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Resplendence, a blog from Radiant Resolution about graphic design

New Instagram Logo: Nailed it, or Failed it?

Yesterday, Instagram revealed it's new look with it's latest app upgrade, and along with this new look came a new logo. This is the first logo redesign since Instagram started 5 years ago. The simplified version of the logo (and secondary color scheme) always used blue, which was a nod to its parent company Facebook (which purchased it back in 2012). Now, Instagram has changed their complete color scheme to bright, warm colors, and a simplified black and white within the app interface. While the logo itself has been streamlined and works well, it's such a drastic change that it's almost unrecognizable, and it has gained a lot of backlash from the public. says, " may well go down as one of the biggest design fails of the year." It's true that the original logo is now dated, but let's be honest. It was dated when it was released. The problem was that the original design wasn't timeless, and that required a major overhaul several years later after the company was already a huge success. That would be like Facebook changing its colors to red after so many years with the blue association. It caught people off guard because it wasn't a subtle change. Instagram stated that their new look "reflects how vibrant and diverse our storytelling has become.” I think it was obvious at the launch of the company what Instagram would become. Of course it was going to be diverse. Cue major marketing department decisions.

Aside from the drastic change of the logo, on the plus side, all of the accompanying apps have changed to match the new color scheme to create a more uniform look than before.

The need for "flat design" has actually been increasing recently, and Instagram is finally boarding the train. This was pulled from a blog entry entitled The Flattening of Design, and explains it well: “Every so often there is a new fashion that comes about in design for any number of reasons, not the least of which is technology, and now there has been a reaction to mechanistic-looking design where you press a button and get a specific look,” says Steven Heller. “In response, designers have started to turn to flatness.” And one of the biggest reasons for the flat design is the common use of smartphones and tablets today.

Let this be a lesson to even the smallest business. It's important to start with a clean, timeless logo, and when a change is necessary, may it be due to current design fads or a shift in the company services, etc., be sure to keep the essence of your original identity.

The response from the internet was, although not well-received, pretty hilarious.

As for me, I like change and I like the new logo. But I'll be spending hours updating to the new logo on all of my marketing material. And soon the e-mails will be coming in from many clients who will need to make the change on their marketing material and websites as well, and it will be a costly change for companies to make the switch ASAP, where as a more subtle logo change would have been less urgent. Instagram hasn't even released simplified logo designs yet (i.e. monochromatic, or circular designs). That leaves us in limbo, and will allow other designers to create the logos themselves in order to appear "current," leading to more confusion in the coming weeks...a big headache for freelancers!

What are your thoughts on the new logo and how it was released?

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About Brittany Klein

Brittany Klein is a freelance graphic designer from Maryland. She established her company, Radiant Resolution, in 2008 after receiving her Master of Arts degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design. She has since written blogs, e-books, and articles centered around graphic design and fine art for many organizations across the country.

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