Show off your love for the Earth with these 10 FREE nature-inspired icons. Use them across print, digital, or social media to promote sustainability for your brand.
An icon is a small vector or raster graphic that symbolizes a universal meaning. It communicates a message or theme with easily recognizable shapes, colors, and silhouettes. Inspired by the rise of the Plastic Free and Kawaii Creative Trends, these ten free nature-themed icons evoke all things earth-friendly. Use these versatile icons to supplement sustainable graphics or use them to promote an upcoming workshop or event.
Read on to access the download link, then learn how to make the most of these icons in any graphic design program.
How to Download 10 Free Nature Icons
Downloading these free nature-themed icons is simple! Click on the button below to initiate your icon download.
By downloading this free Nature Icon pack, you agree not to resell or redistribute these assets.
Each icon comes in a Kawaii-inspired illustration, a full color style, and a line art rendition. The icons will come packaged in a ZIP file as a transparent PNG and vector EPS. In addition to these raster and vector icons, eight icons will come as an animated GIF on GIPHY. Simply type in “Shutterstock” in the Instagram stickers search bar to find these earth-inspired icons in motion.
Add Icons to Digital and Print Graphics
The main purpose of an icon is to quickly and clearly convey a visual message. These free icons can be used for a variety of applications, from digital graphics promoting sustainability efforts to print graphics advertising an upcoming themed event. All of the icons come in a vector form and a raster PNG form to be used within a multitude of design applications.
Simply import or upload the vector or raster files to any document and resize as necessary. While the raster files are not editable, the vector EPS files can be altered to fit the needs of your design.
Mockup via Guzsudio.
The versatility of these free icons work well when supplementing phrases, quotes, or facts that encourage others to be mindful of their carbon footprint. By incorporating simple yet effective icons, you can boost the impact of your designs.
These icons don’t stop at supplementing earth-friendly graphics. You can also use them to promote a plant- or garden-themed workshop, event, or class. Using just one or two icons can attract viewers to your post.
Make a Seamless Icon Pattern
A seamless pattern is an image or texture that can be duplicated and placed side-by-side, without distinct borders or separations. These patterns enable a single image to be endlessly repeated to create unique backgrounds, text effects, or brand elements.
In Adobe Illustrator, the options are endless. You can arrange these free icons as you choose, recolor them with the Color or Swatches panels, bring in texture, and more. With these free nature-inspired icons, you can create visually interesting backgrounds to supplement graphics that promote sustainability, nature, gardening, or recycling.
Step 1: Create Square Shape
Start off by opening up the Adobe Illustrator program and creating a new document with Command + N. Set the dimensions of your artboard and click Create.
Activate the Rectangle Tool (M) then hit the Option key to bring up the Rectangle size menu. Constrain proportions by clicking on the link icon and enter in a value for your square. Remember the height and width value; this is essential when arranging the earth icons later on.
Step 2: Arrange Icons
Go ahead and download the icons using the button at the top of this article. Open up the EPS file by double-clicking (or Control-click on Mac) and selecting Open With > Adobe Illustrator. Each icon is grouped together, ready to be placed in a pattern.
Select an icon with the Selection Tool (V), holding down the Shift key to select multiple at a time. Hit Command + C to copy, then head back to your new document and hit Command + V to paste.
Arrange your icons within the square, but allow for some to hang off the edges. Be sure to leave room on the opposite side of the square for any icons that exceed the square’s boundaries.
To copy and move overhanging icons, select the icon and hit Shift + Command + M to bring up the Move menu. The heart earth icon above is placed on the bottom right of the square, but in order to remain seamless, it needs to be moved and copied on the opposite side in 90 degree increments (0, 90, 180, 270, or 360 degrees).
This is where the dimensions of your square come in need. I entered -400 px in the Horizontal value and 0 px in the Vertical value, then set the Angle to 180 degrees. Check off the Preview to see where the transformation lies. Once you’re satisfied, hit Copy to duplicate the icon. Rinse and repeat for the remaining icons.
Step 3: Make Clipping Mask
Select the square background and copy with Command + C and paste in front with Command + F. The top square will act as your clipping mask boundary and the bottom square as the pattern background.
Group all elements except the topmost square with Command + G. Select all vector elements and hit Command + 7 to initiate the clipping mask. This is now the foundation of your pattern.
Step 4: Set as Pattern
Activate the pattern and head on up to Object > Pattern > Make. A square outline around your pattern will appear, along with the Pattern Options menu. Type out a name for the pattern swatch and set the Tile Type to Grid. Be sure both Size Tile to Art and Move Tile with Art are checked off.
Once you’re satisfied with the pattern, hit Done at top of the program to save your new pattern swatch in the Swatches panel.
To use the new pattern swatch, draw a shape with any of the Shapes tools and activate the new swatch. The pattern will instantly fill any selected shape. This technique can be used for more than these earth-inspired icons; you can create endless seamless patterns with shapes, illustrations, and more.
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