Website icons: Small size, big impact

Web icons are an underrated, yet very important part of any online news site. The small graphics help the reader quickly identify the type of content behind the link. They are especially useful for news sites who produce a variety of media, including photo slideshows, audio, video, and discussion pages.

The following examples are the icons used in several different news sites. These icons are presented here for illustrative purposes only and are the property of their respective owners. They should not be downloaded or replicated without consent.

 
Wall Street Journal:

 
New York Times:

 
Tampa Bay Online:

 
Washington Post:

 
Guardian (UK):

 
Le Monde:

 
NPR:

 
The best icons are simple and easy to identify, which is not as easy as it looks with such a small space usually just a few pixels high. If you want to create your own icons from scratch, Little Icon Editor makes them easier to design with its large grid approach.

 
If you’d rather use icons that have already been designed and created, you can use free clip art from sites like Iconfinder. You can also download high-quality icons from paid sites like iStockPhoto that make whole sets of related icons available.