6 Places to Find Superb, High Quality Mac Icons

Although the icons that ship with OS X are wonderfully designed, there’s no harm in a change from time-to-time. It might be a complete rework of your system icons, or just a case of replacing one or two for specific applications.

Today I’ll be showcasing 6 places where you can find the perfect icon. We’re focusing on the absolute highest quality, so you can rest assured you won’t find any second rate design here!

1. The Iconfactory

The Iconfactory

Creators of Twitteriffic and Ramp Champ for the iPhone, and CandyBar, xScope and IconBuilder for the Mac, The Iconfactory sure know how to put a good design together. Their regular icon collections are no exception, and you can view and download several years worth of work in the freeware section of their website.

You’ll find all manner of system replacement sets, seasonal goodies, and a few tie-ins for particular films or television series.

2. RAD.E8

Sascha Hohne has long been a highly regarded icon designer, and now works for Apple. I’m a huge fan of his work, and have been using the latest release of his “Minium” icon set on my Mac for several months now. I’d thoroughly recommend it as a complete system replacement set.

You’ll find a selection of his earlier work at Deviant Art, and a few wallpapers to accompany Minium.

3. We Love Icons

A simple website with hundreds of interesting designs, We Love Icons is definitely worth spending a few minutes browsing through. Most are available in both native Mac formats and PNG, so it should be easy to apply them after downloading.

The guys behind this site also host a useful online conversion utility – iConvert – for moving icons between different formats. This can be useful, depending upon where you’ve downloaded them from.

4. Iconpaper

iconpaper is an extensive site, not just limited to icons. You’ll find wallpapers, skins for various applications, dock backgrounds, OS X themes and much more. There are 81 pages of really beautiful icons to flick through, so you won’t be short of inspiration.

5. deviantART

deviantART is an enormous website, with icons being only a tiny subset of the artwork stored there by designers and artists around the world. That said, there is still a wealth of wonderfully designed icons. The link above will take you straight to the relevant section.

Because of the vast breadth of content available, it will take a little longer to search through deviantART than the other sites mentioned. It’ll be worth it when you find just the icon you’re looking for.

6. Forums

There are several forums dedicated to sharing and creating new icons and graphics for OS X, and they make a great place to search for a particular icon replacement. A few that I would recommend are:

  • MacThemes – One of the longest running forums, with thousands of members and icon releases on a regular basis.
  • Macristocracy – It’s quite a mouthful, but a gorgeously designed forum with an active community of designers and some really useful icons.
  • Galaxy GUI – Not quite as polished as the first two forums, but with a decent archive of content. I particularly love the PNG thread.

Conclusion

Messing with OS X icons is probably something only to be attempted by people who really appreciate design, or are completely fanatical about the look and feel of their Mac. And if you’re reading this, then you probably fall squarely into one of these categories!

For a few hints and tips on how to change icons after you’ve found the perfect one, read our how-to on the subject.

If you’d like to suggest another website, blog, or forum for locating top-notch OS X icons, please do so in the comments. I’d love to hear your suggestions.


  • http://collegethrive.com Dan Northern

    This is great, I just downloaded CandyBar, and have been looking for some new icons. I’ll have a look at these sites. Thanks for such an awesome list!

  • choise

    How to write a post:

    1. tweet a question
    2. let all users do the work
    3. copy n past the tweets to wordpress

    :X ;)

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      How better to get the community involved? :-)

      To our credit, the post was 80% done before we asked for your input. Based on Twitter suggestions, we also added the list of forums that you all recommended!

      • choise

        i didn’t say that it is a bad thing :D community results are the best results :)

  • http://twitter.com/joaojoaquim Joao Joaquim

    @choise: lol

  • http://designbyeri.ca Erica

    Iconfactory <3

  • http://twitter.com/SnakDada SnakDada

    Good to see Galaxy GUI made it to this list :)

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  • http://www.brunobincoletto.com Bruno Bincoletto

    http://www.iconfinder.net/ is very good too ;)

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  • Michele

    Whoo MacThemes! :D

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  • http://www.jonathanpatterson.com Jonathan Patterson

    This is great!

  • http://www.mrcorse.net Miguel Machado
  • Blair

    Wow. Thanks for these. I’d never heard of iconpaper before, and man is it fantastic. Cheers again Mac.Appstorm!

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  • Patrick

    Hey thanks for the list, but hmm, there is nothing new for me :D

  • http://dressupgirl.ru/ IrenA

    Excellent resources, thanks for a selection!
    I love icons :)

  • musc

    How can i change one single icon (folder or doc-file) on MacOS Lepoard

    in WindowsXP it was easy for me, But i have no idea how to do it on a MacOS
    ….. and i wand change my full OS system theme.
    Only here and there a folder.

  • http://www.songezegen.com ogame

    Wow. Thanks for these. I’d never heard of iconpaper before, and man is it fantastic. Cheers again Mac.Appstorm!

  • http://www.baloncuyuz.biz Balon Susleme

    How to write a post:
    1. tweet a question
    2. let all users do the work
    3. copy n past the tweets to wordpress
    :X ;) yes thank you

  • http://www.cueros-pym.com.ar cuero

    Based on Twitter suggestions, we also added the list of forums that you all recommended!

  • http://www.oogame.net/ ogame

    thanx for you information

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