The W3C just recently unveiled the new logo for HTML5. Why, you ask, does a new version of the hypertext markup language need a new logo? I asked that very same thing. I still haven’t really got an answer, but I thought I would look at some other logos to try and get a better handle on it all. No, this really doesn’t have anything to do with online video, but Mark seems to think that we needed something fun to talk about.

So, as I mentioned, HTML5 has got a new logo. In fact, it got a whole new visual overhaul by Hawaiian design firm, Ocupop. What it really makes me think is that W3C has lost their way and should perhaps get back to the business of finalizing the specification. It also makes me think they might have some money to burn for some reason which, again, should be turned to finalizing the new specification.

New HTML5 LogoThey not only got a shiny logo for it, they got a whole visual identity. Considering that many of us probably still hand code our HTML in text-based applications or via telnet or SSH…what? None of you do that? Huh, I guess it goes to that whole death of reading thing. Everything apparently needs some sort of visualization for us to be able to manage it. Personally, I use PSPad and SSH with vi or nano on my Linux server when I need to do quick HTML and CSS edits. Hardcore, old-school system admins use vi I am told.

Here’s what the W3C had to say about it:

It stands strong and true, resilient and universal as the markup you write. It shines as bright and as bold as the forward-thinking, dedicated web developers you are. It’s the standard’s standard, a pennant for progress. And it certainly doesn’t use tables for layout.

What it says to me is “Here is a shield behind which you can hide all the alleged magic you make with web design so that you can charge outrageous prices even though it only took you a couple of hours to do it, and you re-used some code you had lying around and ‘borrowed’ some code from others, and you can call yourself a superhero in the process.” OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh on the web design community, but, as with all industries, you have your fair share of shenanigans.

Anyway, this got me thinking about what other logos say to me. I thought I would start with a couple I know like, Gamers Daily News. Alright, it might be cheating as I actually made the logo for GDN so I know exactly what I meant it to say when I made it. The focus is on the world in this logo design, as seen through the unblinking eye of a news camera lens, always watching. The words Gamers Daily News on the outside circle the globe, just like the coverage we provide, worldwide. It represents our dedication to round-the-clock, round-the-world coverage. Prior to this logo it was just a globe with the name of the site.

Now, let’s move on to another one I’m overly familiar with, ReelSEO. The ReelSEO logo is a bit out dated, not in the terms of style or energy, but in the terms of name.We now cover so much more than simple video SEO. We know, we know, we need to change it. However, the design of the logo is cool. It’s a simple two-color design separating the two words Reel and SEO but then tying them together with the fast forward button inside of the O. That fast forward symbol represents our forward-thinking approach to  online video and is one of the main reasons that we cover more than just SEO now. As the industry expanded so did the ReelSEO coverage. Now, Mark might totally disagree with me on this one, but it’s not his article is it? He’s more than welcome to drop a comment in retort.

Another logo that many of us probably see on a daily basis and don’t think much about at all is the YouTube logo. The fact that we don’t think about it goes to show that it’s become an integral part of the world in which we live. It’s no more remarkable than tying our shoes now… or is it?

The logo does two things at once. It references the old, familiar, TV shape as well as the word Tube. Now I don’t know how much longer they’re going to get away with that without looking archaic because really, there are probable people alive today that never owned a television with a tube in it. The other thing it does is connect you to the tube, while still keeping you outside of it. That brilliantly represents both you as a viewer and you as being in the tube, or the star. It basically means that you are both the star and the audience. Doesn’t that sort of sum up what YouTube is all about in a nutshell anyway? We might often treat it like a marketing tool, a place to monetize content and raise brand awareness, but distilled down to its ethereal essence, it’s a place where we’re all both the star and the audience.

There are tons of other really great logos that have been used over the time. Logos don’t need to have as much crazy copywriting behind them like the new HTML5 identity to work. They just have to be cool and invoke thought. Also, when you decide upon a logo, brand everything. If you look at the above logos, they are everywhere on the sites and content, including intro or outro bumpers on videos which then almost indelibly brands that content when it gets shared around the web.