How Can You Create Custom Icons for E-Learning?

Icon Design Challenge #78: Challenge | Recap

If you’ve ever lost valuable production time searching for the right e-learning graphic icon, you’re not alone. Since most of us aren’t graphic design wizards, our instincts lead us to search for stock icons rather than build our own. Unfortunately, searching for icons is usually where course designers can lose their time.

The good news is that most course graphics can be created by non-designers. If you’ve ever thought about building your own e-learning graphics but didn’t know where to start, this week’s challenge is handcrafted for you!

DIY Icons for E-Learning

Recently, community member Joanna Kurpiewska shared some wicked cool icons that she designed in Storyline. What's even cooler is the graphic that shows how she created the icons. 

DIY Icons for E-Learning

Sticker effect - fully editable Storyline freebie

We shared a similar process for assembling character graphics in the pictograms challenge. It’s all about seeing how basic shapes can be combined to create anything you need.

Playing with LEGO® Can Help You See Like an Artist

Create Your Own E-Learning Characters with Pictograms #53

Creating Your Own Icons

After seeing Joanna’s practical examples, I thought it would be fun to design a challenge around creating graphic icons for e-learning.

To help jumpstart the challenge, I rounded up some free resources to help you create your own custom icons and graphics.

The Noun Project

This site is a huge resource of icons and symbols. The licensing has changed a bit over the past year, but it still remains one of my favorites. Most icons are still free while others either require attribution. The quality and selection is amazing.

The Noun Project

The Noun Project

Font Awesome

My go-to resource for icon fonts. Just install the font (.otf or .ttf) and you have access to over 500 font icons.

Also available is a handy cheatsheet to help you quickly find the icon you need.

Font Awesome

Font Awesome


Thousands of free icons you can use for personal and commercial projects.


View Flaticon

Challenge of the Week

This week your challenge is to create a set of icons, buttons, or stickers to share with the e-learning community.

You can combine icon styles or focus on a specific theme for your icons.


You can use Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio ‘13, or PowerPoint to create your challenge entry.

Note: If you create your icons in PowerPoint, more users will have access to your icon goodies.


Free icons

Community downloads


Share Your E-Learning Work

  • Comments: Use the comments section below to share a link to your published example and blog post.
  • Forums: Start  your own thread and share a link to your published example..
  • Personal blog:  If you have a blog, please consider writing about your challenges. We’ll link back to your posts so the great work you’re sharing gets even more exposure.
  • Twitter: If you share your demos on Twitter, try using #ELHChallenge so your tweeps can track your e-learning coolness.
  • Facebook: Share your work on our Facebook page by replying to this Facebook post with a link to your example.

Last Week’s Challenge

Before you rush off to design your icons, check out the emoji examples your fellow community members shared in last week’s challenge:


Emoji in E-Learning #77: Challenge | Recap


Wishing you an iconic week, E-Learning Heroes!

New to the E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.