Deploying Icon Fonts for the Web
Illustration by John Hersey

Additional resources


Deploying Icon Fonts for the Web

with James Williamson

Video: Additional resources

I hope you've enjoyed our look at deploying icon fonts, and that you

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Watch the Online Video Course Deploying Icon Fonts for the Web
2h 4m Intermediate Apr 29, 2014

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Icon fonts are a fast, effective way to feature scalable vector artwork on websites. James Williamson shows you how to properly deploy icon fonts on your own site in this short course. Learn how to find an icon font that's right for you and style it so it appears exactly the way you want. Then learn about deployment options that will make your icons accessible and display consistently across multiple browsers and devices. James also introduces advanced styling options such as animated and multicolored glyphs.

Want to create your own icon fonts? Check out James' companion course, Creating Icon Fonts for the Web.

Topics include:
  • Finding icon fonts
  • Ensuring consistent styling
  • Exploring class-based solutions for deployment
  • Deploying with the data-icon attribute
  • Aligning icons
  • Animating icons
  • Styling multicolored glyphs
James Williamson

Additional resources

I hope you've enjoyed our look at deploying icon fonts, and that you have a solid foundation for how you might use them in your own projects. Before I go, I want to leave you with a few reference sites that can give you some additional information, as well as provide you with a few resource files that going to help you experiment with icon fonts a little further. So, I want to start with the unify Unicode support table and you can find this at If I scroll down, what this is, is a really thorough table of different devices and their support for specific Unicode values.

So, if you're using an icon font that has mapped icons to specific reserved symbols, like the cloud here at 2601, you can see how many devo,devices actually support that so that if your icon font failed, they would actually show their default, cloud icon, or whatever symbol they've got. This is a really great resource to help you figure out what your fallback options might be, in case your icon font doesn't work. Now speaking of that, I want to point to a page that I found, just really searching Google for performance issues with icon fonts, and I found this Confluence page, and this wiki, their, their fluid pu, project wiki about their research for the viability of using icon fonts and their, their UI options.

So this is for internal product. But what's really neat about this is they went through and did a lot of different research about icon fonts, ways to deploy them support for them, pros and cons how to support older versions of Internet Explorer and browsers, provide fall backs for browsers that don't support it. A lot of testing options here. They are really thorough, and then of course they summarize everything as well so, so even though this is for sort of their internal product there's a lot of information to be gained here so this is a page I would highly recommend that you bookmark.

Next up I want to point you to an article on Jeremy Keith's blog at Adactio. This is icon fonts, Unicode ranges, and IE8's compatibility mode. He found a really quirky thing happening one time with a specific Unicode encoding value triggering quirks mode in earlier versions of Internet Explorer. It's a really edge use case, but it's worth reading through to sort of get an idea for some of the bugs and problems that you might encounter, if you're going to be using icon fonts.

And finally I want to show an article on this blog on No Scope and this is called the do's and don't of icon fonts. And this is a really nice article written by a developer that's been using icon fonts for a while. And it's kind of a brain dump on what works and what doesn't work. It's not really detailed but there's some excellent information in here that can help you sort of plan out your own deployment strategy for icon fonts. So, I really encourage reading it. I also wanted to point out that for those of you that have downloaded the exercise files, there is a resources folder after the chapter four exercise folders.

And inside that, the font that we've been using throughout the whole course, Chunky Mobile, well, I've given you a copy of it. I've not only given you a copy of it, I've given you a copy of the source glyphs file. So if you have the glyphs or glyphs mini app you could open up that font and and work with it on your own. I have all of the individual fonts the source OTF file so if wanted to take that and convert to some other format you could do that. I have the specimen that we were working on in the last exercise, as a, as sort of a whole finished thing that you could put up and look through to determine which Unicode encoding to use in your own projects.

And I also have the individual SVG files for all of the icons, so if you wanted to take it up to a service like icon mood or you can kind of mix and match and make your own icon font to experiment with. You could certainly do that. Also, I wanted to mention that if you're interested in creating your own icon fonts, I recommend checking out my companion course, Creating Icon Fonts in the online training library, as well as all of our other web design and development courses. If you're into twitter, I'd love it if you followed me @JamesWillWeb, and and give me a shout.

I would absolutely love to hear from you, and have you join the conversation. And thanks again everybody, I really appreciate you watching, ad I will see you in my next course.

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