Font Icon Madness

Feb 8, 2014

Around a year ago, I remember reading the article The Era Of Symbol Fonts on A List Apart.
Despite it being a bit too evangelical and hyperbolic – as the elevation of “Symbol Fonts” into an “Era” in the title suggests, I suppose – the article had useful info.

More practical – and with an eagle eye on the downsides – here’s an article that goes into, in depth, the use of Icon Fonts as UI elements in web pages.
It’s a minefield still. Beware.
Bulletproof Accessible Icon Fonts


A new and considerably improved version of the Drag n Drop Pangram Font Tester page has been posted.

If you’d like to use it on the web right off of this site, it’s located at this address:

If you’d like to download it and use it locally as part of your testing workflow – the full zip package – which now includes some fonts so you can immediately drag a font or two into the Font Loader Bar and see how it works, is located at this address:
Also included in that package is a “missing-glyphs.ttf” font which has to do with testing version 8.2’s biggest improvement:

Detecting Missing Characters

The page now has a built in “Fallback” font named “backdrop” included as a Data URI which is used to show characters missing from the font.
(A test font named “missing-glyphs.ttf” is included with the Version 8.2 package. Drag it into the page’s Font Loader Bar and you’ll see how the backdrop font works. Note: As of this release, the “backdrop” font is still very much in development with character coverage and the look of the symbol designating a missing character still to be finalized.)

Additional fixes and enhancements are listed in a text file included in the package.

Hoping those who create and work with fonts find this useful. I’ll be posting much more work in this vein over the coming year.


Some Wood Font Specimens


I ran across this page of scanned wood type somewhere in my virtual travels: Wood Type I very much like the style of some of them but beyond that, as a technologist, it’s got me wondering how to provide appropriately weighted glyphs for the characters that are missing from these sets. The shape and thickness […]

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A Drag and Drop Web Font Tester


It’s been over a year since I posted anything here. I’ll be keeping posts short, with an emphasis on bits of news related to the world of online readability – especially web fonts, the technology into which I’ve gotten knee deep. (If someone had told me five years ago I would be spending a lot […]

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No More Newsweek, At Least In Print


Newsweek announced today that as of the end of the year, they will no longer publish a print edition. Management says they plan to transition to an all-digital format in early 2013 called Newsweek Global that will be operated on a paid subscription model, thus insuring that the new Global edition won’t be around for […]

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A Fond Goodbye To Donna Summer


A lot of people looked down their noses at the Queen of Disco because, well, because she sang disco. But they secretly dug Donna anyway. You could tell. Great tunes. Great beat. And a great voice for it. The seventies wouldn’t have been “The Seventies” without Donna Summer. (Alright, add a sprinkle of Barry Gibb, […]

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In Web Design, The Narrow Column Is King


Get used to it. Learn to live with it. Make it work for you. Check this out: Re-Thinking The Mobile Web It takes a good twenty minutes to get through but it’s worth it. Even if you are already familiar with the pitfalls of trying to accommodate all the different screen sizes out there. Maybe especially […]

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A Free RasterBRIDGE® Web Font: Puffbuddy Light


What you see above is a screen shot taken on Windows XP.It looks smooth and clean, right?Unlike most so-called ‘web fonts’, all RasterBRIDGE® Web Fonts are specially prepared to look as good in Windows as they do on the Mac,and on the iPad,and on the iPhone,and on the Kindle Fire, and so on and so […]

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The Inclusionists


There is a bit of a kerfuffle going on in the world of web standards regarding the use of vendor specific prefixes for CSS properties. There’s an article on AListApart about it that every web developer or anybody in “e-publishing”, for that matter, should read. A Comment From A Fellow Inclusionist One commenter had this […]

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When The World Shifts Beneath Your Feet


Garrick Van Buren, my taskmaster at Kernest/Konstellations, sent me over a link to an article about how different publishers are dealing with DRM and, just as importantly, the Walmart of online publishing – Amazon. Cutting Their Own Throats on Charlie Stross’s blog. Uh, there seems to be a notion floating around that somehow there’s something […]

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