The Rise of Font Icons

A New Trend in Web Design and Development

WordPress Dashboard IconsThe recent WordPress update to 3.8 woke many web designers and developers up to a new trend.  Font icons were introduced in the WordPress dashboard to replace .png image icons.

The move towards flat design is well past its infancy–but the use of flat design to cut page load time is on the rise.

Font icons are simply a set of icons delivered as a font set. This means that, perhaps instead of a Q, you may see a twitter icon. (though usually icons would be using a special part of Unicode). See this? That icon is part of a font set. And so was that.

Why not just use images?

Icon images usually come as .png files–these are more crisp with single colors and allow for transparent backgrounds. The down side is that they have large file sizes. Not to mention, each

Other advantages of using Fonts

One great thing about fonts is that they are scalable. Because they are vector graphics, they can be any size or color. This is especially great for theme design and development. With a simple theme color selection, every icon you select can match the website design. These icons can scale with a responsive website, and can be reused in different ways.

Disadvantages of Icon Fonts

Like fonts, these icons can only be one solid color. They allow for text shadow (and all the cool css voodoo you can accomplish with it), but that’s about it. These are perfect for an age of flat design and simplicity–but who knows what’s in store 5 years from now.

Some Useful Links (for developers & designers)

Dashicons

Font Awsome

Icon Moon