Which Social Media Icons and Logos Can I Print on Promo Items?
Most people who buy promotional items use them to promote their brand and business. But more and more we’re seeing people use promo products to also promote their social media channels. And that’s a great idea! If you’re going to be giving people some custom mouse pads, it’s smart thinking to direct them to your Facebook page.
However, since social networks are individual companies, they all have their own rules for how to use their trademarked images. For example, there are a lot of rules to follow if you want to use the Facebook logo on the web, in print, or on TV.
Let’s talk about some of the most popular social networks and their guidelines for using their names and logos on your promotional items. By learning all of the rules now you’ll have a better idea for how to setup up your promo items when it’s time to order!
Facebook is by far the most popular social network, which means that it’s a great idea to direct your customers to your company page or group. However you can’t just copy and paste the Facebook logo from their website and call it a day. There are multiple things that need to be checked before it’s okay to print the logo on your promotional items.
First of all, according to the brand guidelines from Facebook itself, you can only use the Facebook ‘f’ logo to refer to:
Your presence on Facebook, such as your Page, timeline, group, app or event
Your implementation of Facebook on your website
Your product’s integration with Facebook, such as ‘For use with Facebook’
Content that originates from Facebook
You are not allowed to use the Facebook logo to publicize anything other than what is listed above. You also cannot just use the ‘f’ logo by itself. It must be accompanied with a call to action. Examples of proper calls to action include:
- Like us on Facebook
- Follow us on Facebook
You can also include the URL to your Facebook page as long as it’s in direct proximity with the ‘f’ logo and the call to action.
The only exception to this rule is if you use the ‘f’ logo side-by-side with other social media logos.
Check out this chart for acceptable and non-acceptable uses of the Facebook logo.
Any use of the Facebook logo must have space around it so it appears clean and uncluttered. You cannot use the logo in a way that “implies partnership, sponsorship or endorsement.” The Facebook logo cannot be the most distinctive feature of your promotion item, it cannot be used “on materials associated with pornography, illegal activities, or other materials that violate the Facebook Terms,” and the design and color cannot be changed.
A black and white version of the logo can be used only if there are technical limitations in the printing process.
On Twitter as well? Then you can also use your promotional products to direct customers to your Twitter account. Luckily you have a few options for how you can use the Twitter logo on your personalized items.
When it comes to graphics, you can only use the current Twitter bird in either blue or white. No other colors, alterations, or other logos are allowed. There must be at least 200% buffer space around the bird. That buffer space is shown in the logos below:
The icon also needs to be accompanied with a call to action or your Twitter account URL. The Twitter logo cannot be larger than your own branding.
These are acceptable ways to promote your Twitter account:
- The text “Follow Us On Twitter”
- The text “Follow Us On” with the Twitter bird logo
- The text “Follow Us On” with the Twitter bird logo and your brand’s username
- The Twitter bird logo followed by the text “Twitter” and with your brand’s Twitter URL in close proximity.
Check out the following chart for some acceptable uses.
Here are some other acceptable uses:
- You can use the Twitter bird logo before a specific hashtag: [twitter bird] #hashtag
- You can use the Twitter bird logo before your user name: [twitter bird] @username
You view the proper spacing for this by going to their brand assets page here and scrolling down the section called “Using the Twitter brand in advertising or marketing materials.”
This is also important to note: Unless you are using the Twitter bird logo or the word “Twitter” in direct proximity to your URL/username OR you are printing a line of side-by-side social media logos, you MUST include a call to action.
Neither of the old Twitter logos (the lowercase T and the bird that faced directly right) can be used. Additionally, your company or brand name cannot be printed immediately above the Twitter bird logo. And last, but not least, you cannot use the Twitter logo to suggest any kind of partnership with Twitter.
Whether you’re looking to promote your new web series or just want to direct customers to the cool product videos on your brand’s channel, having a YouTube logo on your custom items is very important.
Luckily YouTube is really cool about letting people use their logo in promotional materials. There are a few easy rules to follow.
First of all, the YouTube logo cannot be altered in anyway. You have to either use the horizontal, up-to-date, full-color logo or a one-color version. YouTube only wants their old stacked logo to be used in social media instances when it cannot be avoided.
If you are printing a row of social media icons, they prefer that you use the new logo.
Unlike some of the social networks, you cannot use the YouTube logo as part of a sentence. If you want to use a call to action like “You can find us on YouTube,” you can only use text. You can place the YouTube logo somewhere else on your item.
YouTube also mandates a minimum height of 0.35″ when the logo is used in printed material. (If you want to use it online, it’s a minimum size of 25 pixels). And as always, you cannot use the logo “to imply a deep relationship or strategic partnership with YouTube.”
When it comes to social media logo usage, Pinterest seems to be the most enthusiastic out of all of the social networks. They want you promote your presence on Pinterest – they just want to make sure that you are following their rules while you do.
First of all, Pinterest requests that you use one of these logos or badges that you can easily download from their website:
Then you promote your Pinterest account in one of these ways:
- The badge followed by the URL of your account
- The name of your company followed by “on” and the logo, URL underneath
- The name of your company followed by “on” and the badge, URL underneath
- Badge within a line of social media icons
So visually, these options look like this:
Pinterest requests that you “Maintain empty space equal to at least half the height of the logo on all sides.” Again, you cannot use any of the Pinterest Marks to suggest “Pinterest is sponsoring your promotion or is formally affiliated with it.”
