Instagram’s new logo launch last Wednesday has certainly divided opinion amongst the public, as well as the design community. The new vibrant design is such a departure from its comparatively plain brown and grey predecessor that the moveÂ hasÂ generated much attention.
According to Instagram’sÂ officialÂ blog: “The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more â a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”
While thousands have had their say across various social media platforms, MarComm NewsÂ decided to ask some top designers from the industry what they thought aboutÂ theÂ rebrand:
Steven Shaw, Design Director at Elmwood:
âIâm all for revolution when it comes to redesigns, but in this instance I actually think evolution would have been the better option.Â Instagram was definitely due for an update, but it feels like theyâve gone too far with the redesign of its icon. Theyâve stripped away all of the previous visual brand language and sadly, lost the uniqueness, own-ability and personality they had before.
The result is a fairly generic and nondescript icon, which letâs be honest, looks like a default app that could easily be one of Apple’s IOS icons. I’m not saying Instagram should’ve stuck with the skeuomorphic design, but they’ve basically followed Apple rather than paving their own way. I always liked the identifiable stripes (red yellow green blue) on the old icon, being a proud nod to Polaroid. I think there could’ve been an opportunity to use that in the new colour palette, instead of opting to introduce pink and orange hues.
The new ultra-modern, iconic style now seems disjointed from the scripted font that’s still used on the website. Seems like a missed opportunity not to update that at the same time â maybe thatâs next? Despite the critics, itâs a brave move so good luck to them, and Iâm sure it wonât put off their 400 million users.â
Kevin Lan, Design Director, The Partners, London:
“Itâs great that Instagram has finally realised that it was beginning to look like an antique on the app screen â the days of skeuomorphic design have long since passed and Instagram is one of the last to catch up. But thereâs always a moment of; âeww? Whatâs that?â when a long trusted and recognised app changes for something so different.
The icon itself, has lost much of itâs charm and distinctiveness. It looks a little blunt with the overly thick keylines, especially with screens are getting more and more high-res, but Iâm sure millions of iterations were considered and dismissed to reach this point. Funny that they havenât updated the script type â this really feels at odds with the new, minimal redesign.
Iâm sure over time, weâll all get used to it but right now, itâs a bit of a shock to the system.”
Spencer Buck, Creative Partner & Founder, Taxi Studio:
“I suffer from AIP (App Icon Blindness), a condition that makes it difficult for me to recognise the App Iâm after when swiping through the dozens and dozens of icons on my iPhone.
Itâs not a medically diagnosed condition, and thereâs little wrong with my eyesâ¦ itâs just that most App Icons sort of become a generic wallpaper of colour to me, and I find myself having to stare and concentrate to find what Iâm after.
Instagram’s previous App Icon used to be one that really stood out â because it was different.
Now itâs âone of thoseâ thatâs hard to find; itâs lost its identityâ¦ and I suspect itâs also lost a fair bit of brand love with it.”
Interestingly, all three design experts chose toÂ remarkÂ on not what the new logo has or hasn’tÂ added to the brand, but contrastingly,Â what the departure from the original, iconic logo has cost them, with Stephen remarking that Instagram have “lost the uniqueness, own-ability and personality”, Kevin agreeing that the logo has “lost much of its charm and distinctiveness”, and Spencer echoing that it has “lost its identity”.
Having collatedÂ the average responses on Twitter, the general public seem to firmly in theÂ unimpressed camp, with only a few exceptions. Here are some of the sentiments:
I love the new Instagram logo. Regardless of the gradient behind it, I’m totally about it.
â Josh Sobo (@JoshSobo) May 12, 2016
â Elias van der Kamp (@vdKampNL) May 11, 2016
i dont mind the new design of the instagram logo. i DO mind the color scheme.
â Casey Turner (@caseyturner) May 11, 2016
â Cheesy Jokes (@Derpey) May 12, 2016
Article by Henry Gunn, MarComm News