Designing a Website Favicon

You know those tiny little icons on the left edge of your web browser’s address bar (Figure 17-7)? They’re called favicons—short for “favorites icons”—and they’re great for adding a bit o’ branding to web pages. They show up not only in web browsers, but also in news feeds (clickable headlines from your favorite websites that you can access through a newsreader program or your browser). Creating them in Photoshop is a snap, and you’ll be designing them like a pro after you read this section.

Here are the favicons for a couple of websites (circled), though you may have to squint to see ’em!Creating favicons is a good way to test your design skills, since you’re limited to just 16 pixels square.

Figure 17-7. Here are the favicons for a couple of websites (circled), though you may have to squint to see ’em! Creating favicons is a good way to test your design skills, since you’re limited to just 16 pixels square.

The first step is to spend some quality time looking at other sites’ favicons. Your goal is to brand your website with a graphic that’s exactly 16x16 pixels—no more, no less. It’s tough to design anything that small that’s recognizable, but it can be done. For example, you might use a portion of your logo rather than the whole thing, or your company’s initials rather than its full name.

Next, you need to download a plug-in that lets Photoshop save the file in the Windows Icon (ICO) file format. The free plug-in ICO Format is a good option: www.telegraphics.com.au/sw. Once you expand the file you downloaded (by double-clicking it), drag the file named “ICOformat.plugin” ...

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