HTML5 and the New W3C-Endorsed Logo

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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

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?

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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