When I export my font icons and place them next to text in my browser using “Vertical Align Middle” the icons do not appear vertically centered to my text. When inside Glyphs should I place my icon illustrations so that they naturally appear vertically centered after export.
You will need to experiment. Vertical Align Middle does not align the bounding box of your glyphs, but usually the baselines. Be aware that different rendering environments may yield different results.