By Craig Buckler

HTML5 and the New W3C-Endorsed Logo

By Craig Buckler

Are you creating glorious HTML5 websites? Why not let the world know by adding the new HTML5 logo to your website…

HTML5 logo

The W3C unveiled the new logo this week. Its objective: to create a striking visual identity for the open web platform. So what does that mean?…

Like many developers, I often view the world in binary. Statements must be true or false, black or white, logical or illogical. Confusingly, the new logo doesn’t actually imply HTML validity or conformance. Nor does it indicate you’re using HTML5 tags. According to the W3C:

The logo is a general-purpose visual identity for a broad set of open web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and others. In addition to the HTML5 logo there are icons for eight high level technology classes enabled by the HTML5 family of technologies. The icons can be used to highlight more specific abilities, such as offline, graphics, or connectivity.

The eight high-level technology classes within the (distantly-related) HTML5 family are:

  • Offline & Storage — in JavaScript I presume?
  • Connectivity / Realtime — essentially, Ajax-like functionality
  • Multimedia — does that include Flash video?
  • Graphics, 3D & Effects — so no text-only websites then?
  • Device Access — does supporting one browser count?
  • Performance & Integration — how vague is that?
  • Semantics — finally, a real HTML5 “feature”!
  • CSS3 / Styling — I spoke too soon.

Slap a nav tag in your HTML or a rounded corner in your stylesheet and you can proudly show the logo on your website. Sites supporting all eight “technologies” can display a set of incomprehensible badges…

HTML5 Powered with Connectivity / Realtime, CSS3 / Styling, Device Access, Graphics, 3D & Effects, Multimedia, Performance & Integration, Semantics, and Offline & Storage

Is This the Official W3C HTML5 Logo?

No. According to the FAQ:

W3C introduced this logo in January 2011 with the goal of building community support. W3C has not yet taken it up in any official capacity. If, as W3C hopes, the community embraces the logo, W3C will adopt it as its own official logo for HTML5 in the first quarter of 2011.

Many will think the W3C is being indecisive … but they’re not so sure.

However, the W3C encourages you to use the logo. Alter the colors, change the size, use it on T-shirts, create stickers, make a potato print — do what you like. The HTML5 logo home page provides various image downloads and a badge builder.

Ironically, Microsoft — the only vendor without an HTML5 browser — has become one of the most predominant HTML5 logo users and you’ll find it on sites such as

Branding Will Beat Cynicism

You may have detected a hint of cynicism in my ramblings above. However, I’ve reached the conclusion that the logo is generally a good thing. The term “HTML5” has evolved into a marketing reference that goes far beyond the actual specification. Like Web2.0, Ajax, and DHTML before it, HTML5 simply means the next generation of websites and online applications. That may make developer pedants cringe, but the rest of the world knows HTML5 as funky modern web stuff.

Developers may even benefit if the logo becomes popular. Most users wouldn’t know HTML from HRT, but they might recognize the logo. A few well-placed “your browser doesn’t support this” messages could persuade IE6, 7 and 8 users to upgrade.

Will you succumb and add the HTML5 logo to your websites?

  • powerpotatoe

    I like the logo, but will it really impress web users? I once thought it cool and helpful to place the W3C validation badges on my sites. Surely, visitors would be impressed to know that my site used valid HTML or CSS? But, does anyone other than developers know what HTML 5, Web 2.0, CSS 3, or HTML 4 means? Was the validation badge helpful to visitors? Did they even know what it meant?

    The logo is eye catching and visually pleasing. Advertisers for web development businesses can easily use the logo and the term “HTML 5” to simply communicate to customers, “we use the latest, up to date technologies”. In all honesty though, non-developers won’t know the difference. I see the logo doing more to generate excitment in the developer community. It gives visual identity to a new advancement in HTML.

  • cmhatte

    No sir, I don’t like it. It looks like the superman logo.

  • Webnet

    Yes I will, I think the logo is a brilliant idea! I’m on board!

  • dev

    Finally! My CV is getting better and better.

  • R

    Much better than the svg logo that looks like a ring of genitals.

    • Paul

      Entertaining answer and so true.

  • Orial

    It looks as thought it could do with a sword :-)

  • cogsprocket

    Frankly the HTML5 logo as presented is a lot better looking than the validation stuff that was provided by the W3C previously. I think if you add a colophon to your site this is an interesting thing to add.

  • Like the logo. Looks Bold. Far better than the validation icons so far we had. Should I go ahead and transform my current portfolio website to HTML 5? Or is it not the time yet.


  • I *might* use it on a portfolio site (at least until it becomes as irritating and pointless as web 2.0), but I’d never use it on any other site. It would be visually distracting for no actual gain.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with “Powerpotatoe”. You have to be really pragmatic when building websites. Simply because your clients are. Either the website does what it suppose to, or not. Clients and users couldn’t care less about how you made it work. My clients don’t want any badges on their websites that they feel are not part of their bussiness.


  • This logo is visually impressive, as it may but what about finishing the specifications first ? In french we say “la charrue avant les boeufs” (don’t put the cart before the horse). That’s the first point.
    Secondly, I think producing a logo is making a buzz around HTML5. Some people will use it, to prove they’re good and up to date, some people won’t, but the main thing is that with an official logo, the W3C cannot stay in its present position, IT MUST FINISH THE SPECS !
    So maybe this logo is the best motivating action that could be taken to finish the specs and push industry and users to adopt it?

  • rpeg

    I can see this only working on portfolio/business sites. Makes sense to me if you’re trying to market to non-developers.

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