There is definitely no dearth of free social icon sets on the Web. Creating a set of social icons is a good way to get links from blogs, so many designers grabbed this opportunity. The problem is, 90% of these designers stick to just two shapes: a square (in most cases with rounded corners, the iPhone-style) and a circle. There are some very good sets of square and round icons (and I will devote a separate post to them a bit later), but… the same shapes again and again… you know, it’s just boring. Besides, you may want to use something more original to draw the attention of visitors and make them follow you.
On this page you’ll find a list of 9 best social icon sets based on some less commonly used shapes. I didn’t purposely limit the number of sets, but selected only usable, professionally designed icons that look good both on light and dark backgrounds.
The sets are listed in no particular order, you decide yourself which you like better.
Starry Site by Evohosting
16 star-shaped icons with PSD sources.
License: Free, a link to the company website is required.
Social Media Stars by Arbenting
Another set of star-shaped icons. Includes 26 icons in two resolutions: 128×128 and 64×64.
License: Free for personal and commercial use (a link is required in the latter case).
Tab Style Social Icons by Cheth Studios
These sleek tabbed social icons will look especially good in your blogroll.
License: Creative Commons
Heart v2 by Aravind Ajith
36 heart-shaped social media icons in PNG format.
License: Free for personal and commercial use.
40 Free Social Icons by Edward de Leau
Edward de Leau took the shape which is for some reason neglected by icon designers – a vertical rounded rectangle – and achieved very impressive results. You can see this set in action on the author’s website.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.
Social Clouds by DreN
25 cloud-shaped icons.
License: Not specified, but seems to be free.
Freestyle Social Icons by Pink Moustache
This set features logos of various social services on a transparent background. Vector sources (.ai and .eps) are included.
License: According to the author, these icons are free for any use.
Social Media Balloons by Double-J Design
28 icons shaped as speech balloons in resolutions up to 128×128 pixels.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK
If you know an original and professionally designed set of social icons not mentioned here, feel free to leave a link in the comments.