Updated Submission Requirements for Symbols and Common Objects

We’ve updated the submission requirements for icons that depict well-recognized symbols and common objects like food items and buildings.

Noun Project is the most extensive and diverse collection of icons and mission-driven photos on the web. We now have more than 5 million icons on our platform, contributed by Creators from 130+ countries.

Recently, we’ve observed an increase in icon submissions that depict symbols and common subject matter that is already well-represented on Noun Project. To ensure these areas of our library continue to showcase distinct and intentionally designed content, we’ve updated the submission requirements for several key icon categories. 

Icon Categories with Updated Submission Requirements

There are two main icon categories that currently have an abundance of content: “Standardized” icons and “Flexible” icons. 

Standardized icons are established symbols that have little to no room for variation. Examples of Standardized icons include symbols like the recycling symbol, arrows, punctuation marks, and shapes. 

Plus Sign icon by Natalia, Bluetooth icon by 96studio, Recycling icon by Abdul Latif

Flexible icons are icons that represent popular categories of content that have more room to vary composition and details, but still represent common objects and concepts. Examples of flexible icons include representations of animals, plants, vehicles, weather, business concepts, and food items.

Orange icons by Ilaria Bernareggi, Alyssa, and Ari Sandi

Since standardized and flexible icons are already well-represented in our library, we’ve updated our quality requirements for new icon submissions to these specific categories. Icons that only meet our basic visual requirements may be denied. Icon designs that depict a meaningful variation, exceptional design quality, specialized research or knowledge, distinct design style, intentional organization, and comprehensive context will be prioritized. 

Please review our list of frequently denied icons below, as well as the visual examples we’ve provided, to align your designs with our updated standards before submitting icons to these categories.

Frequently Denied Icons

Standardized IconsFlexible Icons
UI elements
Recycling symbols
Math symbols
Check marks
Laundry symbols
Map pins
Wayfinding symbols
Laundry care label symbols
Road signs
Media controls
Bluetooth symbol

Travel and vacation
Parties and celebrations
Real estate
Speech and thought bubbles

Examples of Denied vs. Accepted Icons

The following examples illustrate some of the qualities we look for when determining which icons will be denied vs. accepted.

Design Quality

Redundancy vs. Meaningful Variation

Design Style and Cohesion

Generic Style vs. Distinct Style

Incomplete vs. Comprehensive Context

Basic Representation vs. In-Depth Representation

Disorganized vs. Organized Icons

For more information about our icon submission guidelines, please refer to our Creator Handbook, developed by the Noun Project moderation team.

Erika Kim
Erika Kim

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