Iconfinder is a search engine that lets you find icons on the web. These are the sorts of digital art files — icons, logos and fonts — that designers need to create content or web pages.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company already has a highly trafficked site, with three million icons downloaded each month. Iconfinder already generates about 19 million page views and about 1.7 million visits each month. At the DEMO Fall 2011 conference, the company plans to show off its new ideas for selling premium icons to users. The company aims to mix both free and premium content in the same search results.

“We’ve found a way to get users, and now we are charging for premium content and will use this technology to make a market for other things as well,” said Steffen Thilsted (pictured right), co-founder of Iconfinder, in an interview.

Started in 2009, Iconfinder is a small firm with two people. Rivals include Iconarchive.com, Istockphoto.com, Findicons.com, istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com.

Iconfinder hopes to beat them with a cleaner user interface, more search filters, better-quality icons, and better search results. The company lets designers easily compare the quality and prices of icons. It bills its service as a great time saver. The big companies like I

The company has been bootstrapped to date and is considering raising funding to expand its reach. Martin LeBlanc (pictured top left) founded the company while working as a freelance designer. He was looking for a way to save time when finding icons. Web sites offering free icons were messy, with a lot of bad icons. He was joined by Thilsted earlier this year.

For monetization, they plan to introduce the equivalent of Google AdWords for icons, customized icons and other verticals too. That is what they will show off at DEMO. You can now buy icons directly from the search results.

So far, Iconfinder has more than 157,000 icons that have been uploaded by designers. By uploading the icons, the designers are essentially marketing their services. Those designers are free to put their license restrictions on how the icons can be used.

The search engine works pretty much like Google image search, with additional features to narrow down searchers further. Thilsted said the company is raising a round of money now.

Iconfinder is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.