Why was SimpleSVG created?
SimpleSVG was created by me, Vjacheslav Trushkin.
Why did I create SimpleSVG? To give UI designers and customers more freedom, to replace fonts that are rendered differently on different operating systems and browsers with sharp SVG icons.
Freedom to choose
For many years I've been designing styles for forum software. All styles I've seen offer very little customization for customers.
Want to change icon for forum? Add one of FontAwesome icons or design image yourself.
Want to add icon to login button? Add fa-sign-in.
FontAwesome is a de-fact standard in web development. All forums use same icons, there is no variety.
Its an excellent font, but it offers no choice. All sites look the same.
So what are solutions? In my styles for XenForo 1 I've added second font in addition to FontAwesome. Replacing FontAwesome was not an option because many third party add-ons used its icons, so the only option was to add another font. That increased page loading times and added very little choice. That was not enough.
There are tens of thousands of great icons out there, but they are not used because all third party tools assume your code has FontAwesome, not allowing you to switch. Even if you do switch to different font, you'll be stuck in same situation - you would be able to use only icons from that font.
Lack of variety is of reasons I've created SimpleSVG. Its unique load on demand approach to serving icons allows designers and customers to choose any icons from tens of thousands of icons. Want to add custom plane icon to forum about planes? There you go, choose any of 50-100 plane icons.
Pixel perfect rendering
Glyph fonts are rendered differently on different operating systems and even in different browsers on same operating system.
Glyphs rarely look the same as they were designed. It is caused by 2 separate issues: anti aliasing and alignment. It is hard to perfectly align icon inside its container, then even if you managed to align it, you switch to different browser and see it all fail. Icons are not as sharp as they should be, on Windows curves and edges have mysterious colors.
This is because glyph icons are rendered as text.
So what is solution? Solution is to use images. Vector images.
However managing vector images is not trivial. Because of that very few designers bother with SVG. SVG is much harder to use that fonts. That is why glyph fonts are so popular.
When planning SimpleSVG one of goals was to make SVG as easy to use as glyph fonts.
I think SimpleSVG has achieved both goals.
I've spent most of 2017 developing SimpleSVG. Originally it was part of my XenForo 2 styles framework, but later it became so big that I've decided to move it to separate project. Being separate project allows other designers to use SimpleSVG in their projects.
It was long and complex task. SimpleSVG is the most advanced SVG framework that exists today.
SimpleSVG, all tools and libraries are released with MIT license.
If for whatever reason you prefer different license, create new issue at GitHub repository and most likely you will be granted permission to use SimpleSVG (or whatever tool/library you want) with license of your choice.
This license does not apply to icons. Icons are released under different licenses, see each collection for details. Icon collections available by default are all licensed under some kind of open source or free license.
SimpleSVG is completely free, no strings attached. All tools and libraries are open source.
In modern development all designers use many open source tools. SimpleSVG is my way of giving back to open source community.
However servers hosting SimpleSVG API do cost money. Currently there are 8 servers across the globe forming SimpleSVG API CDN. Each one of them costs money. You can show your support by purchasing some of my premium XenForo styles, which pay for servers.