Instagram’s new look

Fans of the gram will have noticed something different recently. Instagram got a new look, including a modernised logo and simplified user interface (UI).

Like any redesign, Instagram’s facelift has divided opinion, with the new logo eliciting a particularly strong reaction.

New logo

Ian Spalter, head of design at Instagram explains:

You don’t just want to change them [logos] for the sake of novelty. But the Instagram icon and design was beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better.

The team at Instagram decided they wanted a modernised logo, so experimented with removing the ornamentation and flattening the icon. However, they found that the flattened designs “lacked the visual weight of the original”, so instead they focused on what people liked most about the original logo.

Research demonstrated that the most liked and instantly recognisable elements of the original logo were the rainbow, the camera lens and the viewfinder.

After a lot of refinement and around 300 different iterations, the Instagram team settled on a colourful rainbow gradient to reflect that colour is a key element of the app (think of all those iconic filters), and an abstracted glyph of the classic Instagram camera logo.

The logo has had a less than positive reception. Hannah Jane Parkinson wrote in The Guardian:

The previous one, a retro-looking camera, and one of the most recognisable tech logos out there, has been replaced by a background swirl of sunset colours (orange, yellow, pink, purple) and a white outline of a camera. As if the camera was murdered, and chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown. 

People also took to Twitter with their opinions:

New UI

The new UI, however, has been largely well received:

The rationale behind the UI was:

To create something simple and clean so that people’s posts are the focus in the app… While the icon is a colourful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the colour should come directly from the community’s photos and videos.

Here’s a video showcasing the app’s new look:

So what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us on digitalcommunications@st-andrews.ac.uk

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