Did you notice something different when you visited a Google website a few weeks ago? I noticed it straightaway, the favicon had changed. I wasn’t sure what exactly it was, but the logo had changed next to where the URL address is contained.
The new symbol looks like this:
A favicon simply means “favourite icon”. They started using them a long time ago, to give important branding and visibility to websites. To many users, it is a symbol that they can recognise and trust.
For example, a colleague and I were setting up a webex (web seminar) using our preferred provider, Webex. We couldn’t exactly remember the website, so we typed in a few addresses. The URL’s were all pretty similar, but we immediately recognised the right address because the favicon for Webex showed up. We didn’t even look at the address, we knew it was the right one because we saw the favicon. That’s how powerful that little symbol is. That is the reason that a favicon is so important for distinguishing one website from another.
This was the original new Google submission by Andre:
Then they added some brighter colours and it became the one we know today:
Check out the Official Google blog for some more info.
A lot of websites don’t have them, but they are actually quite easy to design and install. For me personally, if I use a website quite frequently, I will start recognising that symbol (like the webex example above). There’s heaps of favicons out there, some are just miniaturized versions of brand’s logo:
My top icon would have to be the RSS symbol. I’m not sure you could call it a favicon since so many websites carry it (it’s really unique to a website) but it is just so recognisable now. Whenever I see it, I know immediately if that website has a feed and I can add it to my reader account.
Coincidentally, the same day the Google favicon changed, Woolworths released a new logo. Did anyone else notice that? Honestly, I think the new logo sucks. All the so called branding experts were lauding it saying how good it was. Apparently, Woolies wanted to further distinguish itself from its main competitor Coles, since they are the “fresh food people”. So they went with an unpeeled apple look to denote this “freshness”.
Accordingly they stated:
“The new identity introduces a new icon incorporating a stylised ‘W’ with the addition of an abstract leaf symbol representing fresh food. It is also reminiscent of one of the most famous of all Woolworths logos used in the 1970s and it represents a person – as in “The Fresh Food People” and the Woolworths focus on its customers.”
It’s actually been 21 years since they updated the original logo. I’m sure they spent a mint upgrading it, with hundreds of design concepts, creative, branding experts, consultants for a logo which is really just a green apple that looks like a W. Might as well have taken the Apple logo and turned it green.
I’m out like outdated logos,