Marketing June 26, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,764 Reads share

Hip To Be Square: Why A Square Or Circular Icon Is Good For Your Biz

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The first thing I did when I looked at the profile photo requirements of sites like Google, and Facebook, and Twitter, was notice the penchant for small. Small squares, small circles. And then one giant background or header photo that encased that tiny icon like a Snuggie. The square or circular icon is a necessity these days for any business.

It can become many things, from another item in your branding arsenal, to a complete iconic representation of your company. Like Jungian archetypes, icons have become universal representations – squares with a single letter, squares with a single image, a small piece of the bigger logo, a bird, a plane.


But could your company benefit from creating one? I’d say probably, since it takes nothing away from your brand or your site if done properly. Here’s why:

Social media square dance

Social media sites are truly embracing the geometric, with giants like Facebook and Instagram all for the evenly-distributed, four-sided or rounded shape. The profile photos can’t always handle a large-sized logo, cutting off some of your precious letters or pieces of your graphics or illustrations, so your company literally needs to make changes to fit inside the box—at least if you want to maintain visibility and legibility.

Creating a square icon does not just make your life easier in doling out your profile photo on the various sites, but since social media is leaning toward square and circle, the need for this type of icon is not only suggested, but required.


You know that little box to the left of a site link in the search bar? The little globe? Or the boxed “F”? Or the tiny logo image? This is called a Favicon, and it is a nifty little graphic that gives your site some miniature flair. Problem is, it’s tiny and square, and your logo probably won’t fit into it without being illegible or strange-looking.

Having a Favicon you can see clearly, and associate with all your other social media sites (because they’ll all be square or circular) is good for consistency, and building trust with the dedication to minute details.

Image association

Having a smaller representation of your brand is good for image. Who doesn’t know Twitter’s blue bird, Apple’s apple or Tumblr’s curved “t”? People see your icon being used across sites, and the image will become associated with your brand. You can use a single letter to represent ten, or a picture to represent an entire company concept. It saves space and makes your brand memorable.

All the big guys are doing it

Seems obvious, but it’s true: If Facebook or Google or Windows has gone square, the logic is, so should you. Following successful branding tactics is essential in building a good overall image. Imitation isn’t just the finest form of flattery, but a stepping stone to branding success.

Visual coolness

Your square icon could be the coolest thing in your branding arsenal, if you try for it. You can change it for the holidays, use Instagram to create varied versions of it, create an animated gif form to share with followers. If you think outside your square, you’ll be able to come up with some amazing takes on what should go inside it.

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Images:  ”background from extruded squares

Alexa Lash

Alexa Lash

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