The secret that the fonts industry doesn't want you to know

Rémy 🤖 on May 04, 2019

One of my favorite tricks recently has become to use currentColor as a flavor to almost anything. Quite unknown for a long time, I'm pretty sure th... [Read Full]
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That half-color-change Python logo is dope, and I'm going to use this technique on my site like right now! Thank you!


I hate icon fonts and use this technique either with SVG sprites (symbols) and icon components.

You could also use sizing in em to reach similar experience as with icon fonts, or just for better flexibility. It's also great that you can override color and size just using CSS.


Interesting, how do you manage your SVG sprites?

And yes indeed, in that case the em sizing would have been more appropriate, thanks for spotting.


Usually, I use SVG icon components when working with Vue or React, but sometimes when I build classic websites (eg. using PHP for rendering) I place all icons in <symbol> tags in hidden <svg> with viewBox property and use currentColor where necessary.

In the end, I have something like this:

<svg style="display: none" xmlns="..." otherReqiuredAttrs="...">
  <symbol id="icon-user" veiwBox="0 0 20 20" fill="currentColor" storke="none">
    <!-- content of SVG from graphic editor -->
    <path d="..." fill="none" stroke="currentColor" />

<!-- Use an icon -->
<button class="button">
  <svg class="icon">
    <use xlink:href="#icon-user" />

For .icon you can use something like this

.icon {
  display: inline-block;
  fill: currentColor;
  height: 1em;
  width: 1em;
  pointer-events: none;
  stroke-width: 0;
  stroke: currentColor;
  vertical-align: middle;

  &[width] {
    height: auto;
    width: auto;

More than that, you can also use SVG color filters to derive other colors (for example a complementary color) from currentColor. Unfortunately SVG filters are not supported in some older browsers, so be sure to either not to actually require the additional color or not to support those older browsers.


Yes or well hack your way with opacity, different layers, etc. I wanted to keep the use case simple but you're completely right it's quite awesome all the things you could do!


While with opacity, you can only ever mix the color, with color filters, you can get it inverted.


Yep, title is clickbait. I fell for it. Was about to share it on Twitter but meh


When u use scss there is also the $var option which u can use. Now that css has this option on its own, isn't it still better to use the scss variables since they are working across all browsers. When they get cross-browser I would consider using them. What do u think?


Excellent explanation & example. Is the camelCase essential?

I wish SVG & CSS syntax was the same where possible.



Apparently CSS syntax is case-insensitive for these things, so you could write currentcolor if you prefer. I have not tested it thoroughly though.


Thanks, I'll add the same technique to my site as well shortly & test it. I like the split svg thing.

Thanks to Lea too (so many times).


I was running into this exact problem the other day and, although I knew about currentColor, it never occurred to me to use it in an SVG! Thanks for the excellent post. 😀

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