Dated Social Branding

Here’s something I think we can all achieve with relative ease: eradicate dated social branding.

I’m amazed with how many flyers, websites and TV ads use old social icons and colour palettes. Yeah, it’s not you, you’re one of the good guys; but it’s out there, so someone’s doing it. Next time you see something on Forrst or Dribbble that uses, for example, the lowercase t for Twitter; politely point them in the direction of Twitter’s resources page. Better yet, fire them a link to this article, as I’ve quickly collated all the links here:

The resources are readily available, they’re honestly not hard to find, but you’d be surprised how many companies are out-of-touch. And I’m not just talking about the local kebab shop, there’s plenty of big name brands that are doing it too. Here’s just a few:

  • next
  • b&q
  • waterstones
  • morrisons
  • nandos
  • john-lewis
  • game
  • hmv
  • argos
  • boots
  • debenhams

Sorry to any non-UK readers who don’t recognise these brands.

It surprises me that nobody in these big companies pointed to their material and said “What’s with the crappy web 2.0 Facebook icon?” or “Why’s that icon not the Twitter bird?”. You just know that with companies this big, it probably passed under to noses of twenty plus people before approval, yet no-one flagged it up.

Twitter is perhaps the best example, partly because it’s often the main victim. Since Twitter hatched in 2006, it’s undergone two rebrands; one major and one minor…like this:

With resources freely available and crystal clear brand guidelines, I often wonder why there’s so much of this crap floating around…


It seems that the relative ease of making a social icons set, combined with some designer’s urge to have their “own take” on something done externally, has given rise to some outright ugly icons.

Does it matter?

Well no, not really; not in the grand scheme of things. Chasing perfection on what’s considered “a minor afterthought” probably isn’t the most profitable way to spend your time. But, when dated social branding crops up on brand new material; that’s a different story altogether. That’s falling victim to laziness; plain and simple.