Creative Favicons: Tiny Artwork

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Since visual elements are easier to remember, they can be used to draw visitors’ attention to the brand identity of the site. As visual indicators, favicons can establish the communication with visitors and make a web-site easier to remember and also easier to get back to once you need it – for instance, once the users look for the site in their bookmarks. Still most sites don’t make use of them – just like 404-error-pages, favicons are often forgotten or simply ignored. It’s time to change that, folks.

Every once and again we present some of the most creative and beautiful favicons — to prompt you to design them for your sites. In fact, we are willing to do that until the trend is finally established.

The design of favicons might look like a simple task; however to

  • make the design recognizable,
  • keep the design simple,
  • support visual identity,
  • ensure visual clarity,
  • design within a 16×16 rectangle

is a creative challenge you shouldn’t underestimate. The details build the foundation of a successful logo, and to take care of the smallest details is extremely important for a usable and visually appealing favicon.

The images below can be clicked – apparently, they lead to the sites from which the favicons have been taken. The examples show not only how a well-designed favicon might look like, but also which creative approaches can be used to give a favicon the freshness and clarity it deserves. The examples also demonstrate how favicons can support the overall design of the site it is being used on.

You can find further favicon-showcases and some more information in the posts we’ve published before:

Favicon

First of all, the favicon from SlideShare, one of our all times favorites. It’s just a small logo, but works perfectly as an eye-catching attraction.

Favicon

Animated favicons are sometimes used, however it’s rather an exception.
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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

  1. 1

    As usual GR8 post…..
    Congrats to Smashing Magazine TEAM on completion of ONE year.

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  2. 2

    Nice collection, mostly the favicon is the last thing a designers mind, I often forget about them, but if favicons are done the right way it’s an extra eyecatcher of a site.

    1
  3. 3

    Hey… I can’t see the “S”mashing icon on that list :)

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  4. 4

    My anchor icon didn’t make the cut :( Either way lovely collection and thanks for keeping up the great work!

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  5. 5

    I love favicons!! They are the icing on the cake. But they are a bit of a pain in IE6. I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned.

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  6. 6

    Mine didn’t make the cut either, although I think it’s really worth it. Maybe next time :-)

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  7. 7

    Whoa I never knew you could animate an favicon :o

    ideas poppin

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  8. 8

    Love that SlideShare icon! Hey, thanks for the mention- what a surprise!

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  9. 9

    I love favicons – adds a little splash of life to an otherwise dull address bar.

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  10. 10

    Great post again – some very crisp icons in there :)

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  11. 11

    Where can you host .ico files for free?

    or are gifs fine when using favicons?

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  12. 12

    Yes, Angel, gif’s work for favicons.

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  13. 13

    How do you make a Favicon???
    Any links or books or articles?

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  14. 14

    Thanks for the list guys, motivated me to change the one on a site I’m working on.

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  15. 15

    WOW!!! thanks for the great list. check out smashing’s favicon!
    i like it!!

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  16. 16

    Inspiration is one thing, but some tips and tools on how to create good ones would be nice.

    Is it better to work in PhotoShop and shrink down (as I did), or go with an icon editor and do it at scale?

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  17. 17

    Smashing post as always, been checking this website for few moths now and I improved a lot,

    Thanks guys.

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  18. 18

    Great Post!

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  19. 19

    Nice list!

    you have a double up for content with style (wrong favicon) and rAndom international (correct favicon)

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  20. 20

    Maravilious!

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  21. 21

    Happy Anniversary Smashing Magazine!

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  22. 22

    I’d like to see a set just on 3D favicons. very cool.

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  23. 23

    hey thanks so much for mentioning techsailor!

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  24. 24

    Happy Anniversary Smashing Magazine!

    Its Really Great Article.

    Thanks

    Samir Shah

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  25. 25

    great article.
    Nice example favicons

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  26. 26

    Mindloop Webdesign

    January 30, 2008 8:37 am

    Nice list, all tough some of them do look a bit generic

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  27. 27

    Glad I have dropped by. This is great!

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  28. 28

    Great list :)
    As list of wordpress themes!

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  29. 29

    what about missing icon #31, porcupine.gr ?

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  30. 30

    Thanks Sven Lennartz for the share

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