What in the World is a Favicon?

Good question, sounds like that annual conference where people dress up in costumes right? Well, it’s not. Let me break it down for you a little, while also answering that other question of why it matters:

Pretty much everyone wants to present themselves well to the outside world right? Put on some jeans, a fresh shirt, some product in your hair if that’s your style… maybe you’ve got a cool nickname people call you that really represents who you are as an individual. Well, websites want that too. Or we want that for our websites. Enter Favicons. A Favicon is that small square image on the tab of your browser that indicates to you what website you’re on. Typically this is the logo for the brand, newspaper, social platform, website, etc. 

We can also think about Favicons in terms of apps. App icons, or Touch Icons, are Favicons but a bit bigger. This eliminates the need for any URL, instead we now know websites such as Facebook, Google, and others by their little icons. These are incredibly important today because of this awareness. Yes, we’ve known about logos being vital for a while, okay. We all grew up knowing where the McDonald’s was just by seeing the golden arches. We know coca-cola by its wavy red and white details. But now with the internet and websites and apps being a massive way we are exposed to different brands, you need to give some thought to your company’s.

Like I said, this typically is some variation of the brand’s logo. It has to fit into a specific, small space though. So, take our example of coca-cola. Coca-Cola cannot have its logo as a Favicon because it’s too long, it wouldn’t fit. Instead, the Favicon I see today is a skinny red coke bottle. Still universal and recognizable. McDonald’s of course can fit their arches in a Favicon space. Some companies that have a logo like Coca-Cola’s where the full name is included will keep the entirety of their logo as their Favicon, but while it might be easy to read on something larger like an app screen, it’s likely to be distorted on a browser tab. This matters if you don’t have a level of brand awareness that a consumer would recognize the tiny image. 

Really though a Favicon for your website matters more now because of apps and touch icons. These don’t have to be the same, but consistency across platforms is good for consumers to see. Confusion is bad for business. The consumer should be able to find you anywhere and recognize you when they get there. 


Not technical enough for you? Check out this article for a deeper dive into the technical side of Favicons and Touch Icons, including the sizes and syntax for these little images. Need help with your website? Check out our article about the cost of building a website, or reach out with any questions.