A website favicon (favorites icon) is a small graphic (usually 16×16 pixels) associated with a particular website, and it appears in a browser’s URL bar, tabs, and bookmarks. When I design logos, I always consider the favicon because:
- If it looks good at 16×16 pixels, then it’ll look good on anything.
- A recognizable favicon enhances a website’s identity.
- A well-designed favicon will be easier to find in a browser’s bookmarks and tabbed interface.
Certainly there are well-known logos that don’t scale down into favicons very well. Just look at FedEx. The entire “FedEx” logotype is squished down, and it’s barely recognizable. If I designed the favicon for FedEx, then I would just use a reversal of the subliminal arrow (between the “E” and “x”). Or I would create an animated favicon like DHL, but the animated favicon seems to only work in Firefox. If you want to see a great favicon, check out USPS. Their eagle logo is perfectly recognizable at 16×16 pixels. USPS started using the bald eagle head before modern internet browsers were invented, so the fact that it looks so good as a favicon is just a fluke. Anyway, if you’re designing a logo right now, crank the resolution down to 16×16 pixels. If it’s still recognizable, then you’re on the right track.