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How to Use Font Awesome in Illustrator and other Applications

My son needed a business card for his DJ and music production business (yes, he’s almost got his Ph.D. in Math). To save space when displaying all of his social channels on his business card, we wanted to provide a clean list using the icons for each service. Rather than purchasing each of the logos or a collection from a stock photo site, we used Font Awesome.

Font Awesome gives you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized — size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS.

Monstreau cards

Fonts are vector-based and scalable to your project, so they’re perfect for use in graphical desktop applications like Illustrator or Photoshop. You can even convert them to outlines and use them in the illustration.

Font Awesome is widely used to add these logos and other icons on websites, but you may not realize that you could download the actual font to install on your Mac or PC as well! The TrueType font (ttf file) is part of the download. Install the font, restart Illustrator and you’re up and running!

There’s no need to memorize each character or do a search for the right one, here’s how to use the font:

  1. Open up the Font Awesome Cheatsheet in your browser.
  2. Open up an Adobe Creative Cloud program (eg. Illustrator).
  3. Set the font to Font Awesome.
  4. Copy and paste the character from the cheatsheet into your file.

That’s all there is to it!

How to Use Font Awesome in Illustrator

Here’s a quick video on how I find icons on Font Awesome and then use them within my Illustrator files.

How to Use Font Awesome with Photoshop, Illustrator, And Other Desktop Platforms.

Here’s a great video overview on how to utilize Font Awesome with Illustrator (or other desktop platforms).

Create Outlines for Your Font Awesome Font

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid using it in a platform that doesn’t embed the font and requires it to be installed on the system. Using it in Word, for example, would require your recipient to have the font loaded on their system in order to see it. In Illustrator or Photoshop, you can use Create Outlines to convert the font to a vector image.

  • In Illustrator, you can use Create Outlines to convert the font to a vector image. To do this, use the Selection tool and choose Type > Create Outlines. You can also use the keyboard command Ctrl+Shift+O (Windows) or Command+Shift+O (Mac).
  • In Photoshop, right-click on the text layer. Position your mouse over the actual text in the text layer (not the [T] icon) and right-click. From the contextual menu, select Convert to Shape.

Download Font Awesome

Disclosure: Martech Zone is an affiliate of Adobe Creative Cloud, Illustrator, and Moo and have our affiliate link above.


Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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