Icons can enhance an interface by guiding the eye and giving more context. They also help us add personality to our products. An interface that uses angular icons has a very different feel than one that uses rounded icons. The same goes for icons that use different line widths, or different levels of detail.
If you mix and match styles, your interface will look messy and incoherent. An interface looks more well-rounded if all its icons are from the same set. That way, they will appear as though they all belong together, because they do.
As I am working on my own icon set, I am looking at a few others to see what they offer. FontAwesome is nice, but it’s also used everywhere. Like sites built with Material Design, interfaces that use FontAwesome look very similar. With a different icon set, we can give our products a more unique appearance. I found these three alternatives to be really good, and they are all free to use.
SmplKit contains over 300 “essential” icons. Their rougher, angular edges and thick lines give them a starker appearance.
These icons appear more playful. They have just enough detail to work well at many different sizes.
With over 2000 icons, the LineIcons can cover a wide range of use cases. Whether your product is about air travel or healthcare, there are probably icons in there for you.
If you can’t or don’t want to draw all the icons you need yourself, check these three out. For more spoilers of my own icon set, head over to my profile on dribbble.