A few days have passed since the monumental tragedy of last week.  People have moved on.  The healing has begun. 

No, we’re not talking about Trump being the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.  Nor are we discussing the destructive wildfires that scorched Alberta, Canada or the tornadoes that threatened to blow the Midwestern US off the map.  No, we are talking about the new Instagram logo.  Gasp – is it too soon?

instagramOn May 11th, Instagram changed their logo from an icon resembling a Polaroid camera of the 1970s to something more abstract from the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test of the 1960s – and, the world went understandably mad.  Immediately, blogs by the thousands – I mean hundreds of thousands – began to hit the internet heralding the new logo as a “travesty,” “sad and disappointing,” “design gone awry” and worthy of a “logo freak out.”

In addition to the blogs condemning the change in design, online articles began to appear with complex instructions for beating the system in order to display the old icon on your smartphone or tablet.  Really? Do Instagram users have jobs?  Families? Are they not binge watching “House of Cards?”  I mean, who has this much time on their hands?

The fact is, some people get very excited about design and may feel slighted if a design they were fond of gets a makeover when they thought it was perfectly fine.  What do others see that I don’t? 

Others put too much emphasis on the logo period and expect its design to carry the responsibility of communicating the brand.   A perfect example is when Enterprise Florida, an organization whose focus is promoting Florida’s job growth, unveiled its logo featuring a necktie in place of the letter ‘I’ in ‘Florida.’  What was meant to convey a business focus was labeled offensive, sexist and sinister by many critics.  Not since the yellow silk power tie of the 80s has a single tie garnered such attention.

Enterprise Florida Logo

The fact is, your brand is the sum of many parts so the design alone simply doesn’t matter.  (Cue needle off the record scratch here.)  Yes, fat letters, thin letters, italics, squares, circles….they won’t make or break your business.

  • A logo doesn’t increase your visibility. Your marketing does.
  • A logo doesn’t increase sales. Your people and your messaging do.
  • A logo doesn’t build loyalty. Your product quality and customer service do.
  • A logo doesn’t build a strong corporate culture. That’s management’s task.

Granted a logo isn’t worthless when it comes to your brand image.  In fact, it is the visual representation of your brand.  Therefore, it should be memorable and relevant to your corporate name, image or service.  For instance, if you’re a technology company, a butter churn may not be best image for your logo.

A logo should enhance your corporate image.  Translated, this means DO NOT USE COMIC SANS. Ever!

A logo should work in all media.  What looks great on a billboard may be unintelligible on a business card.

A logo should not be cliché.  Law firms should avoid using scales.  Medical practices, Caducei.   And for Pete’s sake, can we please ban swooshes for all industries already?

It’s doubtful that Instagram lost many users over the logo update and, in fact, probably gained several thousand new customers as a result of the publicity.  Especially since the social and marketing benefits of the app were never suspect – only the subjective appeal of the designed was called into question.

Are you ready for a new corporate identity or at least a makeover? We invite you to view our portfolio of corporate logo design and then contact us…unless you are dead set on incorporating a swoosh, butter churn or comic sans.