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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 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:

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:

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!

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