In the world of modern web, icons have become an indelible and integral part of UI design. From navigation menus to social media icons, symbols and indicators, icons feature heavily on almost every single website and app on the internet and its popularity showing no signs of waning anytime soon. Consequently, every developer has to face this conundrum – Which icon set should they use?
Traditionally, developers had to rely on just images formats to quench their needs. However, using images for icons delivers scathingly poor performance in terms of render quality and resolution. But now developers have 2 choices at their disposal – Icon Fonts vs SVG Icons(Scalable Vector Graphics). This is a debate that shows no signs of abating is splitting the dev community into two. Proponents of both icon formats argue the merits of one over another. However, in recent times there has been a general consensus and momentum towards SVG icons format. SVG icons system ensures better performance, higher accessibility standards, high rendering quality, unmatched flexibility, and extensive customization. In this article, we will explore in brief the history of web icons, pros, and cons of font icons vs SVG icons.
A Brief History Of Web Icons
Era Of Images
Before the discourse of icon fonts vs SVGs, when browsers had non-existent CSS support, images were the only way for developers to showcase icons using the classic tag. Here is an example of an image icon –