Earlier, symbols and icons on the internet were displayed as images. Even though they were compatible over different browsers, they have mandated designing, cropping, and optimizing before the user could actually implement and upload them. This in turn meant that they need to recreate those tiny images all over again whenever their website branding change. On the other hand, Icon Fonts provide a new way of using the iconography with the same features and compatibility but with much better flexibility. Fonts are generally nothing but a set of symbols which include the benefits that are provided by the CSS font properties.
What is the use of Icon Fonts?
With its release, Icon Fonts are the latest trend in web design today. They can even finish up the UX without involving the large size of images. These fonts work effectively even for doing responsive design as their vector based nature ultimately make them look crisp at any size of pixel density. These fonts will allow you to easily customize their color, size, hover state and can also apply CSS3 font styles.
Since icon fonts can be embedded easily into websites, they can also be displayed regardless of what operating system or type of device the site’s visitors are using. The main reason of using these icon fonts is that you can embed them like fonts and you can play with their colors, you can add gradient with CSS3, or you can add shadows or rotate them easily and this fonts are also SVG format so you can use them in your Photoshop design or graphics design.
Let’s find out the top 10 best icon fonts for your projects where you can really stand out using any of them.
Font Awesome is probably the well-known resource to the front-end developers. This is created by Dave Gandy, and the fonts in it come in various shapes including line art and rounded images. They have been around for a long time, and many new frameworks and web projects come integrated with Font Awesome by default, just like many WordPress themes do. It provides over 585 downloadable free fonts on their website.
Many of these font icons would work effectively with San Serif fonts like Helvetica or Arial, even a few fonts like the font icon logo comprised for Wikipedia W might work great with a Serif font. You get several vector icon categories like branding icons, currency icons, web app icons, and many to choose from.
The Ionic framework is immensely popular with native app developers especially when it comes to web to mobile apps. It offers more than 730 fonts which are divided into three sets each with their own styles. Because of their popularity and success, the Ionic team created their own icon web font set renaming it to Ionicons. The fonts are also offered under an MIT license which is a type of free software license.
They are 100% free and hosted on Github and also capable of being added straight to your site when you use the stylesheet’s CDN version. If you are a beginner who has not yet worked with icons previously, then this is perfect. They are very easy to configure and these icons can be your stepping stone to working with other more complicated web fonts. It has a great collection to use if your project is in the tech category.
Glyphicons are designed to accompaniment with many different type of fonts especially the best Google web fonts, OS X, or iOS apps. This means the Garamond font in specific would work well with Glyphicons fonts. While they offer numerous variety of paid sets, there is also a free Glyphicons set. The free set provides with 610 basic fonts and 60 social Glyphicon fonts.
Themify icons comes with a complete set of icons for use in web design and apps. It consists of more than 320 pixel-perfect hand crafted icons which draw inspiration from Apple iOS 7 that is available to the all the users for free. You can use it or distribute it for any purpose whether it is personal or commercial. This icon set is a must needed tool for web designers and developers.
Zondicons are very easy and free to add them to your site. However, they don’t have the feature to update an archive because these Zondicons are not hosted in GitHub. They provide a demo page that displays all the examples such as which CSS classes you will need for ensuring that they work efficiently and effectively. To download Zondicon, they included the main link on their website that makes it tough to find any of new icons which were recently included or any existing ones were updated. Yet, if your website design is not complicated, then you can make use of this icon set. They are very easy to use and blend naturally into your website with a comprehensive style.
The Sosa web icon font is a tailored icon font which is available for free for personal and commercial use. It offers more than 160 icons fonts now. You can find various categories within this icon set like user interface, media, currency, devices, web, weather, ecommerce, controls, tools, social and many more. There are no restrictions on how you can use Sosa fonts, yet you cannot offer it as a free download on third-party domains.
The Entypo web icon font is not the latest one in the market but the 400+ icons it offers are top-notch and splendid among the free ones. New icons will get included automatically and you can make use of them easily. Entypo offers the fonts in two different sets. One is the main pack and the other is the social media pack. Therefore if you don’t need the social media icons then you only need to download the main pack while keeping your font file size less.
The Elegant Icon web font is a free set which has more than 360 icons where 50 of them are specifically for business purpose. The icon style is graceful and dazzling and creative people will always love to use them. These vector based graphics can contract or expand without reducing the quality while resulting in crystal clear and beautiful icons on different types of display even retina display.
The Captain Icon web font is designed by Mario Del Valle where the pack is hosted on Github. It has over 350 vector icons with each icon featuring a unique design where all hand-drawn from the ground up. It is this fact that it makes this pack stand out from the plethora of icon sets we find today. However, this icon set may be more suitable for creative site than others as the icons are hand-drawn they may not be ideal for financial service site or healthcare site.
Octicons is the in-house pack that is developed by GitHub. If you are looking for uncomplicated and light weight icon font then Octicons is for you. The latest version 5.0 consists of tons of cons with a few basic symbols. They are very user-friendly and you can even use them on almost any interface.
These are the top 10 icon fonts which demonstrate useful for your next project. You just need to examine a few designs to determine which will best suit the needs of your project the best. Combined these icon sets provide thousands of various choices of graphics to use with site text and they also offer the designers an easy way to finish up your site content.