Used appropriately, they can make it faster for your visitors or users to complete the tasks they need to complete. But not every website design has space for normal, full-size icons (often 32x32 to 48x48 or sometimes even larger).
That's where mini icons can come in handy. With the smallest versions of these icons sometimes coming in as tiny as 8x8 pixels and the largest generally being 16x16 pixels (though sometimes they're slightly larger than that), they can fit into virtually any design.
And there's a huge variety out there that can fit with almost any aesthetic style. Here are more than 35 of the best sets of mini icons out there (most featured here are free, though we've included a few premium sets, too).
IconDock Mini Pixel Icons
These icon sets from Icon Dock are split up into different categories, including file types, web design, blog & CMS, and Ecommerce.
Here's a monochromatic set of over 250 18x18 pixel icons for a variety of functions, including ecommerce icons and security icons.
This free collection includes a number of common (printer, folder, application, etc.) and not-so-common (hard-hat, cutlery, fire, truck, quill) icons.
Designed and carefully optimized for use on toolbars and tab bars in iPhone & iPad apps, they're also perfect for Android apps, websites, t-shirts, tattoos and more.
This collection includes 400 icons, both 10x10 and 16x16.
The Sweetie BasePack of icons includes a couple dozen icons, which have been downloaded more than 50,000 times and can be seen all over the web.
Social Media Mini Icon Pack
This collection has 16x16 pixel icons for all the popular social media sites, including YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, and more.
Silk might be the best known mini icons out there. The collection includes more than 700 16x16 pixel icons, with just about any icon you could possible want to use.
This collection includes more than 110 10x10 pixel icons, all in beautiful grayscale.
Vaga is a collection of semi-transparent 16x16 pixel icons, including ecommerce and other commonly used web icons
Circular Icon Set
This set includes more than 100 16x16 pixel icons, all circular with a white border.
This set of pixel icons ranges in size from 8x8 to 12x12, some of the smallest featured here.
Kleines Weblog Iconset
Here's a set of a few 13x15 pixel icons for use on blogs. The page is in German, but just look for the red download link in the text.
Web Mini - Part 1
This set of over 230 icons was designed specifically for web-oriented applications, websites, or blogs. More sets in the series will be released soon.
Web 2.0 Basic Mini
This set includes more than 500 icons (170+ in three colors) specifically designed to work with Web 2.0-styled designs. (There's also a larger set of identical icons available.)
30 Free Website Icons, Blog Icons, Symbol Icons
This set includes two sizes of coffee-colored icons: 16x16 and 10x10 (with 15 of each).
Social Bookmarking Icons
Included here are many popular social bookmarking and sharing icons, including Delicious, Digg, Fark, Technorati and StumbleUpon, perfect for creating bookmarklets for your site.
This set, designed by Veerle Pieters, includes 15 simple, bold social media icons that match the F0101 theme from WooThemes.
This simple, minimalist set of icons comes in three formats: raster, vector and font.
mIcons - Kostenlose Icons
These icons sets are organized by type, with icons for document types, blogs, navigation, and more.
Mini Calendar Icons Set
These tiny calendar icons come in a variety of colors and are 20x25 pixels.
These "Farm-Fresh" icons from FatCow contains 1000 icons, in both 16x16 and 32x32 pixel sizes. They're released under a Creative Commons license, and include a variety of formats.
Led Icon Set
This set includes over 500 icons, all inspired by FamFamFam, in a 16x16 pixel size.
Computer Micro Stock
These simple, black and white 10x10 pixel icons feature some commonly used icons, including Home, Blank Document, Folder, Arrow, and Speech Bubble
Sonata is a premium icons set with 138 icons that includes the PSD files, as well as versions both with and without shadows.
These monochromatic icons are elegant and simple, and look great against either a dark or light background.
These orange icons include more than 100 images in the set, both general and specialty.
There are over 100 greyscale icons in this set, including ecommerce icons, general web icons, and more.
Essen includes more than 100 multicolored icons, including ecommerce and other icons.
This set of dark grey icons includes a wide variety of icons, including general web icons and specialty icons.
These multi-colored icons include most commonly-used web and application icons, as well as some additional icons that might not be seen or used as often.
Free Web Design Icon Set
There are more than 1000 16x16 pixel multi-colored icons in this set, designed specifically for use on the web.
Blockie 16px Grayscale
Blockie is a set of premium grayscale icons for the web, with more than 230 icons included.
SimplyBold Pixel Set
This collection of more than 140 icons is based on the original SimplyBold icon set, but in pixel style.
This set of 144 icons from FAMFAMFAM include a handful of application icons, as well as a huge variety of web icons and icons useful for document handling.
urlgreyhot Mini Icons
This is a collection of 12x12 and 16x16 pixel icons, including mini web icons, system icons, and bullets, among others.
Compiled exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.
Know of other great mini icons out there? Or maybe some great examples of how they've been incorporated into a site design? Let us know in the comments!