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Fonticons (YC S15) Is A Subscription Icon Service From The Maker Of Font Awesome (techcrunch.com)
97 points by katm on July 22, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments



In the past I've been able to just import Font Awesome and custom icons into https://icomoon.io/app and create a custom kit that way. That's something that has existed for free for quite some time now with support for png/svg/font exports. It looks like the Font Awesome guys just put a price tag on an existing idea. Is there something novel about this that I'm missing?


There are definitely some similarities with other services, no question. But we think about icons differently and we think we can solve the problem better. (For instance, you can copy and paste vectors directly out of Illustrator CC. And watch the number of icon sets, we're about to add lots more.)

We're going to keep making things better and better.


I used to use icomoon, now I use fontcustom - using a free tool like that in combination with the noun project (thenounproject.com) I pay for only commercially used icons once ($1/icon usually). What's nice about that as a non-designer is I can prototype for free and only pay when I'm confident enough to move forward with the idea commercially.

I'm not sure what the advantage of a $49/year subscription fee would be when this option already existed.


Yeah my thoughts exactly. I love icomoon. It makes bringing in vectors from illustrator 0 hassle. Sure there are a few nuances here and there, but like you said, it's free.


Me and my team also have our own favorite route of doing it -- Illustrator, then our own script[1], then straight to IcoMoon.

1. https://github.com/razorfish/illustrator-layers-to-svg


This is neat. Dumb question, but one I think a lot of your clients will have: how easy is it to drop one of these sets into Bootstrap and have them work the same way Glyphicons do?


Works almost exactly the same way. Fonticons also has all the extra features Font Awesome has -- larger sizes, icons in lists, flipped, rotated, animated. And you can pare that CSS down to be just what you need, too. Speed, speed, speed.


Hey folks. Dave Gandy here. Happy to answer any questions and hear any thoughts. :)


I subscribed to this from the early days, but in the end I cancelled my account. I just didn't get enough value out of it to justify paying a monthly fee. But I probably didn't truly understand what this service is for. Can you please explain it to me ELI5?


I'll see what I can do. If I miss it, let me know. :) (And I'm assuming you're familiar with Font Awesome and think it's worth using.)

Fonticons is for when you outgrow Font Awesome: - maybe you want to design and use your own icons, like your company logo (our copy and paste out of Illustrator CC is super simple), but rolling your own icon font is daunting - maybe you don't want to serve all 519 icons when your site uses 20 - maybe you want an icon set that looks different from Font Awesome (our icon marketplace, which is about to grow quite quickly, will have a whole range of styles)

As your site's icon needs get more specific, hopefully Fonticons make sense.

Any better?


I wonder what 'explain it to me ELI5' would be called - a reverse recursive acronym?


How will the commissioned icon marketplace be structured? I love the idea, but have had negative experiences with services like fiverr and freelancer.


You'll be able to contract out the designers directly who made the original icon set. No worries about quality because it's the same person who did the original. They'll match perfectly, and you'll be able to work with them to make sure you get exactly what you want. (Everything will be pixel-perfect, too.)

For instance, if you want a Font Awesome icon that's not in the project, you can contract me out directly. You'll be able to do this for all of the paid icon sets: https://fonticons.com/sets/premium. Right now, we've got 2 gorgeous icon sets from Zach Roszczewski. You'll be able to contract him directly to get any icons his set might not have yet. (If you all don't know Zach, he's a particularly phenomenal icon designer. He did the Airbnb icons that are so gorgeous. The dude's seriously talented.)


out of curiousity, what does a custom icon cost, ballpark? I'm woefully underinformed when it comes to these kinds of things.


care to share your negative experiences? (maybe in summary if you don't feel like sharing too much)


Fiverr was overly saturated with more established artists. It was nearly impossible to find my listing organically.

Freelancer was filled with low quality / undervalued offers and spammy users. You can spend a lot of time fulfilling an offer just to wait weeks to find out if your work is selected amongst the other submissions.

The services seem good if you need some cheap work done, but felt pretty bleak from an artist's perspective.


Just FYI, previewing icons from the premium set on mobile shows a bootstrap dialog that has all manner of layout issues: too large and wide and icons are too small. Not the best way to showcase the great work.


You're absolutely right. We'll get around to it soon. :)

(As a rationale for why we haven't done it yet, about 95% of our visitors are on desktop. But we definitely need a good mobile version for the marketing side of the site.)


No questions, but thanks for Font Awesome. I hope you make fat stacks.


These icons are so nice they make me want to write a bunch of apps just for the sake of using the particular icons...

Ooh weather icons. I think another weather app is needed....


And there will be lots more where that came from. So many more. :)


Love it. We've been using it in production since the beta.


As you can download custom iconfont and put in on any static server, it happens that they actually sell ~1mb static hosting for 100$ year. It does not make any sense.


Do you guys have data on the tradeoff between subsetting for smaller file size and cache hits? When people use subsets on the CDN, are they de-duped so the same subset on another site would still be cached? If it does make a difference, would you release data on the popularity of various subsets?

(Also I hope you guys have a search box for that feature - icnfnt.com always made for a fun game of "spot these icons" for the whole office)


Cache hits vs subsetting FA only is probably a wash overall. I don't have numbers for that specifically, but that's my strong hunch.

As soon as you want to add your logo or use a different icon set, it's worth it. I think Fonticons is more important if you're looking for something a bit different, style-wise.

(We're dogfooding Fonticons on Fonticons. And we had a lot of fun with some of our error pages: https://fonticons.com/404.html, https://fonticons.com/500.html, https://fonticons.com/503.html. Copy and pasting icons out of Illustrator makes it super fast.)


Hey Dave, just wanted to thank you for fontawesome. Fonticons looks pretty cool as well, just signed up.


Thanks! And _definitely_ let us know if there's anything we can do to help!


I wouldn't put the word "font" in the company name. In the near future SVG symbols may become the preferred way of shipping icons on the web.


check out fontastic.me which i've been using for 2yrs and its amazing.




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