Instagram’s new in-app look and logo have received a barrage of negativity and frustration since the update. Yesterday the photo sharing social network announced the release of a sleek new look alongside a brand new vibrant sunset-coloured glyph logo – the latter of which seems to have caused the most outrage…
The update was rolled out alongside a post on the Instagram blog that included a brief description of the significant design changes. The new logo was inspired by the previous icon, edited to reflect the growing diversity of content shared on the community. The new in-app design has a sleek, minimalist design with a focus on black and white with recognisable feature glyphs, created to allow users’ content to shine.
Headlining the announcement was this brilliantly creative video illustrating the brand transformation…
An ode to the old logo
While we believe that users should begin to focus on the positives of the new design and the change that it represents for the network, that doesn’t mean we don’t understand why users are up in arms about the loss of the old logo. When Instagram made the tough decision to axe their old logo they were also deciding to trash one of the most recognisable social media icons the digital world has ever known.
When CEO and co-founder of the network Kevin Systrom first shared a GIF of the old logo transforming into the new a significant proportion of his 1.2 million followers reacted in complete outrage. Many of these are simply NSFW in nature, but one example concluded, “I’m sure it’s totally coincidence it scans as a bolder version of the iOS photos app icon.” A slightly unsubstantiated claim and an attempt to throw petrol over something that’s already ablaze? Perhaps.
The old logo was certainly loved. It wasn’t uncommon for people to bake cakes in its shape. To those people we say this – get over it; rainbow cake is delicious.
Reasons why you should love it
Not only is the in-app re-design immensely slick, it also appears to have been conducted in a fashion that truly allows users’ content to shine. Instagram believes that the simpler design allows the focus to be on photos and videos and we would be inclined to agree. It feels as if Instagram has understood that much of the colour and vibrancy in their brand stems from the content that their users share, and have taken a step back colour-wise in order to lend a flatter feeling of empty canvas. Surely you should be happy about that – your content now takes pride of place on the app!
The decision to axe their old logo certainly wouldn’t have been one that was made lightly. Indeed, Instagram’s head of design Ian Spalter has explained that the challenge was to “Honour Instagram’s identity while reflecting its growth”. In short, Instagram is no longer the small photo sharing network hiding behind the small friendly brown camera with a candied lens – it’s an immensely popular global social networking site, and they needed to create a logo that reflected that.
“When Instagram was founded, it was a place to easily edit and share photos. Five years later, things have evolved. Instagram is now a diverse community of interests where people are sharing more photos and videos than ever before; using new tools like Boomerang and Layout, and connecting in new ways through Explore.”
The network needed to move beyond the original logo without abstracting too much in order to ensure they maintained the heritage and spirit of the network in its younger days. From a practical standing, the old rendered camera wasn’t scalable enough – and a social network of their size and influence needs that sort of flexibility.
IG’s family of apps – Instagram, Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout – now all have a singular, cohesive identity; one that feel fresh, free and uncluttered. That’s got to be a good thing, after all content drives social media – so why not let it shine!?