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Graphite's #nofilter take on Instagram's rebrand

  • 3 mins read
Callum Stannard
by Callum Stannard
Account Executive

Being part of the Client Services team at Graphite is great fun. I love music, writing and taking photos. But most of all I love Brighton.

Published on Friday 13th May 2016

This week Instagram unveiled its bold rebrand which was designed in-house. To say it divided opinion would be something of an understatement, with feedback ranging from praise to despair and everywhere in between. They produced a short video which briefly outlines the journey they took to bring the app into its next phase as well an interesting piece on Medium by the Head of Design on how they made the creative decisions which led to the new logo and user interface.

Our own design team could write essays of their own ruminating on the nuanced ins and outs of the finished look but instead we decided to ask around the whole office – not just the creatives – to get a broader picture of how changes to the incredibly popular app are being received across the board.

Will Newmarch – Technical Developer: “While I think Instagram’s rebrand could be seen as over-simplified, I really like their purposefully minimalist approach. It lends itself beautifully to better focusing attention on user content, giving the platform a really nice contemporary feel on mobile and desktop.”

Jon Hume – Client Services Director: “By pushing the UI back and keeping the focus on the content they’ve managed to further push on with what makes Instagram great – the talented users capturing great images. That logo has a whiff of Word97 gradient tool about it, though.”

Anthony Eamens – UI/UX Designer: “Instagram came to market as a retro filter photography app and I feel like that has been lost and now feels forced. It seems as though it was redesigned for the sake of design and to fit in with every other brand who are doing the same thing.”

Mike Molitor – Technical Support Manager: “I think the new rebrand is certainly an improvement in terms of usability and navigation. I’m actually fond the new logo too, even though it has its critics!”

Liz Morray – iOS Developer: “The icon’s colours look untidy between the clean Facebook blue and What’sApp green on my iPhone, but in-app my focus has always been on the image content rather than their surroundings, which now fade into the background even more than they did before.”

Johnny Luu – Motion Graphics Artist: “The old logo was a shining beacon of iconography that perfectly bridged the gap between the physical photographic memory-collecting of the ‘Polaroid generation’ and the new thriving digital social age. Now it just looks like a generic flat-design photography-related app icon.”

Emma Swain – Account Director: “Love it or hate it, it’s got the internet talking which can’t be a bad thing! It will be interesting to see what Instagram does next; stand its ground or give in to the haters?”

Jake Cleary – Web Developer: “I think the UI refresh is really nice. It puts all the focus on the imagery, ensuring a neutral background for images to sit on. I’m not keen on the new logo – the white icon itself looks sleek, but the multi-colour background looks very cheap.”

Ryan Phipps-Mitchell – Designer: “It’s great to see that the app update wasn’t something that ignored UI needs just to deliver something fancy. Less is more. However, the new app icon feels contradictory and I would have liked to see it inverted. I just hope they leave the Instagram logotype untouched (please, no more sans-serif!)”