Font icons are kind of fashionable in web development these days. What’s awesome about them is that you get all the clever wonderful benefits of how good browsers are at rendering webfonts. In a way, a web font used for font icons is like a png sprite for SVGs – you get one server round trip and then a bunch of reusable images.
It’s a good idea if you need to show some custom icons. Me, I’m too cheap for that. For Orbital I’m trying to make sure that there is a very small footprint. Rather than using a custom web font I’m just getting creative with the unicode tables.
As far as I can tell, unicode has some pretty easy to understand symbols for add (+), refresh(⟳) and edit(✎). So I get decent, scalable icons for zero server round trips!