Discover the best marketplaces for designers and artists to sell icons
As a designer or illustrator, you may have noticed that there is a growing demand for high-quality icons. If you have a strong iconography skillset, you can start generating passive income by selling your icons online. There are a number of online marketplaces that allow you to sell your icons, and if you want to reach a wide audience, these sites are a great place to start. In this blog post, we'll show you how to get started. We'll go over what you can sell, where you can sell, and the best way to get started selling icons today.
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An icon is a powerful tool for visual branding – it’s recognizable and serves as an effective symbol to convey an idea, identity, value, decoration and more. There are limitless use cases for icons, but it's important to design with the customer in mind. Take a close look at the websites outlined below. See what is popular and selling well. Look for trends and themes. Next, research what's missing – icons that would be useful but underrepresented on these marketplaces. There is no guarantee that your icons will make money, but it's important to take time to understand what's currently being sold by others before designing your own.
In order to sell your icons online, you'll need to find a digital marketplace that specializes in this type of design asset. You'll be more successful if you target these websites because their users are looking specifically to buy icons. In other words, you'll want to sell where your potential customers shop.
There are many websites that allow you to upload your icons and sell them online. On most sites, you can either sell your icon as an individual product or as part of a set or collection. In order to help get you started, we’ve compiled the most popular icon marketplaces out there today. Since most of these offer non-exclusive rights, we recommend testing out a few to see what works best.
DesignCuts is a website where you can sell your icons, templates, fonts, add-ons and more. The website gets roughly 700,000 visitors per month. There is a barrier to entry because you have to apply to open a store, and it's unclear what the seller royalties are. However, they offer a Product Academy to help your chances of being accepted.
Design Bundles is an online marketplace where you can sell your icons, fonts and other designs. The website gets over 2.3 million visitors per month. Seller royalties range from 50 to 75% on sales and there are no listing or membership fees. And the barrier to entry is low – just open a Design Bundles store to get started.
Flaticon is a global marketplace specifically for vector icons. The website receives about 15 million visitors per month. There is no upfront cost and sellers take home 50% of the sale; however, content rights are exclusive, so anything uploaded here is limited to Flaticon.
Freepik is a website that lets you sell your icons, images, vectors and more. The website traffic is large, with over 69 million impressions each month. It is a free to join and sellers get paid 50% of all royalties. Your icons remain non-exclusive so you can sell on other sites as well.
Iconfinder is a marketplace where you can sell your icons, 3d assets and illustrations. The website receives almost 3 million visitors each month. Contributors can get started for free and will make 70% in royalties. All uploads are non-exclusive, which allows you to sell elsewhere.
Iconscout is a website to sell your icons, illustrations and photos. It get about 2 million visits per month. Iconscout self-proclaims "the best payout in the industry" with up to 70% for each sale. All icon and icon pack sales are non-exclusive so you continue to own your work.
Noun Project is website specifically for vector icons. You can also sell images, but photo contribution is currently invite-only. The website currently gets over 50,000 visitors per month, although the reach may be larger when considering its partners. Contributors receive 40% of each individual icon sale, as well as a portion of all icons sold through subscriptions. They offer a Creator's Handbook to help you get started.
UI8 is a well-curated marketplace of icons and other design assets. The website currently gets just under 800,000 visitors per month. It offers two content exclusivity options: non-exclusive, which pays 70% of each sale, and exclusive, which pays 90% for each item sold. Contributors can get started for free by opening a UI8.
Creating and selling icons online is a great way to generate passive income as a designer or illustrator, but you have to do your research first. Once you have determined the theme or type of icons you want to sell, start creating them. Then, choose a few of the websites above that offer non-exclusive rights and start selling. It will take patience, but over time you will understand which websites are the most profitable and sustainable marketplaces to sell your design assets. With design craftsmanship and a little luck, you'll be making great passive income on your icons.
There are many different types of design assets that you can sell online outside of icons. If you are a multi-talented designer, you can try selling a variety of designs to make money. Visit our categories page to explore 16 other types of digital assets to start selling for passive income.