Wrap-up of 2021 for contributors

This article is for you who are a contributor on Iconfinder and are interested in a full picture of what has been happening in the last 12 months. In this short article, we tell you about some of the opportunities for icons, illustrations and 3D graphics, as seen at the end of the year 2021.

Contents:

· Vocabulary
· Icons
· Illustrations
· 3D graphics
· What’s for 2022

Vocabulary

Before we start, let’s align on two important concepts that you need to know.

  • Packs — Also known as sets, they are groups of single graphics that share the exact same visual style and also the same theme.
  • Families —Groups of packs that share the exact same visual style, meaning that they have been created together by following the same rules (the same shapes, the same color palette, the same line weights an so on). For example, a family may contain packs about business, medicine, technology etc. Read more about families.

Now we are ready to begin.

Icons

Icons are simplified and stylised graphics whose aim is to capture the essence of an object or action (it zooms in). Often using geometrical shapes, a good icon can be understood by everyone in a few seconds. Icons work very well in small sizes and are often used as UI elements.

In 2021, we reached 5.987.900 icons on Iconfinder. Within such a vast library, content quality and organisation become key, and those will be our focus for the coming year.

Content quality

Designs without the right attention to detail can turn customers away. We recommend taking the extra time to create high-quality designs can bring you more visibility on Iconfinder.

Content organisation

Families are becoming the most important way to organise the contents of your shop and we will be giving them larger visibility in 2022. We have already begun presenting families up front: check out the icon families and the illustration families.

We highly recommend revising your family organisation to make sure that all the items in the family match each other visually.

Top 20 most sold icon packs in 2021

Wonder what made it to the top this year? Here is a ranking of the icon packs with most sales in 2021. Here, it is important to notice both the design style, the quality and the concepts represented in order to get an idea of what works.

  1. aami outline set 1 by Laura Reen
  2. Flat Icons by Hello Many
  3. Picons Basic 2 — Pt 2 by Picons.me
  4. Lightly iOS by Timothy Miller
  5. Interface, Travel and Environment by Dutchicon
  6. World Flags — Circular by Iconset.co
  7. Logistics & Shipping by justin roque
  8. Navigation by Danico
  9. Flat Pro — Basic set 1 by Axialis
  10. Office and Business by popcornarts
aami outline set 1 by Laura Reen
Flat Icons by Hello Many
Picons Basic 2 — Pt 2 by Picons.me
Lightly iOS by Timothy Miller
Interface, Travel and Environment by Dutchicon
World Flags — Circular by Iconset.co
Logistics & Shipping by justin roque
Navigation by Danico
Flat Pro — Basic set 1 by Axialis
Office and Business by popcornarts

Notice some very useful themes in these packs: Basic UI elements, Flags, Business, Shipping, Data, SEO and Web development.

Top 10 most sold icon families

Looking at the most successful icon families is a good way to understand what styles work with customers. Also, you will notice that the larger and more comprehensive a family is, the more chances there are for customers to find all the concepts that they need, without worrying about consistency. Below, you will find a list of the top-seller icon families in 2021.

  1. Stick Figures by Gan Khoon Lay
  2. Lineo - Line icons by justin roque
  3. Leto by Laura Reen
  4. Line by Siwat V
  5. Aami by Laura Reen
  6. Scenarium by Icojam
  7. Unigrid Phantom by Icojam
  8. Microdots Premium by Microdot Graphic
  9. Raw by Dutchicon
  10. Unigrid by Icojam
Stick Figures by Gan Khoon Lay
Lineo — Line icons by justin roque
Leto by Laura Reen
Line by Siwat V
Aami by Laura Reen
Scenarium by Icojam
Unigrid Phantom by Icojam
Microdots Premium by Microdot Graphic
Raw by Dutchicon
Unigrid by Icojam

As you can see, these families are all very large and contain icons for all needs. Notice how all icons in the family match each other perfectly, with no inconsistencies. Generally, the quality is outstanding.

The reason why the list of packs (from above) and families contain different items is that, even is one pack sells very well, it is not as powerful as an entire family containing many packs that sell well. A tip for you would be to start noticing which of your packs are selling the best and, if you haven’t done so already, start expanding them to become families.

Most searches for icons

You now have some idea of the styles, quality and themes that customers like. One last piece of the puzzle are the exact concepts that customers have been searching for the most. Here are the keywords that customers used when looking for icons in 2021, ordered from most searches to least.

Illustrations

Illustrations are more elaborate and artistic graphics whose aim is to enchant and bring life into a situation or action. Often using organic shapes and strokes, illustrations can be metaphorical and open to interpretation. They need to be seen in larger sizes in order to be understood. They are often used in presentations, landing pages, error pages, or even printed on books.

At the end of June 2021, we launched the new illustration section on Iconfinder, expanding our offer laterally. After only 6 months, the collection grew to 20,000+ illustrations which were already downloaded 36,978 times.

This section is still at its very beginnings and that means there is very little competition. Your illustrations have a truly great chance to get noticed and attract good sales.

What illustrations are we looking for?

