How Designers Feel About HTML5 Logo

HTML5, the upcoming major revision to the HTML coding language, has been given a logo of its own by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international standards organization of the web. This logo, designed by Ocupop, was unveiled on January 18th, and depicts the letters “HTML” in bold letters above a shield or badge with the number 5 inside of it. This logo, unlike the previous HTML logos, is not meant to connote the validity of a website, or adherence to certain web design standards, but instead is meant to generate interest in HTML5 and support for its use in the future. This logo represents HTML5, the cornerstone for modern Web applications.

This logo has attracted attention in the web design community due to its novel appearance and the fact that the W3C intends for this logo to spread. In accordance with this, the HTML5 logo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, meaning that the logo can be both re-used and “remixed” legally, encouraging both its propagation and re-interpretation. The official website even includes a “Badge Builder” tool to change the badge’s appearance and add additional logos for use on one’s website. Both Ocupop and W3C have mentioned that the logo is meant to appear like a coat of arms, but some designers have stated that they believe the official website focuses overly much on the color version of the logo, which is bright orange, and neglects to highlight the monochrome version, which may appeal more to the tastes of some web designers and surfers.

The W3C blog had initially stated that the logo is intended to be an all-purpose banner for open web platforms such as HTML5, CSS, SVG, and WOFF. However, this broad definition has garnered criticism from some web pundits such as Jeremy Keith, who notes that, the way it is phrased, the description of the logo tends to oversimplify and erase differences between these various web platforms and technologies. While this may be fine in mass media, Keith opines, the web development community should avoid making these types of generalizations; HTML5 has little to do with WOFF, a web font format, for example. In response to the comments from knowledgeable web developers, the W3C blog amended their definition a week later, stating that the logo is only intended to stand for HTML5, relegating the other web technologies for supplementary icons available in the “Badge Builder 5000” on the website.

Both W3C and Ocupop have stated that the new logo is meant to create excitement among the web community, and this is supplemented by stickers and T-shirts available through mail order from the website. The excitement behind the logo is intended to translate into excitement for HTML5 and open web design as a whole. Based on online surveys and comments, while many average web users appreciate the new web logo, not all share that opinion, with some finding the badge in the logo to be “too cartoon-like.” In one web poll, while 50% of respondents rated the HTML5 logo as “great,” 37% found it to be “fine,” and only 11% felt that the logo was altogether “bad.”

In one interesting comment on the HTML5 logo, one web developer has questioned the necessity of having a representative logo at all. Since HTML is not a brand name or a company, he does not see why people would even necessarily have to know whether or not a website was built with HTML5 or compliant with it. He points out that the shield could lead to erroneous thinking that sites with HTML5 are somehow “safer” than sites built with XHTML, for example. He claims that the HTML5 logo may just be an attempt on the part of W3C to justify its existence, and notes that other browser brands tend to improve upon themselves over time without a definite need for web-wide advertising.

Other web designers have countered some of these criticisms, by noting that promoting the HTML5 logo would, in turn, create enthusiasm for designing in HTML5 in the present, without concerning oneself whether or not all existing browsers would be able to display such web pages properly. They state that while HTML5 is not necessarily a brand, it does have enough new features to distinguish it from older HTML, so it should have an easy visual means of garnering enthusiasm and interest among the web design community. Additionally, they note that HTML5 could be considered an unofficial brand, in that a logo will make people tend to remember the name, and may be more apt to begin using HTML5 or switch over to browsers that are compatible with it simply from repeated exposure to the logo and name.

Since the W3C has changed the definition of the HTML5 logo to include only HTML5 and not other open web design platforms, some of the web developer’s criticisms have abated, although some of them still appear to have issues with basic design elements of the logo itself. However, much of the response to the logo seems to be positive, and many web designers are excited that this logo will attract attention to HTML5 both inside the design world as well as with the general internet-using public. Despite the multitude of opinions, only time will tell whether this logo can catapult HTML5 into immediate increased popularity or if enthusiasm for it will increase more slowly, over time.

What do you think about the new logo of HTML5?

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    12 Responses to “How Designers Feel About HTML5 Logo”

    1. Will says:

      Great article. I loved how you presented all sides of the story in an unbiased manner. That’s kind of refreshing.

      As for the logo. I’m a strong supporter. I think it’s a great, meaningful design in itself. And I feel that creating an identity for it is genius. Sure many don’t like it. But many technologies have brands and icon and they’re just fine. Example: the many disc logos – CD, DVD, Blu-Ray. I see nothing wrong with branding a new technology to help promote it.

    2. Matt says:

      I like the logo. Great job Ocupop!

    3. Irakli says:

      I like the colours and fonts used, its quite fresh, but to be slightly critical does it not look slightly like a police badge or some kind of security team logo. I would resize the number 5 with the badge behind to a smaller size and perhaps add it to the right of the text “HTML”, so it does not overpower the word HTML.
      This is my idea, I might be wrong though!

    4. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    5. w3iT says:

      Nice idea. If a new product is released, marketing must be done to spread the word. I know its a little different to a company realeasing a product but makes sense to promote HTML5 in this way. I like the simplicity of the logo and will certainly use the logo at w3it.com.

      Arturo, they are on Twitter: @w3

    6. Marian says:

      I am working as a web designer and I love HTML 5. It is helping me a lot in my projects because the markup is much more “user-friendly” and now I find it very easy to pass the project to the programming department.

    7. Alex W says:

      Great logo and a very good idea to get it shared!

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