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What is in a favicon?

A favicon is a small graphic that appears by your web page address in a visitor’s browser, or in their bookmarks list, and helps to identify your site. As such it is a very important piece of web real estate, and contributes strongly to your online brand image. Being only 16 by 16 pixels in size, however, there is quite an art to getting a meaningful design into a ‘favicon’.

For most of us, one favicon is enough, and we would not want to re-brand this part of our identity any more often than we have to, as this may confuse visitors! For a complex brand like Google’s, however, changing the favicon has been a common event over the last eighteen months, culminating in the latest, a stained glass ‘g’. Where will Google go from here – does the new icon more accurately reflect their core brand? Or is the Google ‘spirit of innovation’ simply incompatible with a fixed brand image?

The image (above right) shows a 16 by 16 icon expaned 10 fold. The original icon held the word ‘icon’, and now appears in the dot of the ‘i’!

For more on the Google favicon, and an opportunity to have a go at designing your own favicon, see the BBC Magazine article linked below:

BBC: What’s with Google’s new mini icon?

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