The Iconfactory


The Evolution of a Website

Iconfactory v.1

Version 1.0 View Screenshot

Jun. 1996 - Mar. 1997

Corey, Ged and Talos all had individual web pages where people could download their icons, but it wasn't until Corey came up with the idea to create a single page where the three could consoldate their work and thereby increase hits that the first version of the factory was born. Corey came up with the name "Iconfactory" as well as the first icon of the factory itself. The original site (a single web page) was created and hosted on AOL. You can click the above image for a detail view, or click here to visit a mock-up of what the page actually looked like back then.

  • Jun.96Iconfactory started as a hobby
  • Jul.96IF mentioned in Guy Kawasaki's Evangelist
  • Feb.97Craig Hockenberry joins the Iconfactory
Iconfactory v.2

Version 2.0 View Screenshot

Apr. 1997 - May 1998

Although still hosted on AOL, the site was expanded to include several new pages including the Showroom for new icon sets, the Warehouse for older sets, a link to the new DeskStop page just launched, and a new collection of links to other icon / desktop sites. This version of the page included several small animations that disappeared with the next site design. However, people enjoyed these small animated GIFs so much, that we decided to bring them back in the form of the warehouse animations in the 4.0 Iconfactory.

Near the end of 1997, we hosted the very first Pixelpalooza icon design contest as a way to boost icon awareness for the Macintosh. There were around 30 entries that first year, and the winners set the tone for the Pixelpalooza contests to come.

  • Dec.97Iconfactory mentioned in WIRED magazine
  • domain name registered
Iconfactory v.3

Version 3.0 View Screenshot

Jun. 1998 - Sep. 1999

In a complete departure from the previous versions of the site, the Iconfactory is redone in what came to be known as our "black phase." All of the pages of the site were color-coded in the primary colors of the menu bar, which made for very bold, if sometimes difficult to read, pages. This version of the site also marked the introduction of frames as well as advertising at the Iconfactory. We had been speaking with icon artist Dave Brasgalla for some time up to this point, but it wasn't until he won 1st place in 1998's Pixelpalooza contest that we asked him to come on board as an Iconfactory worker. Dave took up the challenge and quickly became an indispensable and talented part of the team.

  • Jun.98IconDropper 3.0 released
  • Jan.99Dave Brasgalla joins the Iconfactory
Iconfactory v.4

Version 4.0 View Screenshot

Oct. 1999 - Sep. 2001

The 4.0 version of the Iconfactory was our attempt to combine all of the best aspects of previous designs while omitting the weakest ones. We returned to an overall "light" feel with the use of the Iconfactory / Mac blue, as well as re-introduced animations back to the site. The complexity of the Iconfactory demanded a clear and simple design for the main navigation sidebar. Frames stayed as well as the advertising, but several new additions including a searchable database for our icon collections and the introduction of the DeskBase, all added up to the strongest version of the IF to date. This design served the longest of any previous and was the foundation for version 5.0.

  • Oct.99IconBuilder 1.0 released
  • Jan.00Iconfactory incorporates
  • Jul.00Mindy Weaver joins the Iconfactory
  • Jun.01Iconfactory celebrates its 5th anniversary
Iconfactory v.5

Version 5.0 View Screenshot

Oct. 2001 - Aug. 2006

The previous incarnation of the site you see today is most likely the Iconfactory you are most familiar with. Version 5 lasted the longest of any of our designs and the company grew considerably while it was in use. Constructed around a .asp architecture, the growing site spanned around 100 individual pages. The popular animations were expanded, and visitors saw the spooky Halloween makeover become an annual Iconfactory staple.

In addition to the changes at, we also launched, a companion site where customers could purchase affordable, royalty-free stock icons for their website or software products. Version 5 of the site stood the test of time, but the design became cluttered over the years, and the .asp back end had serious limitations.

  • Aug.02Travis Zuker joins the Iconfactory
  • Aug.02Panic and Iconfactory launch CandyBar
  • May 03Anthony Piraino joins the Iconfactory
  • launches
  • Jul.03Panic and Iconfactory release Pixadex
  • Nov.03ARTIS and Iconfactory launch xScope
  • Apr.04David Lanham joins the Iconfactory
  • Jun.04We release our 200th freeware icon set
IF version 6

Version 6.0

Aug. 2006 - Present

The current version of the Iconfactory, Version 6.0, is the result of more than 2 years of planning, designing, coding and production. It was rebuilt from the ground up using the powerful Ruby on Rails architecture and is fully compliant with W3C standards and practices. The signature "Iconfactory blue" color palette has given way to an all new, refreshing look and feel that is clean, easy to navigate and unique in appearance.

New features such as a secure shopping cart, similarity searches, RSS feeds, site-wide support items and much more were all added to make visitor's experiences more robust. Design services and our sister site, the Deskstop were folded back into the main site to give customers a one-stop destination for their icon design needs. Lastly, a complete redesign of featuring a better organizational structure and a new shopping cart ordering system was introduced to make purchasing icons quick and easy.

The current version is a new and exciting departure from the past in many ways, and we are confident that this design will service visitors for many years to come.

  • Aug.06Iconfactory celebrates its 10th anniversary
  • folded into v6.0
  • folded into v6.0
  • Oct.06Iconfactory unveils 2006 spooky make over
  • Jan.07Iconfactory releases Twitterrific
  • Feb.07ARTIS and Iconfactory launch Frenzic
  • Jun.08Twitterrific for iPhone wins an ADA
  • Jul.08Iconfactory releases Twitterrific for iPhone
  • Nov.08Louie Mantia joins the Iconfactory

How It All Started

The Iconfactory began in June of 1996 as a hobby between its three founding members: Corey Marion, Talos Tsui and Gedeon Maheux. All three were working for a small multimedia company called Paradigm Interactive designing educational CD-ROMs for children.

Part of the work at Paradigm involved creating icons. The guys found they enjoyed icon design and started pushing pixels on their own time for fun. Small, freelance icon jobs gradually grew into full fledged contract work for major software companies. Our lead developer, Craig Hockenberry, joined in 1997, and Dave Brasgalla joined in 2000, the same year that the Iconfactory incorporated. The rest, as they say, is history.

Did You Know?

  • AOL hosted the very first Iconfactory
  • IF v3.0 used HTML tables and frames
  • The official Iconfactory font is Frutiger
  • Pixelpalooza went on hiatus in 2005
  • Halloween is our favorite holiday :-)