Free Icon Fonts for Web User Interfaces


by Jacob Gube | Six Revisions

Free Icon Fonts for Web App User Interfaces

This roundup features 18 free icon fonts that can be used in your commercial projects. The icon fonts in this post are perfect for your app user interfaces (UIs).

What are Icon Fonts?

Icon fonts are font files that have symbols and glyphs (e.g. arrows, folders, magnifying glasses) instead of standard alphanumeric characters.

Icon fonts are like dingbat fonts, but are designed specifically for UIs. Icon fonts, just like other web fonts, use the CSS @font-face rule to display icons in web browsers.

And because they’re treated like web fonts, icon fonts:

  • Have great cross-browser support (even IE6, for example, can render web fonts using the @font-face rule)
  • Can be scaled on-the-fly if the user adjusts their web browser settings
  • Can be rendered with different colors
  • Can embody font- and text-related CSS properties (like text-shadow andgradient)

See icon fonts in action by visiting my friend Chris Coyier’s icon fonts demo page.

To learn how to use icon fonts, read this tutorial on CSS-Tricks: HTML for Icon Font Usage.

Free Icon Fonts

Below are 18 excellent icon free fonts that have licenses that permit commercial use. I strongly recommend reading the license terms and conditions of any freebie you get online, just to be sure that you can use the free resource for your particular purpose.

1. Foundation Icons Fonts

Number of icons: 137. License: MIT Open Source License.

Foundation Icons Fonts

2. Sosa icon font

Number of icons: 121. License: Custom license (use in commercial projects permitted).

Sosa icon font

3. Font Awesome

Number of icons: 196. License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Font Awesome

4. Iconic Icon Set

Number of icons: 172. License: SIL Open Font License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

Iconic Icon Set Leer más “Free Icon Fonts for Web User Interfaces”

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Why We Should Start Using CSS3 and HTML5 Today

For a while now, here on Smashing Magazine, we have taken notice of how many designers are reluctant to embrace the new technologies such as CSS3 or HTML5 because of the lack of full cross-browser support for these technologies. Many designers are complaining about the numerous ways how the lack of cross-browser compatibility is effectively holding us back and tying our hands — keeping us from completely being able to shine and show off the full scope of our abilities in our work. Many are holding on to the notion that once this push is made, we will wake to a whole new Web — full of exciting opportunities just waiting on the other side. So they wait for this day. When in reality, they are effectively waiting for Godot.

Just like the elusive character from Beckett’s classic play, this day of full cross-browser support is not ever truly going to find its dawn and deliver us this wonderful new Web where our work looks the same within the window of any and every Web browser. Which means that many of us in the online reaches, from clients to designers to developers and on, are going to need to adjust our thinking so that we can realistically approach the Web as it is now, and more than likely how it will be in the future.

Sometimes it feels that we are hiding behind the lack of cross-browser compatibility to avoid learning new techniques that would actually dramatically improve our workflow. And that’s just wrong. Without an adjustment, we will continue to undersell the Web we have, and the landscape will remain unexcitingly stale and bound by this underestimation and mindset.


For a while now, here on Smashing Magazine, we have taken notice of how many designers are reluctant to embrace the new technologies such as CSS3 or HTML5 because of the lack of full cross-browser support for these technologies. Many designers are complaining about the numerous ways how the lack of cross-browser compatibility is effectively holding us back and tying our hands — keeping us from completely being able to shine and show off the full scope of our abilities in our work. Many are holding on to the notion that once this push is made, we will wake to a whole new Web — full of exciting opportunities just waiting on the other side. So they wait for this day. When in reality, they are effectively waiting for Godot.

Just like the elusive character from Beckett’s classic play, this day of full cross-browser support is not ever truly going to find its dawn and deliver us this wonderful new Web where our work looks the same within the window of any and every Web browser. Which means that many of us in the online reaches, from clients to designers to developers and on, are going to need to adjust our thinking so that we can realistically approach the Web as it is now, and more than likely how it will be in the future.

Sometimes it feels that we are hiding behind the lack of cross-browser compatibility to avoid learning new techniques that would actually dramatically improve our workflow. And that’s just wrong. Without an adjustment, we will continue to undersell the Web we have, and the landscape will remain unexcitingly stale and bound by this underestimation and mindset. Leer más “Why We Should Start Using CSS3 and HTML5 Today”

Design Inspiration: Text Art Showcase

Typography is a major aspect of web and graphic design. With text art, typography and text effects can be used in unique, creative ways to design. In this post we’ll showcase some beautiful examples of text art. If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source.


http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/text-art/

Typography is a major aspect of web and graphic design. With text art, typography and text effects can be used in unique, creative ways to design. In this post we’ll showcase some beautiful examples of text art. If you see something you like, click on the image and you will be led to the source.

Australia Post Ad

Australia Post Ad

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Cover Girl

Cover Girl

Typographic World Map

Typographic World Map

Freedom

Freedom

Valdez

Valdez

Am I Your Type

Am I Your Type Leer más “Design Inspiration: Text Art Showcase”

Expressive Web Typography: Useful Examples and Techniques

Wherever we turn online, typography jumps out at us — sometimes literally, with the assistance of some clever coding. And now more than ever, we are seeing greater focus on this design element and its varied implementations around the Web. With the growing popularity of font embedding services and @font-face, typography is the talk of the town, but even though it is a regular topic among communities, not all of our typographic efforts are successful. Sometimes we swing for the fences, only to miss or fall short.

This is what brings us together today. We have looked around the Web and checked some of the many typographic choices of website owners — some of which are successful, others not so much. Below is a selection of some elegant and interesting websites. We will critique the typography on them, in order to explore how we can improve the type on our own websites. Look through them to see whether you spot any typographical trespasses that you may have committed yourself.


