No. Unless you are lucky enough to be Nike, or McDonalds, or Apple, but most companies, especially web-based companies, which tend to offer products and services to niche audiences, do not have the luxury of letting their logo exist solely as a mark. The trend in logo design today seems to be to emphasize type over mark, using a unique typeface to distinguish a brand instead of a unique mark. Even logos that now function solely as marks often don’t start out that way.
In Your logo is an
<img>, not an
<h1>, Harry Roberts argues that logos should be marked up as images instead of an
background-image in CSS, for the same reason that you would not substitute your name with a photo. He uses Nike as his example. I agree that in Nike’s case the logo can function as an independent piece of content, but I wouldn’t apply this logic to every website. Although there are good semantic arguments that a company’s name shouldn’t be
<h1>, there are a few pretty solid reasons to use
- Using the CSS image sprite technique to apply a hover state to the logo.
- The ability to update a logo without editing HTML or worrying about browser cacheing.
Updating a company logo is pretty standard practice. Even if the logo itself doesn’t change, a designer may want to adjust the scale, or use a PNG instead of a JPG to offer more flexibility when other elements of the page’s design have changed. These are style changes that do not alter the content of the logo, but do require the image to be replaced, and like all style changes, they belong in the CSS.