The HTML5 Logo & Why You Shouldn't Use It

Last week the W3C came out with the HTML5 logo. The logo itself is actually really nice looking (and yes I want the t-shirt!), but unfortunately the neat design is now worthless.

Yup the W3C decided that it wanted to lump in every new technology with HTML5, making it seem as if you couldn’t use one without the other. It even added a nice little description explaining what this logo was for and specifically stated that items like CSS3 were apart of the “HTML5 family of technologies“:

The logo is a general-purpose visual identity for a broad set of open web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and others. In addition to the HTML5 logo there are icons for eight high level technology classes enabled by the HTML5 family of technologies. The icons can be used to highlight more specific abilities, such as offline, graphics, or connectivity.

Not sure when CSS3 and everything else became a part of HTML5. You’d think of all places, the W3C would be against using the “buzzword” version of HTML5 and would instead aim to educate the masses why javascript, SVG, CSS3 and others are not HTML5.

While it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon of a trend that’s fronted by such a cool looking logo, it’s dangerous. Remember the times when clients thought that anything that moved had to be Ajax? This time, it’s much, much worse.

The problem with supporting something as seemingly innocent as a logo? As developers we often complain about the lack of education among our clients. we fume and fuss when they disregard our advice about usability, or when they demand something crazy simply because “it’s cool”.

If we support and use this logo, are we any better? How can we expect our clients to be educated in the technologies we use if we help spread the disinformation?

If the client see the logo on your sites, and then reads about how everything new today is HTML5, what do you think he’s going to expect when he approaches you for work?

Of course, it is just a logo afterall, why does it matter if we lump everything into HTML5? Does it really matter as long as we, the developers, know the truth?

Ask yourself that question again the next time a client demands an Ajax dropdown or an HTML5 “design”.