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Why People Are Pissed About Instagram's New Logo

4 MINUTE READ | May 11, 2016

Why People Are Pissed About Instagram's New Logo

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Alana Mandel

Alana Mandel has written this article. More details coming soon.

Is it just me or does the new Instagram logo sort of remind you of your little sister dressing up for Coachella? As I spotted this neon pink and orange icon scrolling through my feed this morning, I thought I had accidentally followed a teen clothing boutique, the kind that mostly sells crop tops. My eyes adjusted, and then I realized this account was Instagram. The OG brown and rainbow logo we’ve all come to love was gone. But why?

So what happened was the design team at Instagram wanted to “modernize” the logo to something virtually unrecognizable (is that an outline of a camera or a kids spirograph?), and then they blamed it all on us. “Inspired by the community.”

The video for this “inspired by you” campaign is actually pretty adorable and well done. Released with the unveiling of the new logo, the video was in true Instagram form: reflective of the Insta-community so much that I thought I might see one of my own posts featured! But somehow the final logo design just fell (quite literally) flat.

The brand also redesigned their companion apps, which is a bit more cohesive with the new mark than it had been previously. Instagram was aiming for a “simpler, more consistent design that helps people’s photos and videos shine.” While the UI departs from the classic blue to an all-white background with sleek flat design elements that force the eye towards user content, the internet is still pissed.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The old logo was one of the most recognized logos in tech. This new mark is a complete departure, a drastic change. While Instagram tried to stay true to the camera visual in the logo, they unfortunately failed at one of their most obvious challenges – going too far. The brand writes in a lengthy Medium post explaining their design decisions, “If you abstract too much, the glyph doesn’t feel tied to the history and soul of Instagram.” GUYS! You done did too much abstracting!

  2. Flat design is everywhere, and no one is impressed anymore. The internet is aflutter with comments dripping in sarcasm like “oh yay, another flat design” and “looks like every other iOS app design.” You couldn’t pick this logo out of a line with all the other industry app logos, it doesn’t stand out anymore.

  3. This is more immature than it is simple. In principle, simplicity is better. However, this “simplified version” of the logo comes off as very elementary. The colors, the gradient, and the overly abstract camera outline creates a vibe that positions the brand as more of a social media app for youth culture than a versatile tool to capture memories, create art, and share within an inspiring community.

  4. It feels trendy, not timeless. It’ll be interesting to see how Instagram uses this look as a platform to build upon for the future of the app and the community. How long can it feel “modern” or even relevant when it looks like all the other apps out there?

  5. It’s pink. Sure, I see where they’re coming from in trying to use the rainbow as a bridge into the gradient background. But upon first glance, this comes off as more Victoria’s Secret pink than rainbow. Pink is great for a brand that’s pink, but Instagram has never been associated with such a warm color palette before, and this is all too new and extreme to be welcomed by the masses.


Check out what the brand has to say about the redesign here, and enjoy this pretty dope video of the process (no matter how off you may think the result is).

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