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The New Instagram Logo, Dissected

Do you love it? Hate it?

To all of our daily Instagram users out there, I’m sure you’ve noticed the fresh new upgrade to your IG account, which rolled out early last week. The IG logo and supporting apps -- Boomerang, Hyperlapse, and Layout – have been given a new look. And once opened, you’ll see a cleaner IG template as well.

Ian Spalter, the man taking on the role as the Instagram head of design, asked his team to draw the previous IG logo from memory in 10 seconds or less. Spalter wanted to better understand what was “burned in” people’s minds from the look of the design alone. The 10-second images resulted in a camera lens, the rounded shape of the icon itself and the little black viewfinder located in the upper right-hand corner. From those elements, and nine long months of creative deliberation, the updated logo was created.

The old logo transitioned from a dimensional camera to a more flat, geometric design. The shape of the viewfinder changed from a black square to a single white dot. The center circle (lens) is paired with the viewfinder (white dot), to reflect a Smartphone lens and light sensor. This association better reflects the change of photography from past to present.

I think the flatter, more simplified design creates a sense of simplicity and sophistication that the previous logo was missing. Yes, there was a fun, quirky nature to the retro feel of the previous design, but the added dimensionality was sometimes compromised with the scaling of the icon.

Perhaps the biggest change in the logo redesign, however, is the use of the vibrant gradient as the background. In the previous IG logo, the red, yellow, green and blue colored bars above the word “INSTA”, were the main pop of color. The colored gradient not only pays homage to the colored bars of the old IG logo, but it also reflects the vibrancy of the filter options that IG has to offer. Personally, I feel like the comparison of the colored bars in relation to the updated gradient is kind of a stretch, but I’m totally on board with the gradient representing the vast filter possibilities that add to the popularity of Instagram.

Once the app is opened, Instagram introduces the updated, cleaner layout of the app itself. The blue header was removed and replaced with a white background for all of the filter screens, which makes total sense to me considering that use of blue wasn’t present in the previous app icon. As a photo editing app, Instagram should direct attention to, well…the photos…making those the main focus. I think the switch from blue to white really helps the individual photos pop, and makes them the center of attention. The white background also puts the image in context of how it will be viewed against the white backdrop of a user’s feed. The app’s notification identifiers have also been updated from orange to red. Which makes sense with the association of the color red used to create awareness.

With more than 400 million users, and 80 million photos and videos uploaded to the app every day, obviously this redesign has already created some major buzz. Some users feel that the new app icon gets lost on the wallpaper background of their phone, and feel the logo could have been thrown together in 10 minutes using Paint. Others love the simplicity and vibrancy that makes up the new logo. Initially, I was on the fence when I saw the app update on my phone, but the more I understood the relation of the icon to the actual Instagram app, the direction of the redesign makes total sense.

For all the haters out there (you can thank me later), your beloved little brown icon isn’t gone forever…There is a simple hack that will allow you to replace the new IG logo on your phone with the old icon. Link below:

Love it or hate it….Happy Filtering

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