Take Inspiration from Instagram: Why Simplicity Equals Modernity

Earlier this week, Instagram released a major app update which has not only seen changes to its user interface but also unveiled a brand new – and particularly divisive – logo.

Gone is the virtual representation of a retro camera Instagram users have come to know and love, and in its place, Instagram has left us with with a flatter, brighter, and simpler looking icon, supposedly inspired by the old one.

Understandably, the internet exploded, and not everyone was a fan of Instagram’s new look…

But why would a brand with such a recognisable logo make such a drastic, and potentially disorientating, change?

Well firstly, the new logo is intended to reflect the ever-growing and evolving Instagram community. In the blog post that announced the new logo’s arrival, Ian Spalter, head of design at Instagram said, “the Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

And he’s right – with more (and longer!) videos being watched on the app more than ever, the introduction of dynamic ads, and an algorhithmic feed that means paid marketing strategies get more exposure, Instagram is now about so much more than sharing photos with friends.

Furthermore, with these changes happening to users’ newsfeeds, it’s understandable that the content users share – and the way they share it – is also changing. Not long ago, Instagram rolled out Hyperlapse, Boomerang, and Layout, which gives users the ability to present content in a variety of ways by speeding videos up, arranging multiple photos together to fit in the 1:1 square format, or creating boomerang-esqe GIFs. These additional apps have also received logo makeovers, which – very importantly – adhere to the same colour scheme and help create continuity across the Instagram brand.

It seems that Instagram’s new logo is all about moving forward and encapsulating the potential the app has beyond just sharing photos. And nowhere is this idea best represented than in the changes made to the camera in the new logo.

The old icon offered the notion of something vintage – a skeuomorphic representation of an old school camera which suggested Instagram as a 21st century counterpart to your old family photo albums. We can’t help but notice that the new logo isn’t just a simplified representation of the same camera, but that it is purposely reminiscent of the camera you’ll find on your smart phone – the small, white circle on the right hand side looks not like your traditional viewfinder, but more like your camera’s flash, right?

Ultimately, simple, clean logos like this one are timeless. Think about the Nike logo, which looks clean and contemporary – would you have guessed that it was designed in 1971? All jokes and memes aside, the simplicity of Instagram’s new logo suggests the brand isn’t just looking forward, but in every direction.


Why not take inspiration from Instagram, and get in touch with the Team. about how your organisation’s logo fits in with the future of your business?

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