LinkedIn policy about printed items states that it “does not permit use the use of its Marks on manufactured products.” However, there are some factories who will print the LinkedIn logo on your promotional items. I recommend checking with your individual sales person and taking the time to request the use of LinkedIn’s logo on your promo products. It will add additional time to your order, but it could save you a costly legal battle later!
Great news! You can use the Google+ icon on your promotional items. Google doesn’t have too many stipulations when it comes to using their logo.
First of all, the ask that you use the Google+ icon along with a call to action. They also prefer that that you place the icon to the left of the text.
They also deem these call to actions to be acceptable:
- Follow us on Google+
- Follow us on Google
- Follow [YourBrand] on Google+
- Follow [YourBrand] on Google
- We’re on Google+
Google does not want you to shorten Google+ to g+ or use Google+ as a verb.
They also ask that you only use these three versions of their logo, which you can download here.
For the entire set of guidelines, check out the full style guide.
While Tumblr is happy to give you high-resolution versions of its logo, at this time they request that you don’t use their logo on merchandise. Their guidelines are pretty clear: “You shouldn’t use the Tumblr Marks on any merchandise without our permission.”
You probably saw this one coming, but Instagram also does not allow their logo to be used on merchandise. They will allow it on packaging, but not “on merchandise, such as toys, apparel or accessories.” Some of our suppliers have reached out to Instagram to seek permission, but at this time you are unable to use their logo on your custom items.
You also cannot print the Vine logo on your promotional products. Vine’s current policy is “The Vine marks should not be used on any merchandise or tangible goods.”
The check-in service Foursquare is really cool because they provide a graphic for you to use as a window cling in your brick-and-mortar business. However, they do not allow the use of their logo on promotional items. They state that you “may not use the Foursquare Marks on any merchandise without our permission.”
Yelp offers logos, buttons, and badges for small business owners. Their page directly states that you can use “Yelp creative assets to identify and refer to Yelp in marketing and informational materials.” They also have these eight guidelines when you are using their brand assets on your marketing materials:
1. Your use must be substantially separated from other logos, trademarks and graphics
2. Your use must be the smallest logo used in your materials and proportional to the smallest font size of your marketing copy
3. Your use must not imply endorsement by Yelp or create confusion
4. Your use cannot be modified in any way, including proportions, colors, or fonts
5. Your use cannot be used in connection with false or misleading advertising
6. Your use cannot be used in a manner that disparages Yelp
7. Your use cannot be combined with other words or marks
8. Use is limited to the press and local businesses referring to their authorized listing(s) on Yelp
So as long as you are not implying that you have a partnership with Yelp and follow these guidelines, there’s no reason why you can’t use your promotional items to encourage your customers to leave you a review on Yelp. Sticking with the approved logos and badges will keep you within their guidelines.
I had a special request for the Snapchat logo. As of this writing, I couldn’t find anything on their website about how or if people could use the Snapchat logo on their promotional items.
So I reached out to company and asked if there were any restrictions.
According to a response that I got back on April 20, 2015:
Thanks for your interest in Snapchat! You may use our official ghost logo but you cannot add any elements to it or modify the colors. We hope this is helpful!
Which, honestly, was more than I was expecting!
I am interpreting this message to mean that you cannot put any call to action or user name with the logo. You can also not print a different color (like how Twitter and Google+ have different color icons) of the logo. So if you’re married to idea of having a Snapchat logo on your items, I would suggest not picking a yellow item color.
In fact, the best way to use the icon would be in a line of other social media icons to show where your brand is located online.
Unless, of course, your goal is to get followers on Snapchat. Then you’ll have to get a little creative with your copy and design!
Want to check out the full branding guidelines for these social networks? You can find them all right here: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, Foursquare, and Yelp.
I know that was a ton of information to get through, so let’s do a quick recap before wrapping up this post.
You can print (with restrictions): Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Yelp, and Snapchat.
You can possibly print: LinkedIn.
You cannot print: Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and Foursquare.
Know that if any of these policies change or if we receive special permission, I will make sure to update this post to reflect the most current and accurate information.
Now that you know about which social media icons you can use, you’re probably wondering how you can print them on your items.
There are one-color options of most social media logos, but they all really shine when represented with their full colors. So if you wanted to guide your customers to as many social channels as possible, you should consider using a custom item that has full-color printing. Full-color printing is also known as digital printing and CMYK printing.
Full-color printed items like sticky notes or mouse pads have lots of room and you can print with as many colors as you want. These would allow you to print your business’ logo and all of the approved social media logos without having to make any compromises on colors.
Still unsure about how you can use some of these social media logos? Luckily our art department knows exactly how and when you can use these logos. So if you have a specific idea for your promotional items make sure that you talk to your representative so you can craft the perfect giveaway item.
Whether you have questions about social media logos or can’t wait to get started on your order, we would love to hear from you! You can contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone (1-866-312-5646), via our live chat, or by leaving a comment below.
Have you used any social media logos on your promo items before? Which of these guidelines surprised you? Which icon would you like to be able to use on your promo items?
This post was last updated on 4.21.2015.