Love it or hate it, the new Instagram icon is certainly getting a lot of attention. They say any press is good press, right? Here’s what some of our creatives think.

Ben Greengrass, Creative Director, New York

Moments like this always take me back to the big London 2012 Olympic logo debate. Wolff Olins unveiled their creation and it caused a blinding outrage. I recall being in my local gym where two men we’re debating what a waste of money it was and who could have created such a monstrosity.

Firstly when criticism seeps out from the design world (where you expect a certain amount of opinion) into the real world you know there’s trouble brewing. It wasn’t until you then saw the brand in application that you ‘got it’. Haters turned to lovers and it spearheaded London’s super successful Olympics charge.

The point for me is about application in it’s environment. Does it look hideous in the app eco-system? Does it stand out? Did it stop me instantly updating the app? Do I totally hate the new brand video that goes along with it? No, no, no and no. Instagram is now so much more than just a photo sharing app, it’s a social network of choice.

Love it or hate it? Things look very different in the morning. You may be singing it’s praises next week. Donald Trump is on the verge of the Presidency, we have bigger things to worry about!


Read the full article featured by The Drum


Camilla Crane, Strategy Director, New York

There’s nothing simple about launching a new brand. It’s even more challenging to rebrand a company that so many people have a strong emotional relationship with. Emotions are high. Time is short. Consensus is rare. Subjective opinions are hard to avoid. And, the full story is never known by everyone. That said, there are ways to set yourself up for an easy journey and ways to make things harder for yourself. Instagram made things harder for themselves. They focused too heavily on the logo and forgot about the broader brand  –  in essence; they skipped the strategic brand story. Without strategic storytelling, you open the floodgates for subjective, emotionally charged responses.

The key is to bring customers, users, employees and the broader world on a journey with you, give them some transparency into your decision-making process and share your vision. Embrace the tension between the inevitable discomfort of the new and the desire to create familiarity as soon as possible. Instagram set themselves up for subjective scrutiny by making their most visible communications solely about ‘a new look’. In their launch email, they led with language about having ‘an updated app icon’ and ‘keeping the rainbow’.

Imagine if their email had used strategic storytelling to set up the broader context, create urgency and build purpose right from the start. Then they could have introduced the the new logo and product design as clear proof point of the new story. This would have helped position the readers in a more objective mindset before the big reveal. It’s a good reminder that there is no better partnership than that between good strategy and excellent design  –  one is not whole without the other.


Steven Shaw, Design Director, Leeds

I’m all for revolution when it comes to redesigns, but in this instance I actually think evolution would have been the better option. Instagram was definitely due for an update, but it feels like they’ve gone too far.

They’ve stripped away all of the previous visual brand language and sadly, lost the uniqueness, own-ability and personality they had before. The result is a fairly generic and nondescript icon, which let’s be honest, looks like a default app that could easily be one of Apple’s iOS icons. I’m not saying Instagram should’ve stuck with the skeuomorphic design, but they’ve basically followed Apple rather than paving their own way.

I always liked the identifiable stripes (red yellow green blue) on the old icon, being a proud nod to Polaroid. I think there could’ve been an opportunity to use that in the new colour palette, instead of opting to introduce pink and orange hues.

The new ultra-modern, iconic style now seems disjointed from the scripted font that’s still used on the website. Seems like a missed opportunity not to update that at the same time – but maybe that’s next? Despite the critics, it’s a brave move so good luck to them, and I’m sure it won’t put off their 400 million users.


As featured by Marketing Comm News

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