What are PowerPoint icons?
Icons are everywhere. From road signs to clothing labels to smartphone apps, these universal symbols transcend language barriers to communicate information quickly and concisely. By demonstrating concepts in a single, instantly recognisable pictogram, icons dispense with extraneous detail and require less cognitive effort from your audience than bullet points or paragraphs of text.
How can I use them?
You can use PowerPoint icons in your presentations to communicate simple concepts, emphasise main points, or even just to add a bit of visual appeal to plain slides. In the example below, we’ve taken a basic meeting agenda in bullet form and transformed it into an eye-catching, impactful slide simply by using relevant icons instead of text. A lightbulb represents new ideas, while the chessboard icon illustrates strategy.
You can also use PowerPoint’s handy Recolour feature to change the colour of icons and keep them consistent with the overall look of your slides, very handy if you are working to a corporate template with style guidelines.
What should I keep in mind?
As mentioned above, relevancy is key. Choose PowerPoint icons that accurately convey your point so the audience can focus on your presentation instead of deciphering visual elements. Also, icons are available in many different styles, so keep it consistent. If you’re using 3D icons on one slide, use them throughout.
Sizing is important: always make sure icons are big enough to avoid pixellation when resizing. For those with the know-how, you can always download the vector file (if available) and scale it up in Adobe Illustrator or similar software.
Common file formats for (image) icons include PNG, JPG, and BMP. PNG files have a transparent background, making them ideal for PowerPoint slides. If you want total flexibility with your vector file icons then export from Illustrator in an EMF (enhanced metafile) format and you can insert and ungroup the icon in Powerpoint allowing you to re-colour and edit if you require this.
Where can I find them?
So you’re looking for free, high-quality icons to spice up your PowerPoint slides. We’ve curated the following list of 5 of the best resources out there:
Over 821,000 free and premium icons available. This site lets you filter your search by file type, license type, and price.
Browse collections or use the search function. SVG, AI, PSD, and PNG formats available.
Many free icon collections available under the tag ‘freebies’. Make sure to read the fine print as some collections do require attribution.
A fantastic resource – not just for icons but also fonts, backgrounds, and other design assets.
Like Graphic Burger, another excellent resource for a wide range of assets. Uploads come from many different designers, so check the attribution requirements first.