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Cassie Chorn
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Instagram’s New Look Not So Well Received

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On Wednesday, Instagram unveiled a new logo and app design, which hasn’t been met with such rave reviews. The earlier logo strongly resembled a camera, but the new design is no longer so skeuomorphic. Instead, it’s flatter and bolder, in keeping with 2016 design trends.

The camera is still there, but it’s placed over a rainbow gradient, which some have argued is reminiscent of PowerPoint’s slide background called “Early Sunset”. Take a look here to see what we mean. The redesign also extends to Instagram’s creative apps (Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse) which didn’t have a unified brand identify beforehand, but appear to be much more Instagram-adjacent now. The user interface has also been refreshed, and is now much more simple to help users’ photos and videos “shine”, according to Instagram’s head of design, Ian Spalter.

So why the change? Well, Instagram and its community have evolved over the years. What was once a simple app for people to edit and share photos has morphed into a global community of millions of active users who share some 80 million photos and videos a day, including social influencers who make a living off posting branded content. The new outlook, according to Spalter, reflects how diverse and vibrant the Instagram community’s storytelling has become.

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Instagram’s new logo has been revealed, along with its associated apps of Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse

AdWeek calls new logo a “travesty”

Drastic design changes are rarely well-received. AdWeek’s rundown of the logo overhaul called it a “travesty” and The New York Times called it the “logo freakout of 2016”. This is pretty common. Remember when Uber changed their logo earlier this year? Huge freakout, and three months later, most people can’t even recall what the old one looked like. Or Air BnB, when they introduced their new salmon-pink logo to better reflect their ethos of “belonging”. They were criticised for ripping off other companies in the same industry, and faced a social media backlash from those who thought the logo resembled parts of the human body. Fast forward two years, and the new logo is accepted as it is.

Instagram doesn’t want to be nostalgic anymore

The new logo, aside from keeping up with latest design trends, is really a signal to its audience that they no longer want to be viewed as a nostalgic, backwards-looking app. The old logo and the app’s earlier filters were reminiscent of the Polaroid. The new logo reflects the fact that its users are viewing Instagram as an entirely separate entity, and a very popular one too. Users know what Instagram does, so there’s no need to spell it out as the previous logo did. It’s early days yet, but we have a feeling Instagram users will grow to accept the new design…

instagram-new-logo-hed-2016

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By Cassie Chorn


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