When reviewing the artwork uploaded to Iconfinder, our Content review team follows a set of Criteria for approving icons and illustrations.
Variety refers to the differences in items within the same set in the sense that the set does not become repetitive. This is one of the criteria we follow when approving content for Iconfinder.
When starting out to create a new icon or illustration set, most icon designers choose a subject/theme. While there can naturally be some repeated concepts, we recommend designers to tackle the subject/theme from all its facets and try to make icons or illustrations that cover that subject as a whole.
It is important to not focus on just a few particular objects and combine those with some extra distinguishing elements, as that will result in a set that is too repetitive. A set that is too repetitive has low business value, which means that a few customers would buy it. Customers want sets that offer different graphics that can be used together on the same website, app or presentation and a too repetitive set is not interesting as a whole.
Using the same object over and over again with just minor tweaks or additional elements can be bad for your sales and also for the Iconfinder search engine. The more variety you offer in your sets, the more value you offer to customers. Read more about Business relevance.
Examples of sets with too little variety
Here are a few examples of icon sets that become too repetitive:
In the example below, a UI set with almost identical icons is not interesting from a business perspective. It becomes very repetitive and there are few cases where all these icons could be used together.
As another example, the set below is beautifully drawn, but a set containing only jellyfish icons will most likely not sell well. Instead, the set could be about underwater life and contain other animals, plants etc. in order to not become repetitive.
Another example of lack of variety is the set below depicting different types of laptop computers in different positions. This is not a good set because no customer will want to buy it as a whole.
And here is another set that is too repetitive and has little business value.
Repetitiveness can also make an illustration set less interesting to customers. However, in the case of illustrations, repetitiveness can be good sometimes. For example, it can be useful when representing different kinds of people.
Here are some examples of illustration sets that would do better with more variety.
Check out all the other Criteria for approving icons and illustrations.