It's tough to make something that's beautiful and very small at the same time. Ask anyone who's built an elaborate ship model inside a bottle. Or, for that matter, ask the composer of the "Minute Waltz." Now, consider the typical iPhone icon: at only 57 pixels a side, that's a measly 3,249 pixels of visual real estate. It takes a true artist to create something meaningful — never mind visually attractive — in that small a space.
All the more incredible that the following icon sets have accomplished both, and in so many different ways. From the Da Vinci-style etchings of Rena to the color/texture themes of Chalkwork, Shinicons, and CMT, the creators of these sets have digitally tweezed exactly the right pixels into exactly the right places.
And now the obligatory cloud to go with the silver lining: no iPhone in its current, official state supports changing the icon sets. So for the time being, you gotta resort to jailbreaking your handset. Still, if you like a particular set and don't wanna hack your hardware, there's no harm in downloading some or all of these icons and setting them aside in the hopes that a future firmware update WILL allow customization…
Click on each set name to download
the set, or click on the image to go to the set creator's page.
If you found some other interesting icon sets let us know.