Browsers Internet

Your Favorite Icons: 14 Favicons That Stand Out From The Crowd

Dave Parrack 18-03-2015

Favicons, also known as favorites icons, shortcut icons, or bookmark icons, really don’t get the attention or the credit that they deserve. However, once you start noticing the favicons that brighten up your bookmarks bar Everything You Need to Know About Managing Chrome Bookmarks Chrome has a number of features to help you sync, easily access, manage, sort, and tidy your bookmarks. Some people manage just fine without bookmarks, but not most of us. If you use the Chrome... Read More and open tabs, you realize how much they differ from each other.


Most favicons are boring, predictable, and instantly forgettable. But some are good enough to rise above the ordinary. These favicons deserve having the spotlight shone on them, albeit briefly. Let’s dissect what makes these particular favicons stand out from the crowd.

Fourteen Favorite Favicons

The favicons included below are all very different from each other. They only thing they all have in common is having had time spent on them. These clearly weren’t just thrown together at the last minute as afterthoughts to the main process of designing logos and branding.


CNET has strong branding across its various homes on the Web. The white C| on a red circular background is instantly recognizable and stands out due to the color and clarity. A C without the accompanying line wouldn’t be as effective.



Personally, I’m no fan of Apple 10 Hilarious Apple Ad Parody Videos for the Non-Fanboys & Fangirls If you're an Apple fanboy or fangirl then Apple can do no wrong. And their commercials are perfect slices of marketing genius that border on being works of art. The rest of us find most... Read More , purveyor of overly expensive gadgets aimed at hipsters with more money than sense. But the one area in which Apple excels is design. That attention to detail runs all the way through to Apple’s favicon.


Twitter 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter Twitter has now been with us for seven years and counting. This was seven years to the day since Jack Dorsey sent out the first tweet in 2006, at a time when the micro-blogging social... Read More has fantastic branding across the board, and the little blue bird works perfectly as a favicon. It’s clear, clean, and instantly recognizable, and it’s also unlike any other favicon out there. Which is crucial in making it stand out.



The Dropbox favicon manages to distill exactly what the service does with little effort. It may just depict an open box, but it cuts to the core of why Dropbox exists What Is Dropbox? The Unofficial Dropbox User Guide What is Dropbox and how do you use it? Our Dropbox user guide will explain everything you need to know to get started. Read More . This shows the power of branding, with a logo that works across all platforms.


Tom’s Hardware has an ingenious favicon that’s a T shaped to look like a hammer. The hammer actually forms part of the R in the full logo, but it means the branding is continued from one to the other.



Flickr More Than Photo Sharing: 5 Unique Uses for Flickr Flickr is best known as one of the easiest ways to share and store your photos online. We've come up with a few unique ways you can get more out of Flickr that go beyond... Read More has a very distinctive favicon comprised of one blue dot and one pink dot sitting side by side. I have always assumed this is meant to signify a simplified camera, and it certainly stands out amongst your open tabs.


Slack, which MakeUseOf uses as a virtual office, has another very distinctive favicon, with the four colors from the company logo lying in a criss-cross pattern. This stands out, both because of the bright colors and the unusual shape.



Weatherbug employs a favicon which takes the name of the site literally. While weather isn’t really involved, that is most certainly a bug. Which instantly reminds you of the name of the site and draws you in with its inherent cuteness.


Microsoft takes a lot of flak for its branding missteps, and some of the criticism is justified. However, the new logo comprised of four colored squares is simple yet very effective, and it works just as well as a favicon as it does a larger logo.


With a name like SlashDot, this website could only really choose one favicon, that being a slash and a dot. This is a classic case of a name that’s easy to design a brand around, which is a nice position to be in.


Amazon could have gone a number of different ways with its logo, and, therefore, its favicon. But the online retailer settled on an A sitting atop a smile. It’s instantly recognizable, and, for reasons I don’t understand, makes you want to spend money The Amazon Shopping Guide This free Amazon shopping guide outlines everything you need to know to make the best use of Amazon and secure the best deals. Read More .


Imgur’s favicon may look like nothing more than a green dot on a black background, because it IS a green dot on a black background. However, it works, drawing the eye thanks to the vivid green which really stands out against the dark surround.


