Instagram’s New Logo: Good, Bad or Ugly?

A brand is made up of various elements and the logo is only one of them. While most of what we read is about the public outcry over Instagram’s radical logo redesign, is there something that the social network has quietly achieved?

Visual identity

A logo to a brand is like a face to a person. You can look completely different with a new haircut, and that is exactly how a lot of Instagram users felt about the new logo.

The initial shock came when people thought their emotional bond with Instagram’s iconic camera was disrupted. They used negative and strong words like “atrocity”, “travesty”, and “freakout”.

Source: medium
Source: medium

Critics of this change even went as far as saying the rebranding was unnecessary, because consumers “want to feel included in, not dictated to.”

Thus, it seems Instagram’s attempt at reinventing itself has backfired. People’s attachment to the old logo was so strong that there is now a hack for users to get it back on their iPhones.  

To be fair, Instagram did not just throw the new logo out there. They did some user research to make sure the brand equity wouldn’t be seriously affected by a visual identity change. The objective was to create something that truly reflect Instagram’s community and growth.

Moreover, no one really wants to undergo a rebranding exercise without having built a name first. The likes of innovative technology companies such as Uber and AirBnB have all stirred strong reactions following their rebranding. Nonetheless, as time goes by, the noise has died down and business goes on as usual.

User experience

Now let’s examine another aspect of a brand – user interaction and experience. A FastCoDesign article looks at Instagram’s new logo from an app icon perspective. The author stated that behind the “beachy neon hue,” there was a lot thought on Instagram’s part in terms of interaction design.

The app icon only had a few milliseconds to entice users to tap on, among all the others competing for our shorter attention span.  

Source: 9to5mac
Source: 9to5mac

The social network also introduced a clean, minimalistic user interface, which is supposed to help put content first. In the words of Instagram’s Head of Design: “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.”


This is an area that has not received as much media coverage as the new logo. Some might call it a conscious attempt by Instagram to divert everyone’s attention from a bigger issue: the rollout of its algorithmic news feed.

No longer displaying images in a chronological order, Instagram has followed Facebook’s changes, given it is a division within the giant. Marketers and publishers worry this means they have to use paid ads more to get their posts noticed.

While the concern might be true to some extent, it all comes down to creating content that users want to consume.

Source: aurelycerise
Source: aurelycerise

They say any publicity is good publicity. While the tone has been rather negative for Instagram’s new logo coverage, they have managed to captured our attention. So much so that designers in the community have already remixed #myinstagramlogo in creative ways.