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I love the idea and I’m all for ingenuity in development but why use this when a more apt technique exists? All modern browsers support SVG as background images (and in the image element).
Considering the accessibility concerns and difficulty in creating custom fonts, I’m struggling to see any benefits here? Perhaps rapid prototyping is one, but then icons aren’t important at that stage. The ability to apply text styles is a marginal advantage if any, one could edit SVG icons just as easily.
I have a little SVG demo here:
Fallbacks for older browsers (IE7/8) is a little tricky but with a bit of progressive enhancement theory can be solved.
Dingbat fonts are a cute and esoteric idea, but I struggle to see a real necessity for them.