lot !
    See more: http://tr.im/nCEm

  • shiny buttons are dead…

    http://www.andystewart-design.com

  • perfect iconss thank you…

  • Jonas Rask, Michael Flarup…

  • @oliverflorez

    Laurent Baumann, this guy is a master! http://www.flickr.com/photos/avetenebrae

  • kolouker

    The icons on Brian O’Neil’s site, are mostly rip-offs. The leaf icon on home page is made by Panic, and there are some drive and folder icon designs stolen from Jonas Rask’s pry icons. Not nice.

  • Chris

    Bryan O’Neil’s website seems to just be composed of stolen icons. :|

  • j

    No offense, but this list is hardly accurate. You’re missing most of the greats, and on top of that, you’re mixing well respected designers with mediocre ones.

  • Laurent Baumann, Na Wong, Susumu…

  • Got it!

    O’Neil is OUT! Now I will update the list with the other suggestions.

    If you have more, please shoot!

    Thank you!

  • Dark

    This is Bryan O’Neil.

    I noticed that I was first placed in your article, and now removed because of a few comments.

    First off, all of the work in my gallery is stuff I have done, and all mods (like Jonas Rask PRY folder) were done with permission from the original author, and posted showing what was done. If you notice, there are no download links available. It was merely as a showcase of what little design things I do in my free time.

    As far as the main page. Yes some icons were made by others, but again with permission. For example, I got explicit permission from Panic Inc for the leaf Icon before the site ever went live.

    Also, next time I am to be featured, you might want to give me a heads up. I’ve been working for weeks on a new design for my site that is all original, and if I had known people were actually going to see the current site, I would have at least made some changes, and put up a new splash screen.

    I have since removed some of the “modification” works from the gallery, and am working on a quick splash screen reflecting that the site is be undergoing a major UI overhaul. Sorry if some of you were confused. The site is merely my digital playground for my stuff so I can access it whenever.

    Thank You.

  • While I’m certainly happy when anyone likes my work and sends traffic my way, I have to side with a few of the commenters. I know outrageous blog post titles get Digg/SU/Etc. to hump your metaphorical leg, but “the best” carries a weight that requires some paperwork to back it up.

    Nonetheless, thank you for the polite nod.

  • Agnis

    Thanks Bryan..for setting this point right. I know the designs you have created for my company over the past 5 years have always been original, ethical and Top notch. OWNER DOS!

  • woops i ment to leave a link to leave a link erlier to the sneaker icon set iv been working on…

    http://www.andystewart-design.com/index.php?/project/trainer-icons/

  • Thanks so much for featuring my work!

  • Just throwing in another 2cents – As a creative director at a software company I spend a large proportion of my time looking at other peoples icons.

    One of the issues we come across is that most of the part time or hobby creators make icons that look brilliant on a large scale but rarely translate to a smaller one.

    You may have a fantastic looking desktop but can you easily navigate your folders?

    Andystewart has a point – Shiny icons ARE dead, for the most part. What’s important is creating icons that have an easy to understand metaphor (envelope for mail, folder for folder etc.)
    An icon of a shoe (sorry Andy) or a bag of fat (Mischa) is where the role of icon changes from function to form and is therefore nothing more than a small scale illustration – which in themselves can be outstanding – but are of no use beyond desktop customisation.

    This is a quick list of creators I’ve come across lately and – after dissecting their files pixel by pixel – really liked.

    http://yingjunjiu.deviantart.com/art/Arzo-Icons-81354404 – Clean, bright and comprehensive.
    http://raindropmemory.deviantart.com/gallery/#Iconset – Fun, unique and lots of sizes!
    http://www.iconka.com/works/ – This guy is a master! Very professional and considered work.
    http://iconfactory.com/freeware/preview/somaapp – Excellent set and a talented illustrator too.

    And don’t forget…

    http://www.kare.com/index.html – Creative Director for Apple from 1982 to 1985 and pioneer of icon and UI design. She invented the Smiling Mac, Paint Bucket, Lasso, Command symbol, Grabber, Trash and many, many more icons we use today.

    Respect!

  • Some serious talent as well as some serious inspiration up there. Kudos.

  • Dee

    Nice collection. Thanks.
    Gant found in deviantart by Mattahan missing frm list. :(

  • kate your completely right! and your links are fantastic, i agree my trainer icons are just self indulgent illustrations, but its nice to have a little fun, i spend way to much time making functional ‘intuative’ ‘tangable’ bla.. at work :)

  • wow – great icons and comments – feel like i’ve been educated!

  • Thank you for the feature, I’d like to leave a few links to a few of my personal favourite artists…

    Susumu Yoshida – http://www.mcdodesign.com/
    Pinky Von Pout (Natalie Nash) – http://www.jellylabs.com/
    Olivier Charavel- http://charaveldesign.com/
    128×128 – http://128×128.livejournal.com/
    Eugen Buzuk – http://www.icondrawer.com/
    Iiro Jappinen – http://iirojappinen.com/

    :)

  • kolouker

    @Dark,

    I took the pain of going through your website and there is not a single place where you would acknowledge that your “mods” are actually mods of someone else’s work, or acknowledge that some elements on your website (like the coda icon) are not your work. So, a random viewer may think these are your own and have a wrong impression of your design abilities.

  • Thanks for the mention!

  • Dark

    @kolouker

    The mods are credited where they were actually released. Usually over at MTF.

    As far as the rest, like I said, my site is getting a major overhaul, and as is was never meant for anyone but myself for storage and testing. I’m not going to bother adding all the credits and stuff on that site because… well… it won’t be there for much longer, so it’s a waste of time. The new site will be completely in order.

    But even so, I have enough original works on there for people to understand what I can do.

    There is a reason I don’t actually promote my site. I know it’s not general public-ready.

  • @andystewart “I spend way to much time making functional ‘intuitive’ ‘tangible’ bla.. at work” Me too! I still really like your icons ;)

    Keep an eye out for some social networking icons/mini illustrations/button things by me and some of my fellow illustrators.

    http://www.bloodsweatvector.com/

  • Thanks for featuring my work Catalin.

  • Hi,
    Here is the list of nice icons
    http://www.igogodesign.com/portfolio/icons.html

  • nice list! Thank you so much.

  • very nice and usefull collection, thank u

  • nice icon set thank you

  • Here is the list of nice icons

  • nice icons

  • very nice and usefull collection, thank u

  • I’d really like to learn how to do this.

    Is Illustrator the industry standard tool of choice?

    Thanks,
    Brad.

  • Melih

    i was wondering if there is anyone who can help me out here? i have been doing some research about `well-known 5 icon designer in history`. i know that susan kare is very famous.

    Thanks
    Melih

  • Check out Mac Tyler http://mactyler.com

  • Can’t believe http://kinaj.com isn’t featured :x

  • Lj

    Just wondering, will you do an audit that presents mostly female designers next time?

  • For everyone who likes minimalistic icon design you should check out dutchicon.com.

  • Some nice custom designs here. Also good to remember design companies who can produce high quality stock icons to match standards and styles.

    Here is a great style resource:

    A MONSTER LIST of Style Guides and UI Guidelines
    http://www.theuxbookmark.com/2010/08/interaction-design/a-monster-list-of-ui-guidelines-style-guides

    Professional Icons Make a Difference!

  • Its been 5 years now since this post was published? Interesting to see how the icon and UI has evolved since then :)