Is CSS3 Becoming the New Photoshop/FireWorks/Gimp?

There’s an interesting, albeit slightly scary trend happening on the web lately. Eversince browsers have become quicker in implementing new CSS3 (and HTML5) features, experiments and products pop up everywhere as if we had ants in our pants.

Here are some commercial icons by Lucian Martin.

The latest, and probably most sophisticated set of icons I’ve seen so far is the commercial Pictos set by Drew Wilson.

Heck, there’s even a whole CSS gallery that showcases pure CSS icons!

But [URL=“”]not everyone is taken by the idea.

Of course it’s always exciting to see what we can come up with. But not everything that can be done should be done.

But what about you? What’s your take on using pure CSS icons or icons as a font (not unlike the old dingbats)?

No CSS3 is not becoming the next Photoshop, it is however becoming an easy to implement method of giving visual flourishes which hold graphical representations. If you want something web related to replace Photoshop, you should be looking at SVG, VML, Canvas or one of the many other vector markup languages that exist (and actually do a great job). The only reason why they have not been widely adopted thus far is due to a lack of consistent browser support. :slight_smile:

IMHO all developers should use the method that will achieve exactly what I am looking for in the simplest and most elegant way.

If a CSS icon can do this for me, then that’s the way to go! But of course, it all depends on the case at hand and what you feel most comfortable with (within a reasonable standards and accessibility perspective…).

For a lot of the projects I’m involved with currently, it would involve more contingency fallbacks to support all the required browsers, so I don’t do it, but for my personal projects it’s always fun play with new techniques.