Saturday, September 29, 2012

Social Media logo guidelines

Hey there,

So I'm putting this out there because I've seen companies and organizations guilty of this: customized Social Media logos. Or even worse, just google'ing a platforms logo and using whatever they found instead of going straight to the source and understanding not just what to use, but how to use it. And there are plenty of sites, like 50 Free Social Media Icon Sets, which say little to nothing about how what they offer violates rules from the sites themselves.

Maybe some think that because of the public nature of social media, their logos are in the public domain and are up for use and reinterpretation as needed. But for the most part, every platform has very specific ways in which they do and don't want to be represented by their users.

That being said, I thought I'd just share some of 'em here. Text directly after links (in lists or a quote block) are straight from each platform's site.

Facebook Brand Permissions Center
  • Guidelines - We permit the use of the “f” logo to refer, off of Facebook, to the following:
    • Your Facebook Page
    • Your Facebook Group
    • An application you offer via Facebook Platform
    • Your implementation of Facebook Connect
  • Usage - Use of the “f” logo is subject to the general guidelines listed above in addition to the following terms:
    • The context surrounding the use of the “f” logo should clearly indicate the action the audience is being prompted to initiate (e.g.“Like us on Facebook” or “Use this app on Facebook”).
    • Don’t hyperlink the “f” logo to our Facebook log-in page.
    • While you may scale the size to suit your needs, you may not modify the “f” logo in any other way (such as by changing the design or color). If you are unable to use the correct color due to technical limitations, you may revert to black and white.
Note that Facebook as a rule does not allow use of their actual, full logo, "Facebook" on their blue background. To use that, you need to work with your Facebook business contact.

Twitter Trademark and Content Display Policy - Usage Guidelines
  • Do:
    • Use our official, unmodified Twitter bird to represent our brand.
    • Make sure the bird faces right.
    • Allow for at least 150% buffer space around the bird.
  • Don't:
    • Use speech bubbles or words around the bird.
    • Rotate or change the direction of the bird.
    • Animate the bird.
    • Duplicate the bird.
    • Change the color of the bird.
    • Use any other marks or logos to represent our brand.
For anyone still using the "T" logo? Yeah, you're not in compliance anymore. And the image above is just one of the four that are available on their site. Twitter also has further rules for use in advertising and marketing materials. And if you want promote your twitter account online? Then Twitter asks you to use one of their buttons, unless you're using it in a signature bar, and then they have this little gem specifically for that, a resized version of the Twitter bird.

The below vector versions of our logo and badge are available for you to link to Pinterest. Please don't manipulate these graphics, use them to brand your own website, or imply false association with Pinterest.
Pinterest definitely has a less is more thing going on. That's really ALL they have to say (as of the time of this post) for using their two brand artwork, of which just one of the two images shown here.

YouTube - Branding Guidelines

You know, I'm going to let you figure this one out for yourself. I will say that that link is more for developers, so what you might want, if you're just looking for a button to promote your channel is Creator's Corner:
Here are some creative assets that will help you promote your content on and off YouTube. Go ahead and place your preferred button(s) on your website, users who click on them will be directed to your YouTube channel
So there you go. For the most part just Google the social media platform you want and "logo" or "branding" guidelines.

This is to warn you of any website creator or developer who tries to distract you with unique or custom social media buttons. They're offering something that is in direct violation of most social media platforms terms of service or policies, and should be a red flag, that you need to find someone else to work who will create a product that is not only functional and aesthetically pleasing, but in compliance and respectful of existing social media guidelines and policies.

Facebook even provides a nice sample of what is NOT acceptable.

I can't help but think that, especially as artists and arts organizations, abiding by the logo guidelines of social media platform should be something we all should know, understand, and respect. And, please, I encourage you, even if you're not in charge of such things, to check out and read the guidelines of any platform you or your organization uses, including the ones in this post as I've only posted part of each site's guidelines.

Finally, don't be scared. Social media policies in general are meant to be understand by the many, not the few. I am curious though, for anyone that realized or knew that they weren't using the logo according to the guidelines, will you do so now, or is it not really a big deal? And whether you're using a custom logo or not, do you feel customized logos are worth it, or do you think using the standard is more valuable, and why?

Let me know what you think,


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