Instagram logo the previous one, a retro-looking camera, and one of the most recognisable tech logos out there, has been replaced by a background swirl of sunset colours and a white outline of a camera.
…of the new Instagram logo/Icon
Given that Instagram’s new icon differs little aesthetically from the rest of the icons on our smartphone home screens, true? Clearly, the reaction could not be explained away as but ‘the shock of the new,’ as Armin Vit posited when he claimed “About 75% of the negative reaction will be simply to the fact that it has changed.”
It has been an explosion of negativity toward the redesign. There was a buffet of memes about the rebrand, though you’ve probably seen enough of them by now. Nearly every designer (and even some non-designers) had aredesign to share, and that’s a great thing.
Was the same when Uber dropped their (hideous) new icon, or Airbnb’s weird (plagiarized) rebrand, and there were a million times before. Do we really hate change that much? Especially the snobby tech elite that pride ourselves on being ambassadors of the future — except for the part where we violently hate whenever anything changes?
The most common theory as to why Instagram had retained their dimensional icon was that they were holding to a principled approach. The argument went that they stuck with their icon out of respect for not just the immense brand recognition it had accrued, but also for the aesthetic tradition of dimensionality it emerged from.
After months of design work, they spent months more doing qualitative research into whether people could recognize the icon as Instagram, and to see if it evoked the upbeat chumminess of the old icon — a slow, painstaking process meant to root the entire design in a logic that the entire company could grok.
However, I’m really surprised at this shift. It’s a very big departure and I feel like it’s lost the ‘spirit’ of Instagram. It was a bold decision and I applaud the guts it took to do it, but it pays little respect to the ‘community’ it claims to be inspired by.
I cannot emphasize this point enough–Instagram’s designers most assuredly felt they had picked a relatively safe choice.
Have a wonderful week,
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