no social.

Social Media Icons – Legally!

I’ll get to the conclusion of designing my blog shortly, but in the meantime found out I need to change something! When I made my design, I wanted to include cute, themed social icons as links to Facebook, Twitter, and so on. I thought I was really cool when I found out how to do it by CSS alone. I made colored circles, added a letter with the same font as my logo, all without making an image. Thought that would be awesome and HTML5 of me. Here was my design.

social icons


Then yesterday I happened to see that Twitter updated its icon and logo policies. Now they want only the bird, and not using the name Twitter or a “t” to represent the brand. You can read the full Logos & Brand page here. Check out the usage guidelines. Only the bird. Nothing else.

So I checked out Facebook’s branding policies again. Yep, there too does it make cutesy blogging social icons a no-no. Pretty clear there in the “f” Logo section where a big X is drawn over the wood tile or grassy circle icons. And from their FAQ:

Can I combine Facebook’s trademarks or logos with new terms or artwork to create my own marks and logos?

No. Mutilating Facebook’s logos or trademarks in order to create new, derivative marks can harm Facebook’s trademark rights. We cannot allow such modifications to our marks under any circumstances

Looks like all my awesome (for a semi-beginner) CSS is out. So are all the fun designs out there on vector image sites, free or paid.


no social.


So heads up to the bloggers and blog designers out there! There are so many cute sets of social icons on free icon sets, and many blog designers consider themed social icons a big part of site design. Unfortunately, to conform to respecting trademarks, this is off the table. I’ll be rebranding the social links on my sidebar today.