Thursday, September 1, 2016

Instagram’s Logo Change – A Look Back

Back in May, you may recall that Instagram changed its logo. With the buzz now history, let's take a look back at how the logo change was viewed by some members of the media as well as the reasons behind the design change.

According to Instagram's blog, "You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — 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. Thank you for giving this community (of 400 million users) its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world."

Instagram's logo, a retro-looking camera, was one of the most recognizable logos in the entire tech sector. That logo was replaced by a background swirl of sunset colors (orange, yellow, pink, purple) and a white outline of a camera. According to Hannah Jane Parkinson of the Guardian, "As if the camera was murdered - chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown."

Ian Spalter, Instagram's head of design, said everything correctly in this statement: “Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people...and we thought we could make it better."

However, Lauren Keating reported in Tech Times, "Instagram lost its mind when it decided to do away with its iconic logo and replace it with the most colorful and vibrant icon we could imagine. It is almost like the purple/pink-fading-to-yellow icon is a metaphor for the end of an era for the app. Sure, it was supposed to signify the changes and evolution of the popular photo-sharing app, but all it does is remind us that the sun has set on its reign as apps like Snapchat continue to rise in popularity. While some may like the colors instead of thinking they stick out like a sore thumb, you have probably noticed how hard it now is to find Instagram by its icon."

There was a different point of view expressed by Lesya Liu in Entrepreneur, "The most recent update is only skin-deep - it did not affect navigation - so it’s very likely people will get over it in a few days, just like they got over the recent algorithm change. After all, Instagram is a very popular platform these days. For a lot of businesses, this is the way to reach millennial demographics, the generation that currently holds the largest buying power. Overall, there are people who really love it and really hate it, which is understandable when one of the respected apps changes something. Yet, the updates are only cosmetic and do not affect the meaning and the value behind the network."

But isn't that the point of a memorable logo? Don't people gravitate toward a logo due to its design? And don't some designs appeal more than others? Think of Nike - its logo appeals and connects more with athletes and runners than those who needlepoint and knit. Think of BMW - its logo appeals and connects more with race car drivers than swimmers. And think of Apple - its logo appeals and connects with techies more than farmers.

Four months after the logo change, do you like the new logo or do you hate it? More importantly, has it stopped you from using the app to share your fave pics and videos? If you're like me, the answer is a big fat NO.

[Images courtesy of Instagram]

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