Media Now STL June 21-24, 2015 - St. Louis

Find a Social Network Icon Set and Tweak it To Fit Your Needs

| September 28, 2009

header to link on social network icons

Social network icon sets can be nice additions to your site and there are a variety sets out there for you to download. They help give quick, visual cues to other places your readers can find you. What you may find though is that the sets do not always meet your needs. Well, there are ways that you can take most any social icon network set and make it work for you and your site.

From my standpoint, it makes more sense to find a social networking icon set you like, and then work with it to fit your needs. If you go out there to look for one that meets your needs and that you like, you may be looking for a while. Creators of social network icon sets aren’t creating sets for every possible site out there and with all of the rapid change on the Web, it would be impossible for anyone to keep up every possibility.

You may be wondering why I just don’t tell you to create your own from scratch. That’s a completely sane and honorable way of going about things. However, there are a lot of individuals on the Web who make social network icon sets, share them freely and want others to use them. I’m guessing the students at your school have plenty of other things they need to be working with on the site, they don’t need the extra work of creating some small icons from scratch and getting them looking just right. If they want to create their own, I think that’s awesome and they should. However, if they want to use what others have already created, tell them to go google something complex like ‘social network icon set.’ Here are some of the listings that come up on that search:

Once you find a set that you like, then you need to check and make sure it has all the icons you need. While most all are going to have icons for things like Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds, most are not going to include a video site used by many high schools, Schooltube.com.

If you’re newly downloaded social network icon set doesn’t have all the icons you want, adjust one of the icons to make it fit your needs (make sure this is an acceptable term of use from the set you downloaded, some developers tell you not to make any changes to the icons).

Social Network icons on FHNtoday.comKatie O’Neil, Webmaster for FHNtoday.com, took an existing social media icon set and adjusted it to meet the needs of her staff.

This set, that currently appears on FHNtoday.com has four of the original icons and two that she created. Since the staff has a couple pages on Facebook she created one to differentiate the fan page. Also, the set didn’t have an icon for Schooltube so she took one of the other icons, opened it in Photoshop and got rid of the logo that appeared on the icon. She then got a copy of the Schooltube logo and placed it within the icon and then saved her new icon.

About the Author:

Aaron is in his 17th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now STL. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. You can find him on Twitter @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.
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