The New Instagram Logo is Amazing, and Nobody is Happy

May 12, 2016


My name is Robbie, and I like the new Instagram logo.

Actually, I love it.

I’m not a designer.

I haven’t opened up Photoshop in a good 5 years.

All I know is this.

I went to open Instagram.


I saw a shiny new icon.

I liked it.

It stood out in a sea of other infamously bland app icons.

I clicked on it.

I went on with my day.

Everyone else?

Well, they weren’t going to let this opportunity go by without adding their feedback. This is a GIF that started circulating fairly quickly.


Instagram knew that they couldn’t just publish this new logo without, at minimum, defending this very new look.

So they did what any iconic company would do.

They created a video that details HOW they came up with the new logo. They wanted to show the work behind the scenes, and that it wasn’t just a, “Hey guys, how does this new icon look?”

I don’t have any information besides what is publicly known about this logo.

But something tells me they knew people weren’t going to like it.

I think the behind-the-scenes conversation went something like this:

Designer 1: Okay. This is variation #435 of this app icon. I think this is it. This is the one we push to production.

Designer 2: I think we need to defend it a little bit. I don’t think people are going to like it because it’s something they aren’t used to.

Designer 3: Lisa has a point. I say we create a blog post and video that shows how we came up with the new design. Let’s dive deep into the history of Instagram and what it means to be part of our community. Let’s start from the beginning and focus on how this icon was inspired by the community!

Designer 1: Sweet. Let’s do it!

Designer 2 & 3: YESSSSSSS!!!!!

Designer 4: They’re going to hate it. It doesn’t matter what we do. Nobody is going to like it.

Somebody give Designer 4 an award.

Nobody liked it.

The head of design for Instagram created an in-depth story of how they came up with the new design. It was detailed, inspirational, and everything you could ask for from a head of design.

The result?

This comment with almost 2,000 likes.


“New logo looks eh. Like it’s dying for attention.”

Umm… Correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t everyone dying for attention on Instagram?

That’s why they’re posting on the app in the first place.  They want to be noticed!

Ian wrote something beautiful:

While the icon is a colorful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the color should come directly from the community’s photos and videos.

Here’s what I learned from the Internet.

Apparently, the story doesn’t matter anymore

As a marketer, I can appreciate a good story. The secret to marketing is the story you tell. Stories sell.

But when it comes to logos, no story is good enough.

If the icon uses a gradient, the Internet will throw a fit.

Airbnb tried a new logo.

Uber tried a new logo.

The memes were almost immediate.

Nobody tries to understand the story. Instead, their immediate reaction is to judge this small icon based on what they perceive to be the latest design standards and what they’re familiar with.

Even designers are skipping the story and the new branding.

Nobody likes change. Not even the people who advocate change.

I know what you’re going to say.

Coca-Cola hasn’t changed its branding since its inception.

Starbucks has stayed consistent!

McDonalds hasn’t changed!

Instagram’s logo is iconic! Why change it?




Another powerful quote from Ian’s Medium post.

Think about this for a second. We’re now operating at Internet speed. Where else could a company go from nothing to selling for a billion dollars in two years? Isn’t it possible that the platform reaches a wider audience than you originally thought and the iconic camera is no longer relevant?

Can a re-brand end up in a disaster? Absolutely. Look no further than the Tropicana rebrand disaster.

Will Instagram suffer the same fate?

I doubt it.

Snapchat is going to change their logo and the Internet is going to lose its mind.

I’m calling it. Snapchat is going to rebrand within the next 365 days.

Snapchat is going to change their icon for the same reason Instagram changed theirs. The icon no longer represents the community.



This icon was perfect for the first use case of Snapchat, which was sending private images that are destroyed after 10 seconds.

The ghost can’t even make eye contact with you.

It was perfect.

It’s no longer perfect because kids and grandmas are using the app to share their life publicly.

They’re going to change their iconic icon and the Internet is going to lose its mind.

I hope they post some epic story of why they made the change.

I hope they use a gradient.

I hope they don’t use yellow.

I hope that, for once, the ghost looks us in the face.

I’m just here to say everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

[featured image source]

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