Rebecca Terrell
Rebecca Terrell
May 11, 2016
Instagram Unveils New Look

There have been quite a few changes in the social world lately. I would know because I’ve written about all of them - from Snapchat’s 2.0 to that day when marketers everywhere were hyperventilating over that Instagram algorithm that never happened (#goodtimes). But that’s the beauty of working in social media - it’s constantly changing and adapting.

Speaking of changes, it’s time to wave goodbye to that familiar retro Instagram icon we have all grown to love for the past five years. That’s right - Instagram just rolled out their redesigned logo for the primary app, as well as their sister apps including Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse. According to Instagram’s blog, the change is entirely cosmetic, but the refreshed design places a focus on the photographs and videos without changing the navigation.




Why the change? Simple. Brands evolve over time. Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design, wrote on Medium this morning:

“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.”

Along with the change, Instagram released a short video that allows the viewer to experience the process of the redesign. “As part of our process, we...asked people at the company to draw the Instagram icon from memory in 5 seconds,” Spalter writes. “Almost of all 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.”


Instagram Logo Launch from Buck on Vimeo.


While some users are trashing the new design, others are praising the platform’s ability to adapt to new trends. We rounded up some of our talented design team to critique Instagram’s new look and here’s what they said:


“The most iconic brands in the world don’t evolve their logos, they devolve them. That is to say, if you can communicate more with less, your brand is doing something right. Starbucks logo for example started with a very elaborate illustration and text. Over time it "devolved” to simpler illustrations and less text to where it is today with only a simple, now iconic mark and no text at all.

The new Instagram logo follows this rule of establishing your brand through visual over-communication and then reigning in the complexity over time as your brand itself becomes the icon. Instagram’s original use of a recognizable polaroid camera in its logo served the purpose of quickly and visually communicating what the app did. Now, with the mass adoption of Instagram, that is no longer necessary.

The new, simpler and more colorful version may “devolve” the logo, but it certainly evolves the brand. Along with the updates to sister apps Hyperlapse, Boomerang and Layout, they have done a nice job tying the four together as a cohesive family of apps.”  -Seth Griffin, Creative Director


“Instagram’s update to their app icon is a huge step in the right direction for their brand. The design is open enough to give them room for growth and opportunities and doesn’t restrict them like the design of their old icon. It was a bold decision for Instagram to change the design to something so strikingly opposite of what once was, but I believe it ultimately reflects the new lifestyle and identity that they have grown to fit.” -Jin Chung, Art Director


“I like the logo but I’m more interested in their approach to the feed’s look. the stark black and white colors are really gonna help people’s photograph’s stand out and at the end of the day, that’s what instagram is, a feed of artful food shots and selfies” - Kyle Humphrey, Graphic Designer


"I like the process of simplification that they presented through the video. It really gives depth to the changes made. I will say that in my opinion it’s a bit unremarkable as a logo and may be a bit too simple. Although they melded everything together, they also took away the things that made it stand out to begin with… -Chris Seagle, Art Director


What do you think of Instagram’s new logo and refreshed user experience?

Tweet us your opinions at @telecreative