Years ago, we made the Request icon feature: if you need an icon, you can request it. If other users upvote it, we draw it. No matter how unusual it is. It’s good for our community, and it helps us to draw icons that are in demand.

Most wanted icons are something we can expect like “airport,” “friendship,” “CoronaVirus.” Some people ask for an animated peach. Others want an eggplant. But there were other requests…

Disturbing requests

Once we realized that there was something off in the list of requests. Some of them looked pretty unusual. And they kept coming.

#1 “Greek ID”

Look at the sample. Ok, my ID photo is not my best pic either. But this one gave us the creeps!

Greek ID
Reference picture of Greek IDGreek ID icon we made

#2 “Four icons for physical abuse, power punish, abuse, torture”

“Is this person writing a sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey?” asked our designers.

Physical abuse reference
Reference picture for physical abusePhysical abuse icon we made
Power Punish reference
Reference picture for power punishPower punish icon we made
Abuse reference
Reference picture for abuseAbuse icon
Torture reference image
Reference picture for tortureTorture icon

#3 “Murder”

Should I say more?

Murder reference
Reference picture for murderMurder icon we made

The suspicious vibe got into the air. While icon designers were drawing, our support team initiated an investigation. They have looked through all the requests to find if there was a pattern. And there it was: all those requests were made by the same person. “Person of interest”, we thought.

Icons of evidence

What we found out is that this person is a serial requester. And he had requested many crime-related icons such as a policeman chasing another man, terrorists, robber, and reinforced concrete. Here are more.

#1 “Obama’s signature”

Why would one need Obama’s signature? Would he also request a signature of Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

Obama's signature reference
Reference picture of Obama’s signatureObama’s signature icon we made

#2 “Destroy document”

Wait. Forge documents and then destroy them? Why?

Destroy documents reference
Reference picture of destroying a documentSredder icon we made

#3 “Trial”

Should he plead innocent or take the Fifth, your honor?

Trial reference
Reference picture of TrialCourt icon we made

Criminal Profiling

Overall, the man has requested 500+ icons, including a ringing phone, sexy boy, cafe, deep diver, a cute bird, a crying child, and a perfume bottle. Most of them were simple and useful.

Sexy boy reference
Reference picture of girls admiring a sexy boySexy boy icon we made
Look-alike reference
Reference picture of a girl and a dogLook-alike icon we made

He also often asked us to adjust the icons, and it made sense. For instance, he requested icons of fat and skinny cat. When the icons were ready, he asked us to “add the ribs” to the picture of a skinny cat to make it clear that it’s bony, not slim.

Fat Cat iconSkinny Cat icon

Enough is enough! We had to find out who this person is, why he requested so many icons, what he does with them. So we dug through our support chat logs and found out that… he works at school. Chances are he is a good man. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

One dark late night, he came to our chat. And he turned out to be an English teacher from Greece and overall, an extremely nice person! He had requested those icons to help children learn English and have fun.

First-hand testimony

“First of all, I really want to thank you all for your awesome work. We wouldn’t be able to do all the things we did if it weren’t for you. We have been working on some textbooks and materials that accompany it. We have an app where students can solve quizzes and we are now in the process of creating different games. We have been using icons8 in all of the above. We are just 3 people so it’s a painfully slow process but thanks to resources online such as yours we have managed to put together so much content in less than 3 years.”

Happy end

Eventually, it turned out to be a story about the teacher who used all the icons to work with his students at school. And he built a team to create an original and entertaining course with several textbooks, additional materials, multiple games, and an interactive app that helps students practice. So, we’ve caught a group of teachers instead of a gang.

Here is the book, have a look!

Book Page 1Book Page 2
Book Page 3Book Page 4

And here is the game, one of 150+ they have created!

“Students love playing it and it’s a great way to get them to learn vocabulary. We have a bunch of games and ideas for activities in the works that wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you so much for creating so many amazing icons!”


This story is still in progress, and here is a set of cute alphabet letters and numbers requested by this user:

Cute alphabet 1 User testimony Cute alphabet 2

Feel free to use this set and check out our other education-related graphics:

Oh, and you can request an icon too if you didn’t find the one you need. There are only two rules to follow:

  1. Make one request about one icon.
  2. Describe your request and attach some images to provide a clear reference.

See also:

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