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April 04, 2013

IconFinder Fills Void in App Development with New Marketplace

If you've ever had a hand at the development of an app, you've probably had quite the time trying to find icons that would suit the app without making it look too generic. It's difficult to find someone who "gets" the product's image, and it's even more difficult to find free icons in public that don't resemble something from the 90s or look very obtuse.

IconFinder, a search engine for icons, has decided to address this issue by launching a marketplace where designers can sell what they have. Instead of hiring someone to spend sleepless nights trying to portray the app within one little image, you can now pick and choose what you want to buy.

The concept is a lot like Constant Content, where writers sell their articles and people buy them based on what they need.

People selling icons can see their sales through an analytics dashboard, although IconFinder takes a hefty 30 percent from the transaction (designers, compensate for this when you decide on a price). People who aspire to design icons may get in through IconFinder's selection process, meaning there's a certain level of quality control that caters to those interested in buying from serious icon crafters.

Buyers can make purchases one by one, or buy a set of hand-selected icons.

IconFinder has seen some icons themed in ways that resemble large technology firms like Apple, Facebook and Twitter. This may lead to litigation trouble for the company (or for buyers) as the firms take notice of icons that look similar to theirs.

Martin LeBlanc, CEO and cofounder of IconFinder, said, "This is definitely something we are careful about. By purchasing icons you buy the rights to use a current version of an icon. So, by buying e.g. a Twitter bird in 3D, you are paying for the rights to use the creative work and not the rights to the Twitter bird itself."

This is one of the first icon search engines of its kind, and it's based in Denmark. Its success was contributed to by a $1.8-million investment from VF Venture and 500Startups.

Edited by Braden Becker

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