In a blow to countless Etsy makers who’ve made a cottage industry out of baked cookies, crochet purses and other creative ways of recreating its logo, Instagram is jettisoning its iconic logo, which turned five in October. The Polaroid-inspired camera-with-leather-trim icon below has been replaced with the more contemporary, minimalist design you see above.
Logo changes are rarely loved on day one (just ask Starbucks, Gap, Airbnb or Uber), but the response to this update has been particularly negative. In two press reactions, The Guardian observes that as redesigns go, “it’s not quite picture perfect” while Adweek calls it a “travesty” and “one of the biggest design fails of the year.”
Armin Vit, who critiques logos on Brand New’s Under Consideration blog from a designer’s perspective, argues that “from all the 2015-16 design standards, this is as good as it gets with a simple, friendly, gradienty icon.”
Whether it’s a #myinstagramlogo art piece or an Instagram cake, we feel lucky to have an icon that people love and want to make their own. Between the round shape with grippy textures, teddy-bear brown, candied lens, and rainbow, there’s a lot to love.
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.
Cue its new logo and visual identity system, which Spalter says uses the old logo’s rainbow and camera lens as a bridge to its new icon:
Anecdotally, we knew that people loved the rainbow and the camera lens was a key visual element. As a part of our process, we also asked people at the company to draw the Instagram icon from memory in 5 seconds. Almost all of them drew the rainbow, lens, and viewfinder.
With this insight, we decided to translate these elements into a more modern app icon that strikes a balance between recognition and versatility.
Today we’re introducing a new look. 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. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.
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 its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world. Every photo and video — from the littlest things to the most epic — opens a window for people to broaden their experiences and connect in new ways.
Its logotype remains the same, with its word mark changing as follows:
To be sure, it’s come a long way from its debut, when its resemblance to a Polaroid camera was more obvious and its name featured a lowercase ‘i’ —
And brand odes like this will soon become a thing of the past:
Watch the videos below for more on Instagram’s non-crochet-friendly redesign, and let us know what you think in the comments.