Blah Branding of 2016 – No #Love for the #Insta
Image source FastCoDesign.com
I’ve always been somewhat of a branding junkie and packaging geek. I’m that shopper who always notices when one of my favorite snack foods (ahem, here’s looking at you, SmartFood popcorn) dramatically alters their on-shelf appearance, and when a company chooses to go in a different direction with their aesthetic, my first thought is always about the research/reasoning behind it.
With this year coming to a close, and fresh advertising campaigns on the horizon (many of them to debut during the Super Bowl), it’s time for a little reflection on a drastic change made by one of the marlo team’s can’t-live-without-it brands – Instagram.
Fast Co. Design recently compiled a list of ‘The Best and Worst Branding of 2016’ – among the hits: Grubhub, MasterCard, ZocDoc and yes, the ‘gram, or IG if you will. Included among their misses: Uber and the Trump-Pence logo. Far be it from me to go against the masses and disagree with consumer consensus, but I must emphatically disagree with Fast Co.’s Insta assessment.
I remember glancing down at my phone back in May and quite literally doing a double-take when I saw the significant and jarring revamp of my beloved Instagram logo. Funny how we get so accustomed to little things such as app icons on our Apple toys. I guess being a creature of habit can extend to the digital world.
While the 2016 Instagram certainly became a lot brighter and contemporary as a result of the pictogram makeover, I feel like it lost the original elements that made it unique and distinguishable. The new icon is unquestionably clever in the way that it references the evolution of photography in a rainbow gradient palette, but it just doesn’t do it for me.
Being fortunate enough to work at a full-service, dynamic PR agency, I get to see first-hand the multi-faceted, collaborative process that our Creative Team goes through on their projects from inception to execution. When I read that it took a year to conceptualize, design and complete the Instagram logo update, I wasn’t at all surprised. Yet still, I’m a purist, a classic romantic and find myself longing for the app icons of simpler times.
Maybe it’s purely for nostalgic reasons – the old logo reminds me of the time when I ditched my dinosaur Blackberry (I had a VERY weird obsession with BB’s and shunned getting an iPhone for years), joined society and downloaded Instagram. Or perhaps, it’s because I believe that the retro camera of the original logo really encapsulated the use of the program – giving photos an upgrade in artistry via vintage filters. Orrrr, maybe it’s because the new Insta icon, with it’s magenta and violet hues, looks too damn similar to the iTunes app – yes, I could move/toggle them on my home-screen so they’re not right next to each other, but details, details.
Ok, Instagram. It’s been real, we gave it a chance but gift us with a #tbt every day and #bringitback, the #FOMO is real.
Posted by Ilana.