asadr at ocadu.ca
Thu Mar 21 17:48:52 UTC 2013
We had a community workshop discussion a few weeks ago about font icons and talked about few options (e.g Font Awesome<http://fortawesome.github.com/Font-Awesome/>, IcoMoon<http://icomoon.io/>, symbolset<http://symbolset.com/>), and decided to explore them more.
Creating icons is fairly easy, and there are a lot of free font-icon sets online. The issue is not the icons, but an application that gives us the ability to create a font out of our icons, and a way to create metadata such as ligatures for them.
The reason why we think Icomoon http://icomoon.io/ is our best option for now, is because it provides us with a free offline application that gives us the ability to add our own icons (vectors) to their free icon sets. It also gives us the option to create ligatures for those icons.
I have created a JIRA “Using Icomoon to create font-icons to be used as icons and elements for UI options” (http://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-4934) about this, and have added some questions and thoughts.
Using Font icons is great because we can easily:
* Change the size and color - Shadow their shape
* Have different icon sizes in the same font
* Do everything image based icons can do, like change opacity or rotate.
* Add strokes to them with text-stroke or add gradients/textures with background-clip: text;
* Convert them to text
We are also going to have some drawbacks:
* We cannot have two-toned icons.
* We cannot have other languages in metadata, and space is not allowed between the words in the metadata.
* Alignment could become an issue
* IE8 and IE9 do not support font-icons with ligatures.
At this point, I have a few questions that I think need to be answered before we could explore further:
* Can we fix the issue with IE8 and IE9?
* What happens if we could not find a way around IE8 and IE9?
* Do we support other language and text inputs, and would it be a problem if we could not use them?
* Are ligatures going to work with screen readers in our supported browsers?
I have created a font icon pack with ligatures, including some of our icons that you could download from the JIRA and play around with. I also have attached an image, showing icons as fonts, and their abilities.
It would be great to hear your feedback and thoughts on this issue, and also on the JIRA, since it is my first one.
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