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Which College Website Logo is the Best? And the Monthly Traffic Rankings

Website Logo Review

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/technical-reviews/logos

I am not a graphic designer and know very little about semiotics, colour theory and the like. This limitation necessitates a purely technical review of the files being used as a logo on the 448 FE/6F/AE College website in the UK.

Because the technical variables don’t place is a hierarchy and aesthetics consideration is outside of my field I have used a funnel system to filter a conclusive answer to the less emotive question, which College Website Logos meet the standard of a hypothetical Level 3 qualification in Digital Operations?

There are usefully only three filters required to get to the answer:

  1. File Format Pass = SVG or PNG
  2. Naming Convention Pass = /name-of-the-college.
  3. Layout = Includes Padding

File Format

  • 321 Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
  • 68 Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
  • 43 Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
  • 15 Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
  • 1 HTML

Naming Convention

The vast majority of files are incorrectly titled with a huge percentage being called /logo instead of the correct /name-of-the-college. This is basic Search Engine Optimisation and to rename files to include the name of the college and using hyphenation is a quick straightforward task. In my opinion maintaining simple file naming conventions is the most solid foundation for long-lasting operational development:

  • Maximum length 255 character full descriptive titles. Maximum path length should be kept to under 260 characters so within reason a full description is perfect.
  • Hyphenation instead of spaces, no underscores, and making sure to include all spaces between words.
  • Always lowercase characters and numerals never any other characters “!£%&*([{+?@#” etc.
  • No abbreviations except as an addition to the full unabbreviated title.
  • Avoid clutter.

Using this funnel plus only using SVG or PNG formats and not using an image sprite, these are the seven current examples of FE/6F/AE sector best practice:

  1. /brockenhurst-college.png
  2. /eastleigh-college.png
  3. /epping-forest-college.png
  4. /havering-college.svg
  5. /itchen-sixth-form-college.svg
  6. /southampton-city-college.png
  7. /southend-adult-community-college.png

Layout

Padding is the space between the graphic elements and the edge of the file. Its usefulness is almost equal to the naming convention and is critical in the Goggle Knowledge Panel. It may not be straightforward to adjust the site layout to fit a larger file into the same location, but, then again, it is well worth allocating the time to create a new version with padding.

A College Logo

Using this final filter the only two logos remaining from the field of 448:

  • https://www.brock.ac.uk/wp-content/themes/brock/images/brockenhurst-college.png
  • http://www.havering-college.ac.uk/images/logos/havering-college.svg

Because I set the test/write the curriculum I can’t then win the competition, so my answer to the question Which Logo is Best is Brockenhurst College’s Website Logo:


Map Pins & Social Media Versions

https://www.criticalfriend.ac.uk/map

In addition to the technical standard there is the practicality of having a logo for use in social media, as a favicon and, in this case, pins on a map. A very useful test for the effectiveness of a logo design is as old as logos themselves; is it visible from a reasonably long distance? In modern digital terms, the question has now become; is the logo recognisable as a 24px favicon?

I plan to run a full review of social media logos but in the meantime I have produced a map featuring 448 logo pins. There are clear examples of design that are effective throughout history as well as in the digital age, but also some that fail the admittedly stiff test of distinctiveness at 20px. There are lots of great examples of traditional heraldic characters as well as modern symbols and geometric patterns that achieve the simplicity that is critical in all logo design. 


1st. February 2018 Snapshot College Traffic Rankings

https://www.collegewebsites.ac.uk/traffic-reviews/current-alexa-rankings-in-order

The 4 consistent top performers - City Lit, Edinburgh College, Glasgow City College, and Havering College dominate the Top 10 and are joined by 6 intermittent performers. Coincidentally or not, see the Logo Report, Brockenhurst College of late showing strongly. 


Finally I will be at the 2018 AoC Communications & Digital Marketing Conference tomorrow, with strict instructions to do more listening, and so hope to meet you there.