It’s all too common that I see social media icons being displayed in the incorrect way. You would be surprised at how strict the brand guidelines are for major platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If you have changed the colour of a social media icon or manipulated it to match your branding (such as the ‘f’ for Facebook or the Twitter bird) then you may have breached their individual guidelines. This is critical for all brands, and can land you in hot water if you’re not aware of the repercussions.

So to give you the low-down, we’ve put together the most notable dos and don’ts for using these icons in your business:


Probably the most commonly misused social media icon on the web, Facebook’s “f” logo is a good example. The company’s guidelines state that solid blue with a white “f” that exits out of the box is the official look. If there are a number of shades of blue, a shadow, or a even a different gradient, it’s likely the wrong icon.

Link: Facebook brand assets/guidelines


In June of 2012, social media giant Twitter decided to get rid of its outdated look of the Larry the Bird design, featuring text. It then replaced it with an icon without text, simply titled “the Twitter bird”. Now, anything that features a lowercase ‘t’ is irrelevant and not official. Additionally, any cartoon birds are a big no-no. The more modernized Twitter Bird must be white or blue, and of the specific shade used. More than some of the other platforms, Twitter is strict about their branding guidelines, with their team even implementing a specific typography guide.

Link: Twitter brand assets/guidelines


This platform is unique in its own way, as it has two specific versions of its icon. First, there’s the multi-coloured camera that most recognise for its appearance on mobile devices. But the “Glyph” logo is actually the default look for a majority of the company’s branding, and is the one other brands should jump onto using as well. The multi-coloured version should only be used if referencing the app. Best of all, users are permitted to change the colours of the “Glyph” version as required, which is actually the only known icon specifications that allow this.

Link: Instagram brand assets/guidelines


Standing out amongst the crowd with its red circle and signature ‘P’, Pinterest’s badge requires that the actual word of the brand is not reproduced in any other material (wordmarked). This social network is a veteran, however, so incorrect icons are bound to pop up here and there.

Link: Pinterest brand assets/guidelines

After reading this post, you’d most likely recognise the importance of ensuring branding and guidelines are consistently met. As most are updated frequently, its best to keep yourself in touch with social media networks’ websites to ensure you’re up-to-date with their latest branding specifications.