Mac users on a budget, or those of us with unusual purchase discipline can find plenty of free apps that improve productivity and efficiency. For those in the graphic design field, there are many free tools for the trade, including thousands of free fonts and icons.
Here’s a quick look at an app package that caught my eye– 2,800 free icons– and the state of fonts (free and not so free) from the Mac App Store.
First up is the appropriately named 2800 Icons for Developers, a free package of PNG icons from MAS. The package is aimed mainly at developers and designers who need simple, elegant icons at a competitive price. Not much is more competitive than free.
What’s great about 2800 Icons for Developers is how quickly you can get an icon into your graphic design app. Click the Menubar icon, search for the type and size of icon, drag and drop to your app.
You might think it worthwhile to have the icons in vector format, but the package includes icons sized up to 512 pixels so they work well and there are enough sizes to make it worthwhile. The icons are outline style, though, so they’re really nothing more than basic icons.
Now, about fonts on the Mac App Store. If you work in graphic design you can never have too many fonts, and surprisingly, MAS has plenty, some are bargain prices. Enter ‘fonts’ in the MAS search field and you’ll be treated with a few dozen font packages and a similar number of font tools.
A few thousand fonts are available to download with a click, many are free or bargain priced, most won’t compete at the high end with, say, Adobe’s font collections, but many are worthy additions for the value minded Mac user (and most are OpenType, so usable on Windows PCs, too).
There are plenty of font utilities, too, so you can view fonts before installation or use, and a growing number of free font packages, and packages for a few dollars– tech fonts, cursive fonts, comic fonts, creative styled fonts, even kid and holiday theme fonts.
A similar search for icons on the Mac App Store will turn up more icon creation tools than icon packages, but they’re similarly priced from free to a few dollars.