Possibly unpopular design opinion: Icon fonts are terrible and I wish they had never been made.

4 Webmentions

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@noah Not sure which kind of icon font you’re referring to (dingbats? emoji? custom icon-glyphs that aren’t in Unicode but just have to be used in client’s site UI?), but regardless I’m probably in agreement with you. The latter kind are especially terrible for interoperability and probably accessibility, too. As someone who lived through the bad old days of pre-Unicode “shove any glyph anywhere you ...

smokey

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@smokey beyond the fact that they’re worse for accessibility and maybe performance, they’re semantically bad in practice. My particular gripe has to do with the fact that it’s impossible to guess which letter will produce which icon without some sort of glyph master sheet.

noah

Photo of smokey
@noah Heh, I hadn’t expected “hard for the designer to use” to be a defining characteristic of something that is so popular :-P It seems like the icon-font usecase (“custom scalable glyphs/icons for use as UI elements on websites”) is exactly what SVG is there for/good at—is SVG support still not widespread enough/complete enough?

smokey

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@smokey svg support is there. I think that some developers prefer to work with icon fonts though. In web development today, developer ease trumps everything. See React as another example.

noah