Iconfinder designer report Q3 2019

If you wonder what icons to create in the months of July, August, and September, this report can help you find out. Iconfinder shares interesting data and best practices for icon designers to make the most out of the icon marketplace.

This report includes data and recommendations about:

Most searched keywords

Keywords with unmet demand

Seasonal searches in Q3

Marketing campaigns in Q3

Top seller category-style pairs

Category-style pairs with unmet demand

Best practices for icon families

Most searched keywords

These are the keywords that customers have been using to find icons from January to June 2019. The list is ordered from most searched to least searched.

The last column, Supply-Demand ratio, shows how competitive the Iconfinder market for that keyword is:

  • A ratio lower than 1 means that there is space for more icons.
  • A ratio higher than 1 means that the market is very competitive — there are more icons than searches for that keyword, so sales are not guaranteed.
Keywords ordered by number of searches, from most searches to least (Dates: Jan 1, 2019 to Jun 1, 2019). Data can be accessed here.

These searches follow a long-tail curve. A few keywords are extremely popular — some examples are “arrow”, “phone”, or “download”, to mention the most searched ones. The majority of the keywords form what is called “the long tail”.

The long tail of keyword searches on Iconfinder (Data from January to June 2019)

Keywords with unmet demand

Among the keywords in the list above, we selected only the ones that have a Supply-Demand ratio lower than or equal to 1, meaning that they offer opportunities to add more icons. The lower the ratio, the larger the opportunity to add icons.

Keywords with unmet demand — an opportunity to add more icons (Dates: Jan 1, 2019 to Jun 1, 2019). Full data can be accessed here.

Seasonal searches in Q3

We looked at the keywords that become popular in Q3 by comparing their searches with the previous quarter. We noticed a few themes standing out, as shown in the chart below.

July and August are generally slower months because many people are on holiday and do not have a project that needs icons. In September, however, things start to pick up again. We noticed that customers start looking for “halloween” and “christmas” icons already in September.

Searches per month for different keywords in Q3 2018.

Fun fact: We just discovered what could be the horse-riding season on Iconfinder. It extends from July to January with a constant level of around 2000 searches per month during the high season. 🏇

Seasonal searches for the keyword “horse”

For more ideas on what icons to create and when, keep an eye on Google Trends. It is a good source of popular topics that people are presently searching for online and a good indicator of what customers are searching for on Iconfinder too.

Marketing campaigns in Q3

We plan to launch a “Back to work” campaign late August-beginning of September. For it, we will feature icon sets that are appropriate for such a campaign. It could be a mix of business, UI, school and education, and other beautiful sets that we receive during the summer. It is a good idea to upload sets for the “Back to work” campaign starting from August if you would like to have the chance to be featured.

Top seller category-style pairs

We also looked at what theme-style combinations sell the most. The table below lists them in order of sales, from most sales to least sales.

Business, finance, avatars, emojis, UI, network and communications, and SEO are some of the most demanded categories for icons. Among the most popular styles, we find the outline, flat, glyph, and the filled outline.

Designers should pay attention to the last column (Supply-Demand ratio), which shows how saturated the market is in each category-style pair.

  • A ratio lower than 1 means that there is space for more icons.
  • A ratio higher than 1 means that the market is very competitive — there are more icons than searches for that keyword, so sales are not guaranteed.
Category-style pairs ordered by sales, from most sales to least (Dates for demand: Jun 1, 2018 to Jun 1, 2019; Date for supply: Jun 1, 2019). Full data can be accessed here.

To make it easier to grasp the data in the Top sellers table above, we added a few examples of sets that correspond to the top of the list. You can check out all categories available on Iconfinder and also all the existing styles.

Example of Business & finance sets in Outline style (left) and in Flat style (right)
Example of a Business & finance set in Glyph style (left) / Emoji set in Flat style (right)
Example of a UI set in Outline style (left) / Business & finance set in Filled Outline style (right)

Category-style pairs with unmet demand

As some categories and styles offer more opportunities than others, as seen above, we filtered the list to only show the ones that offer more opportunities (meaning that they have a higher demand of icons than supply). The list below is ordered from most sales to least sales.

Category-style pairs with a Supply-Demand ratio lower than or equal to 1 (Dates for demand: Jun 1, 2018 to Jun 1, 2019; Date for supply: Jun 1, 2019). Full data to be found here.

We are adding some visual examples to help you understand the table above better.

Example of an Avatar set in Flat style (left) / Animals set in Flat style (right)
Example of a Family & home set in Flat style (left) / Avatars & smileys set in Badge style (right)

Best practices for icon families

At Iconfinder, we organize sets in families. Families are a grouping of sets from the same designer that share the same appearance and design style.

Why are families a good practice?

Customers usually work on projects. When choosing icons for a project, they prefer to have a large variety of icons that all match with each other. This way, they do not need to worry about visual consistency when adding these icons to their project. Families allow customers to find all the matching icons in the same place. The larger the family, the better.

Example of a large family called “Nova Icons — Solid style”. All icons in the family share the same visual style.

A family can be in any style. The example above focuses on outline icons. The one below is in an illustrative style.

Example of the family “Scenarium”, with sets in an illustrative style

Additionally, customers can now see more icon sets from the same icon family when browsing.

Customers can now see other sets from the same icon family

Bad practices

A bad practice is to have many one-off sets. If all sets are different from each other, then there are fewer chances for customers to find all the icons that they are looking for.

In the example below, the designer has explored different styles of icons. There is nothing wrong with trying out different things when creating icons, but it is important to group them in families and continue adding matching icons, to make it convenient for the customers.

Example of bad practice. All sets have their own style and appearance and don’t match each other.

Another bad practice is to have a family with sets that look different. For example, if the sets have different line widths, they should not be part of the same family because they don’t look good together in a design.

Example of another bad practice. Icon sets with different line widths should not be part of the same family.

Best use of families

Designers should pick some styles and continue adding icons to them to create a few larger families. Families make it easier for customers to find many similar icons for creating visually-consistent designs. Designers should think about what icons could be needed together.

Matching sets grouped in icon families is the best practice.

A good grouping of icon sets in families.

How to price a family?

Customers can also buy an entire family on Iconfinder. For its pricing, we recommend to not sell it at a too low price. For example, if you have 100 icons in the family and you sell it for $5, then the price per icon becomes $0.05, which is too low. That undermines the value of your own work.

However, pricing it too high might discourage sales. For example, if you have a family with 100 icons and you want to sell it for $2000, the price per icon becomes $20. That is likely too expensive for customers.

Pricing a family is about finding a balance between the two examples described above.

Customers can buy an icon family in one click.

This report is part of a series that are released every quarter. It crunches data on supply and demand on the Iconfinder marketplace, hoping to lead designers to create the right icons.

Drop us a message at support@iconfinder.com if you have any questions or feedback.

Are you interested in becoming a contributor on Iconfinder? This is the place to start: How to sell icons on Iconfinder

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