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24 ways to impress your friends

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David Bushell

@Jon Hicks — thanks for the reply, I can certainly see it as an option in some circumstances, but then SVG is also scalable and there are plenty of vector graphics available too, so I don’t think either technique could call an advantage in that respect.

IE7-8 support is tricky, but yes a PNG fallback. I think conditional comments with .oldie on the <html> element would be best but that’s ignoring Firefox 3.6 etc. Testing for SVG support with JavaScript is another way, but then the PNG fallback is downloaded before SVG is detected. You could do it the other way around and default to SVG, only applying a PNG if support is not detected.

Difficulty comes with relative sizes when the background-size property is not supported. That’s more of an issue with my sprite example and not specifically SVG, though you could argue web fonts work better in that example.

There are issues with both options but for most circumstances and certainly in the near future I’d say SVG has the upper hand.

One concern I really have with web font icons is when clients say they “don’t like” a particular icon — always happens! Suddenly you have to edit a font or find a new one. That could be a nightmare. Editing a vector graphic is a tad easier for most people.