So much creativity, so little space. Reworking your brand to fit the small spaces offered by social media is a tough job. Limited pixels often means limited creativity - or does it? With this in mind, the CSSDA crew did some snooping around Twitter in search of the top 300+ icon designs we could find.
Best Of The Big Brands
Our exploration into the world of designing for small spaces starts with big brands that have vast amounts of money and resources. We started with a list of the top twenty global companies but found only five that made the grade. First lesson learnt - size doesn't matter! Icons either work or they don't and big brands either get it or they don't.
The Best Twitter Icon Designs From Google
Hats off to Google when it comes to icon design. They have been the undisputed kings of 'designing for small spaces' in recent years. This limited collection demonstrates how important color and style are to Google's brand.
The Best Designs From IBM
No longer a tired old 'corporate blue' company, IBM are shaking off the cobwebs and mothballs around their brand and have created a swag of nice designs.
The Best Icons From Microsoft
Microsoft continue to embrace a simple style that's light on impact for rapid recognition in a busy world.
The Best From Apple
We were looking forward to collecting some new Apple masterpieces but a lack of good icons on Twitter tells us that Apple appear to be focussed in other areas.
The Best From Adobe
Adobe's icons are nice but appear to be a little eclectic compared to the latest icons from Google & IBM above. To be fair, Adobe's iconography throughout the CS series was legendary for many years so they've earned a break.
The Best From Our Own Awesome Twitter Followers & Beyond
The crew spent many eye burning hours wading through the Twitter pages of fortune 500 companies but barely had enough eye candy to excite a noob. We then turned our attention to our own Twitter followers (and a few followers of followers) and were completely blown away by the amount of creativity and originality on display. We knew you guys were good but did not realize how good.
There really is so much talent out there. This collection is just a drop in the ocean. But what a gorgeous drop! How many brands can you recognize?
NOTE: The collection below is not one single graphic. If you're going to grab a copy you'll need to copy/drag them in 3 parts - FYI.
Please scroll slowly to appreciate the designs.
So what did we learn while trawling through thousands of Twitter pages looking for great brand icons? We learnt that designing a brand to work in the micro world of social media icons only requires a little forward thinking. Truth is, no matter how much money or people are involved, the result largely rests upon the design of the brand itself.
This can be challenging for established brands with convoluted branding elements or odd shaped logos. In contrast to this, brands that are great to start with and closer to the shape of a square seem to work anywhere and have the least amount of difficulty fitting into the small spaces that social media demands.
For new brands or brand redesigns of the future the message is clear, design for small spaces first and work backwards!
Do you find designing for small spaces difficult? Who is your favorite from the collection above? Share your thoughts via Disqus on the topic of designing for small spaces. Hope you enjoyed the round-up :)