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
- 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
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.
2. Sosa icon font
Number of icons: 121. License: Custom license (use in commercial projects permitted).
3. Font Awesome
Number of icons: 196. License:Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
4. Iconic Icon Set
Number of icons: 172. License:SIL Open Font License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.
5. Raphaël Icon-Set
Number of icons: 116. License:MIT License.
6. PulsarJS @FontFace
Number of icons: 73. License:SIL Open Font License.
To create a font file, you’ll need to use the IcoMoon web app. Number of icons: 316. License:Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
Number of icons: 88. License:Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
Number of icons: 100+. License:Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
10. Heydings Icons
Number of icons: 60. License:Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
11. Heydings Controls (App Icon Font)
Number of icons: 50. License:Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
12. JustVector Social Icons Font
Number of icons: 62. License:Free Art License.
13. Modern Pictograms
Number of icons: 86. License:SIL Open Font License.
Number of icons: 18. License:SIL Open Font License and Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
15. Signify Lite
Number of icons: 38. License: Custom license (use in commercial projects permitted).
16. Web Symbols typeface
Number of icons: 78. License:SIL Open Font License.
17. Social Media Icons
Number of icons: 74. License: Custom license (use in commercial projects permitted).
Number of icons: 65. License:Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
Icon Font Resources
Below are some good icon-font-related articles and tutorials on the Web.
- HTML for Icon Font Usage
- Fontello: A web tool for creating a font file from a variety of free icon fonts.
- Displaying Icons with Fonts and Data- Attributes
- Making, Using, & Bulletproofing Icon Fonts
- Transparent Glass UI: Free PSD for User Interface Design
- 5 Reasons Why Metaphors Can Improve the User Experience
- Free Icon Set: Blue Web UI Icons
- A Quick Introduction to Agile UX Design
- Poka-Yoke in User Interface Design
- 20 Fresh jQuery Plugins to Enhance your User Interface
- Factors That Affect Usability
- The Future of User Interfaces
- Creating a User Interface That Speaks Your Users’ Language
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