Iconfinder Labs

Everyday we crawl, index, categorize, convert and ultimately display the icons you seek, and try our best to build the best possible tools for finding icons. Often we come up with new ideas that don’t have a perfect fit on Iconfinder.com. Now, instead of simply ditching these ideas, we’ll be making a home for them in Labs.

To have a place for these side projects (and give you a chance to try them out) we are pulling back the curtains and unveiling our latest initiative: Iconfinder Labs. Going forward, this will serve as the showcase of our new products and services that we think will enhance the lives of developers, designers and users alike.

Take a look here: http://labs.iconfinder.com/

First tool: Icon conversion

The first addition to Labs will be our icon conversion tool. But first, a little background is in order. Originally we displayed an option to download the ICO version of the icon anywhere an icon is displayed – whether on search result or icon detail pages. Eventually we also needed to generate ICNS icons, so we went ahead and built an internal Python module to do just that. Naturally, such a tool can exist on its own. So, we decided to slap a web interface on it and push it out there for you to use.

What can I use it for?

We built the tool with one objective in mind: to create the easiest tool to convert regular icons to icon containers such as ICO and ICNS. All you need to do is drag and drop one or more icons, click submit, and on the next page you’ll be able to download the ICO and ICNS versions, for Windows and Mac use, respectively. ICNS is also the format used for iPhone app icons, so you can use it for that as well.

Under the hood, you’ll find the usual suspects from today’s technology stack. The front end is all JavaScript with sprinkles of jQuery. Upload functionality is done using Sebastian Tschan’s excellent jQuery upload widget. After the icons are uploaded, the front end communicates via JSON with our backend running on Flask and written in Python.

The submitted icons are checked for conformity to specifications and, if needed, best effort is made to correct them by padding and/or resizing them via ImageMagick’s image manipulation tools. What follows is the final conversion call (either to ICO, or to ICNS via libicns).

When all said and done, we present you with a screen where you can download the converted icons.

Try it out here: http://labs.iconfinder.com/converter

Now It’s Your Turn

We hope the icon converter can be as useful a tool for you, as it has been for us. If there’s anything you think we can do to make it better, be sure to let us know.

So, go convert some icons and let us know what you think!

Win a copy of IconBox 2.5

IconBox 2.5 for Mac has just been released in the Mac App Store and to celebrate you can win a license worth $14.99. All you have to do is send out a tweet and we will pick 20 winners from the people who have tweeted.

IconBox is a great app that integrates with the IconFinder API to make it super-easy to find and change icons for your apps on your Mac. We are giving away the 20 licenses for the full version, but you can still grab the trial version at www.iconboxapp.com. The competition will run for one week and winners will be picked on 18th of February. We’ll post the list of winners here on this blog.

Winners of the licenses

Follow @iconfinder on Twitter and you will get your license in a direct message.

  • @ChrisTaylor_TF
  • @anderscolding
  • @TinCW
  • @betancur
  • @brianbrandt
  • @MartinKoelkjaer
  • @mpiatek
  • @AdamDempsey
  • @andygongea
  • @Follow_Vivek
  • @endreigland
  • @JacobJBaldwin
  • @KreativTheme
  • @oswos
  • @saifi_bhatti
  • @ryantanglao
  • @dirkchristiaans
  • @ivnsrr
  • @complexcasavis
  • @JesperH_dk

Guide to IconBox 2.5 – It’s like iPhoto for your icons…

Main Features:

  • Search through over 160.000 icons with Iconfinder
  • Download & Organize them in neat Boxes
  • Customize those hard to reach icons
  • X-ray: peek inside other Apps to reveal their icons
  • An icon a day keeps the doctor away. A new icon, every day

 

IconBox is one App featuring 4 modes!

Mode 1: Organize – IconBox uses ‘Boxes’ for organizing icons. Drag icons from the finder into a box, create as many boxes as you like. Furthermore Boxes can be arranged in folders and subfolders and you can re-drag Boxes and folders to change their order. You can also use ‘Smart Boxes’, like iTunes Smart Playlists, these folders are constantly updated based on given criteria. The search feature has been revamped to search for different criteria and the speed has been improved a lot. Besides organizing, you can export icons to different formats like ICNS, PNG, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PDF, even the iContainer format and last but not least as a convenient .zip package, ready to share with others.

Mode 2: Customize – Since version 2, IconBox features full icon customization. You can now customize their system icons, dock icons, application icons, volume icons and even their dock in an easy to use drag-and drop way. This means that one can download the well know ‘iContainers’ from different sites all over the web, having them change the look of your system with the click of a single button!

Mode 3: Tools – IconBox also features a ‘Tools’ mode. The purpose of this mode is to host different icon related tools. The first tool available for now is ‘X-Ray Applications’. X-Ray scans your application folder for the apps within and by clicking an app, it shows all the available icons and images within the application package, letting you have a look at them (Even with Preview.app), export them etc…

Mode 4: Online – The Online mode contains 3 features.

  • Icon-Of-The-Day: A new icon from a particular icon designer every day, downloadable directly into IconBox, straight into the ‘Downloaded’ Box, ready to share or customize.
  • Icon Sites: A convenient list of major icon sites on the web, more sites will be added on the go. Double-Clicking a site opens it up in your default web browser.
  • IconFinder: It uses the iconfinder.com API which let’s you search trough over 160.000 icons and allows you to instantly download them into IconBox by drag ‘n drop, conveniently creating all Icon Sizes as needed.