What is a Favicon and why you need one
Favicons are essential for your business
Favicons are a great way to enhance your brand’s image and make yourself easily recognisable to a consumer. They are great for keeping consistency within your brand and making sure your website can be recognised across all browsers and apps, on any device.
Short for “favourite icon”, favicons were introduced by Internet Explorer in the late 1990s. It was created to help internet users distinguish between websites and to be able to locate them quickly and easily in browser tabs. This is a great opportunity for your brand, if you don’t create one, a generic placeholder (a globe) will be there instead and this does nothing for your site. It will make you look less professional and unimpressive to any competitors. If your site, and any others have this generic placeholder, yours will blend into the rest, with a specific favicon, you will stand out!
They are essentially a piece of a logo or a miniaturised version. Favicons are useful to establish your brand’s identity in other places, not just your website. They do this by keeping consistency in places such as, browser tabs, URL address bars, internet search histories, desktop and mobile home screens, app icons and browser bookmarks. Since May 2019, Google will display a favicon in the mobile search results page (SERP). This is a great way to help your click-through-rate, and your mobile search results will be even more visible on the page.
Here are 3 tips for creating your favicon:
Make sure your branding is consistent
Your favicon needs to go with the rest of your branding. It sounds obvious but this is crucial in creating consistency across your brand. It needs to be seen as coherent and do its job. With some brands, the current logo may be okay to use, if your logo is slightly larger or has more in it (a longer word or company logo), you will want to condense this. Some companies use a singular letter for example or take the main icon from the logo. By doing this you are condensing it to fit into a favicon while keeping consistency.
Simplicity is key
Your favicon is very small and having something too cluttered will take away from it doing its job. You need to make sure it is still recognisable by those who know your brand, so use icons, colours and fonts from your original logo to ensure this.
As a user, you don’t want to be overwhelmed when looking at different sites, if you keep the design of your favicon simple, this will help guide traffic to your site and give you an advantage against other sites. Prioritise practicality for the user over aesthetic and keep your users in mind. If your design is icon-based, use a transparent background, and if it is letter-based, use a solid fill for the background. This will help make the look more appealing and it makes a stronger impression for a user.
Keep size in mind
Depending on the platform, your favicon could appear in different sizes. This is something you need to bear in mind when creating it. For users saving your website to their desktop or mobile home screen (in the case of a web app), you’ll need to design it for larger sizes. As said earlier, simplicity is key, and for this reason. A simpler design will do better if scaled up or down, limiting any risks or redesign if it doesn’t look quite how it should.
It is also important to save it in the most browser-friendly file format. Not all browsers have universal support for different formats so it is safer to save it as ICO or PNG to avoid it being unsupported.
A favicon might not seem that significant in the grand scheme of things when designing your website, but it plays such a crucial role in carrying the image of your brand across different places online and will help you to be recognisable and consistent, which is good news for consumers.
You become more reliable, and by doing such a simple thing. It is what will guide users back to your sight in an array of browser tabs, search histories and much more. If your site stands out in the crowd, this makes a strong impression and is very beneficial for your brand. If you have the correct resolution, size and format, that is universally accepted, you are sorted! Your favicon will be accessible across all platforms and your brand will be seen a lot more easily. Don’t forget to have fun and to create something memorable!