The Verge uses a striking design sensibility across its main site, and the favicon is no exception. The V has been made to look 3D, and therefore stands out in the most literal sense. The gray is a bold choice, but it actually works.


Last but not least is the Android favicon Google uses across several of its sites. The mascot itself is actually called Bugdroid, and it offers a cute, cheerful alternative to the industrial design sensibilities Apple is known for.

Continue the Conversation

We love this list of favicons. As stated above, favicons can easily melt into the background, meaning many of us rarely even notice them. These are the ones which avoid that fate by standing out from the crowd, with colorful or clever designs which force the average Web user to spot them. If only more websites would follow suit and design favicons as more than just an afterthought.

Please continue the conversation in the comments section below. While some of you took part in the original discussion, there is always room for more opinions. Do you agree with the favicons selected for the list? If not, then please add your own suggestions to the conversation happening below. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions.

A Debt of Gratitude

In order to compile this list of favicons that stand out from the crowd, we asked for help from the MakeUseOf community. As always, our readers proved to be an invaluable part of the site you’re reading right now.

The readers we need to thank took the time to answer the question, What Are Your Favorite Favicons?, and their responses helped us compile this article. Noteworthy comments include those from Paul, suzybel, and Alan.

Image Credit: Thomas Cloer via Flickr

Related topics: Online Bookmarks, Tab Management, We Ask You, Web.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Andy S.
    March 23, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Really incisive, thoughtful journalism here, Dave. How are you not writing listicles for Buzzfeed for a living, or even better, refilling the snack machine at the bus depot?

  2. Mark Johnson
    March 20, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I'm so sick of this Apple as "purveyor of overly expensive gadgets aimed at hipsters with more money than sense" argument. I wish you guys under 40 with more brain cells than common sense would step back and look at tech gadget history with a little perspective. I've been in the tech business since 1983 first as a salesman, then as a developer and designer. The truth of the matter is, for the most part with MOST Apple products, unless you're a server administrator who needs to be a UNIX or Microsoft System Server geek, they simply work better for most people, especially people who make a living with design in one form or another. Are they perfect? - of course not. But no tech platform is. Yet ever since the release of the original Mac, Apple has always gotten the user interface experience better than anyone else. Have Google and Samsung created great products with that are very useful? Certainly. But the truth of the matter is that if there had never been an Apple, I venture that no entity would have mined the relics of Xerox PARC to push this industry into the interface realm it lives in today if the two Steves hadn't kickstarted it in that direction. What say we appreciate the multiple platform paradigms we live within, and quit knee-jerk troll-bashing companies that took a risk when no one else would, and continue to push the industry to create better and better tech products.

    • Anonymous
      February 13, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      While all you say mat be true, it does not change the fact that Apple always has been a “purveyor of overly expensive gadgets aimed at hipsters with more money than sense”, and the way things look, it will continue to be. There is no economic reason for Apple to keep pricing their products so high. The only two reasons why they do maintain high prices is elitism and greed.

  3. Doc
    March 18, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    "Amazon could have gone a number of different ways with its logo, and, therefore, its favicon. But the online retailer settled on an A sitting atop a smile."
    Actually, if you take a closer look at the larger Amazon logo, the lower part is an arrow going from the A to the Z, signifying that Amazon can sell you anything you want...from A to Z. The "smile" is just an alternate interpretation.

  4. Leopardmask
    March 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm has a mascot/logo that's basically a pixelly pink square smiley face - which is a simple square and not super complicated, and also looks as good/better small because of its pixel nature. So it makes a great favicon. I can't really show the picture in comments, so you'll have to visit the site to know what I mean.

  5. K
    March 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    This list is basically all about logo design. All favicons listed are logos.

  6. dragonmouth
    March 18, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Fruitco's favicon while distinctive and instantly recognizable could benefit from a splash of color. A rainbow apple would be so much nicer.

    DuckDuckGo's duck head is another distinct favicon.

  7. Bhavia
    March 18, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I had never given so much attention to favicons before. I am glad, I came across your post. I think the list you have put together is great. But I feel these are all big brands and very popular, It would be interesting to see, some less popular brands with great favicons. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Foundaspace
    March 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Agree with all of the favicons selected for the list. Great share! :)

  9. eric jay
    March 18, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I like how you describe apple. Haha