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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 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, 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 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. 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 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.
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