We are focusing on high-quality, modern, versatile and diverse illustrations. That means we are trying to encourage you to go the extra mile when designing and we are being extra strict when it comes to what we approve.

We put together a Comprehensive guide to selling illustrations on Iconfinder, to identify opportunities and get you started on the right foot. And we highly recommend this other read on How to create best-selling illustrations, where we share some of the best practices to adopt and the most common mistakes to avoid when drawing illustrations that sell well.

Top search terms used for finding illustrations

Even though it’s been only 6 months since we opened the doors to the illustration shop, we already have some nice search data to look at. In the table below, you will find the most common keywords that customers have been using when trying to find illustrations.

Search terms with most opportunities for illustrations

Even though it’s still early to make definitive conclusions, we can already see how the demand is higher than the supply for some keywords, as shown in the table below. These keywords represent illustration concepts for which there are opportunities to add more content. As said before, the opportunities are very large at the moment, as the collection is only at its very beginnings and we expect to grow it slowly with only high-quality content.

Top 10 most sold illustration packs

As you already know, packs are a way to organise content by theme. Here is the ranking of the most successful illustration packs so far, which gives great insights into what the most important themes are and, of course, which drawing styles are most attractive from our current collection.

  1. Work by Webalys
  2. Product by Webalys
  3. Work 2 by Webalys
  4. Interface by Webalys
  5. Social Media by Webalys
  6. Web and business by Smashing Stocks
  7. Shopping by Webalys
  8. Business by Webalys
  9. Technology by Webalys
  10. Users 1 by Webalys
Work by Webalys
Product by Webalys
Work 2 by Webalys
Interface by Webalys
Social Media by Webalys
Web and business by Smashing Stocks
Shopping by Webalys
Business by Webalys
Technology by Webalys
Users 1 by Webalys

This list is clearly dominated by a single designer. You will also notice how this designer’s families are also top sellers (see below). What Webalys is doing well is that they use a style that has personality and humor, yet it is very adaptable. Notice the level of quality and attention to detail.

Top 10 most sold illustration families

Families give great insights not only into what the most successful drawing styles are, but also into what the best strategies for your design shop are. As you will notice, large and comprehensive families perform best because there are high chances for customers to find all the concepts they are looking for in the exact same drawing style.

  1. Brooklyn by Webalys
  2. Milano by Webalys
  3. Humanic by Roundicons
  4. Barcelona by Roundicons
  5. Isometric illustrations by Vectors Market
  6. Calma by Roundicons
  7. Characters by Vectors Market
  8. Character Activities by Smashing Stocks
  9. Daily Activities by Smashing Stocks
  10. Baker by Roundicons
Brooklyn by Webalys
Milano by Webalys
Humanic by Roundicons
Barcelona by Roundicons
Isometric illustrations by Vectors Market
Calma by Roundicons
Characters by Vectors Market
Daily Activities by Smashing Stocks
Baker by Roundicons

Keys to being successful with illustrations

The most important move you can do is to choose a popular style that is easy to adapt and then build a large family out of it. The most successful families right now, Brooklyn and Milano, are a great example of good design decisions that create best-selling families. If you want to know more, we gathered the tips in this article on How to create best-selling illustrations.

3D graphics

3D graphics are those created with 3D modelling software. They range from simple objects to more elaborate characters and scenes. Light and shadow play an important role here.

This style has just gotten its own section on the Iconfinder website, separated from icons and illustrations. The collection is still very small, containing only 4,215 items, but has already gotten 11,602 downloads in 2021. Given that it has been given more visibility and assuming that the collection will be growing, we expect downloads to grow in 2022.

Top 10 most sold 3D packs

In 2021, these 10 lucky packs have gotten the most sales. Here, you can get an idea of what customers think looks best and is most useful to them.

  1. Alter 3D Scenes by Roundicons
  2. Characters by Roundicons
  3. Characters and objects by Roundicons
  4. Business & Work by Roundicons
  5. Alter 3D Characters by Roundicons
  6. 3D items vol.2 by Minh Nguyen
  7. Hobbies & Misc. 2 by Roundicons
  8. Web Development & Design by Roundicons
  9. Hand by Roundicons
  10. Office tools 2 by Roundicons
Alter 3D Scenes by Roundicons
Characters by Roundicons
Characters and objects by Roundicons
Business & Work by Roundicons
Alter 3D Characters by Roundicons
3D items vol.2 by Minh Nguyen
Hobbies & Misc. 2 by Roundicons
Web Development & Design by Roundicons
Hand by Roundicons
Office tools 2 by Roundicons

Top search terms for 3D graphics

Here is the list of keywords that people have been using to search for the 3D style in 2021. The keywords are ordered from most searches to least. Even though the number of searches is still small, some important keywords are already starting to emerge.

What’s for 2022

You now hopefully know more about what to work on in the year to come. Apart from this wrap-up, we also prepared a Calendar for creating seasonal artwork, where you will find the most important festivities and events in 2022, together with a timeline for when you should ideally upload the themed designs. We plan to add items to the calendar as we get to know more of what the next year will bring.

We look forward to seeing what you can create!

If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to help you at support@iconfinder.com.

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A blog about icons, illustrations, design and designers

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