Smashing Magazine

Wherever we turn online, typography jumps out at us — sometimes literally, with the assistance of some clever coding. And now more than ever, we are seeing greater focus on this design element and its varied implementations around the Web. With the growing popularity of font embedding services and @font-face, typography is the talk of the town, but even though it is a regular topic among communities, not all of our typographic efforts are successful. Sometimes we swing for the fences, only to miss or fall short.

This is what brings us together today. We have looked around the Web and checked some of the many typographic choices of website owners — some of which are successful, others not so much. Below is a selection of some elegant and interesting websites. We will critique the typography on them, in order to explore how we can improve the type on our own websites. Look through them to see whether you spot any typographical trespasses that you may have committed yourself.

[By the way, did you know we have a free Email Newsletter? Subscribe now and get fresh short tips and tricks in your inbox!]

Typography Examples

Denise Chandler
When we look at the portfolio of Denise Chandler, right away the typography begins talking. The original hand drawn sans-serif offers a personal, artistic yet professional feel at the same time. Denise focuses on the most important information and presents it in a relatively simple one page layout. The hover effects offer a great element of interactivity to the site for sure, while the large, bold caps type along with the intricate ampersand for the header works well to playfully complement the page.

Denisechandler in Expressive Web Typography: Useful Examples and Techniques

The only critique really would be in the contact area. A slightly larger font and line-height, along with some extra spacing between the paragraph and the social media links would have made the area feel as open as the rest of the site. Also, it’s a pity that the “Submit”-button in the contact form doesn’t change on click — a nice :hover and :active-effect could make the experience even more pleasant.

Jessica Hische
Using a good type that doesn’t detract from the content is imperative. Jessica does a tremendous job with this, opting for a simple thin sans-serif font. Even in its simplest form, the italic type adds a flourish to the design. Perhaps for readability, though, the designer could have broken from the italics for the description of the featured pieces. Also, the type could stand to be a bit larger, and not only because the headers appear to blur a bit at that size.

Jesse in Expressive Web Typography: Useful Examples and Techniques

MCQ
The portfolio of Mike McQuade has a truly remarkable interactive page change effect that really grabs your attention. The site is set up as a grid with each square changing position and/or size to accommodate the content that opens with each selection. Also, because the layout is fluid, content squares appear on different positions when you resize the window and hence ensure the proper alignment of the content. It is a very clean, minimalist design that uses a unique combination of a thin and quirky serif and a clean and bold sans-serif to complete the tone and attitude of the portfolio. Leer más “Expressive Web Typography: Useful Examples and Techniques”

Mastering Typography in Web Design with Inspirations & Tools

Mastering Typography in Web Design with Inspirations & Tools


Typography is one of the most difficult trends to tackle which is why it will remain fresh in 2010. With all the cries for usability, web designers are afraid of using new and different fonts. We realize that nowadays, knowledge in typography can be applied into various forms in almost all of media fields, including graphic design and the publishing world.

Mastering Typography in Web Design

To apply typography effectively in a media, we need to understand how it was developed and how people around made it possible. This not only enriches us by having a deeper comprehension about type usage, we would be able to be choose fonts more wisely.

Sometimes in the past, I often noticed the way websites applied typography by using quite varied and unique fonts on their simple headers. And in the past, everyone was still using images when applying writing on the header. A while later, JavaScript was used to enhance the font usage. And now? We can’t count on it any more, many things are changing in web typography in this modern age. Such as API utilization, @font-face, CSS3 and possibly there will be many more alternatives in the future.

Most Common Web Typography Mistakes

With the resources that we have today, allowing us to use various kinds of fonts to make our websites much more interesting. It’s obviously more exciting for visitors to read our websites and also for a web designer to explore further the intensity of the font usage on a website. So a web designer has knowledge of when to use some particular fonts and when to use standard fonts for reading.

Most Common Web Typography Mistakes
Image credit: Lee | Quoteskine

There are a huge number of fonts available on the web, but that doesn’t mean all of them work and are suitable to be applied to a certain design. Every font is designed with certain characteristics for a certain idea, purpose, impression, and project design. So, our job as a designer is to make the concept meet the design supported with the correct font usage. Leer más “Mastering Typography in Web Design with Inspirations & Tools”

20+ New Apps and Websites for Designers

New apps and websites seem to appear on an almost-daily basis.

Trying to find the best ones each week or month can be tough, especially considering how many come out that aren’t that great.

Here we’ve compiled some of the best apps and websites that have come out in the past few months.

Some are apps closely tied to a web designer’s daily work, while others aren’t likely to be used as often, but are still useful.

If you want to share a recent web app or website useful to designers, please send a tweet to @cameron_chapman for inclusion in our next monthly roundup.


thumbNew apps and websites seem to appear on an almost-daily basis.

Trying to find the best ones each week or month can be tough, especially considering how many come out that aren’t that great.

Here we’ve compiled some of the best apps and websites that have come out in the past few months.

Some are apps closely tied to a web designer’s daily work, while others aren’t likely to be used as often, but are still useful.

If you want to share a recent web app or website useful to designers, please send a tweet to @cameron_chapman for inclusion in our next monthly roundup. Leer más “20+ New Apps and Websites for Designers”

Weekly Design News – Resources, Tutorials and Freebies


This is our weekly column in which we share our favorites posts, articles and resources with our readers all from the previous week.

If you would like to be kept up to date with loads of fresh design news and resources, you can follow us on Twitter, on Facebook or even by subscribing to our RSS feed.

Presenting an HTML5 Interactive Infographic

Presenting an HTML5 Interactive Infographic

Why Your Company Needs A Front End Developer

Why Your Company Needs A Front End Developer Leer más “Weekly Design News – Resources, Tutorials and Freebies”