While browsing the FTSE 100 corporate sites this week, I was struck by how few use a favicon – less than 30%.
For those who don’t know, a favicon is the tiny icon that represents your site in the address bar (next to the URL), or in someone’s list of favourites or bookmarked sites, or in the tabs of a tabbed browser, such as Firefox or IE7. You should see one for this site – a small tick.
It is a tiny piece of web estate – 16px by 16px – but why not use it to reinforce the brand?
Most of those favicons I found today are immediately identifiable – I’ve put them in the image, above. Obviously those high street brands which have been heavily advertised have an advantage here. But every time the favicons are seen, it reinforces the brand of that company. Given how valuable every pixel can be on, say, a home page, it would seem a mistake to ignore this tiny square of space, which, after all, is available, and can’t be used – yet – by anyone else. Though, thinking about it – how long until people sell their favicon space for advertising?
Dan Taylor has an interesting article about use of favicons at his blog Fabric of Folly, in which he discusses the various approaches that could be taken to designing a favicon. Definitely worth reading if you’re thinking of implementing one.
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