The reactions to the new Instagram logo shows that nothing is more predictable than opposition to change.
Like it or love it, change always happens. There’s no bigger sphere for opposition to change than large, social companies whose reach extends to millions or even billions of users every day. Familiarity is part of brand trust, and any changes risk backlash, disappointment and confusion.
Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram has launched a new logo which is as close to a complete change you can get. Gone is the retro-styled Polaroid logo. The new logo replaces the bold rainbow with a delicate sunset gradient, and reduces the Polaroid illustration to a simple white outline of a more generic camera lens.
Announcing the new logo on its blog with a short post and a couple of videos, Instagram explained how the new logo is made to represent their community of global users: “…sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”
Instagram’s Head of Design, Ian Spalter, went into more depth in an extended article on Medium. Explaining the thoughts behind the need for an updated logo, he said: “Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty. But the Instagram icon and design was beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better.”
Tweaks to Instagram’s layout and updated logos in a similar gradient style for its other creative apps have also been rolled out. The main logo has of course attracted the most attention, with social media being first to react. There was plenty of swearing, snark, and development of a workaround to reinstall the old logo.
Designers, however, are generally positive, praising the simplicity, colour and flat design.
Like it, loath it or don’t care either way, the new Instagram logo launch has certainly not been a disaster. If you’d like to read about a true logo disaster, we suggest you read our previous post about Rhode Island.