The simple combination of white typography laid upon royal blue makes up the visual identity of one brand we’re all too familiar with. Having shared just about every last detail of our daily lives on the social network - including many ‘overshares’ of our cat’s behaviour and lacklustre shots of food dishes - Facebook’s branding is so ingrained into life as we know it.
Originally sculpted by Cuban Council back in 2006, the Facebook branding was born out of the the blue colour scheme requirement that colourblind Mark Zuckerberg put forward. Using the bold weight of the font Klavika as a starting point, custom adjustments were made to the ascenders, spines, and counters of each letter to create something so unique, yet instantly recognisable.
While the logo may have lasted through the many different design iterations the site has seen in the last decade, it would appear that an updated identity is all but ready to roll out onto the platform. Earlier this week a product designer at Facebook shared a sneak peek of the new logo via Twitter. And if the choice of revealing their updated look on a rival platform wasn’t odd enough already, the image shared featured the new logo on a rolled up t-shirt.
Comparing this new look to Facebook’s old logo reveals quite a lot about what Zuckerberg’s company may be trying to communicate, along with several additional features that the previous identity couldn’t offer - something this collaboration by Facebook’s in-house design team and Eric Olson of Process Type Foundry hopes to achieve.
For a start, the more rounded look overall appears much friendlier than ever before, and potentially a step in the right direction - mainly to detract from the ‘evil data-mining corporation’ vibe the platform has gathered over the years. This sees the C, E, and Os softening up their edges rather than taking the older rounded corner approach. The more radical change here though is with the letter A. Now dropping from a double-storey character to a single, the second letter into this logo no longer links up with the cross stroke of the leading F. An intentional move or not, there was originally some harmony between these first two characters which has now been lost.
The next noticeable change within this updated logo is the loss of weight. Perhaps part of a summer diet, this slimmer approach further enhances its approachability and new-found friendly vibe. This in turn comes with an added bonus which many would consider a future-proofing step in the right direction. By simply rounding out the characters and slimming them down, Facebook’s new logo will be much more legible than the old at much smaller sizes on other devices.
Furthermore, the designers at Facebook have been rather clever where the familiarity of their old logo is concerned. While this updated logo may be sporting new curves and styles throughout, the letter F remains almost identical to its older sibling, only with a few pounds shaved off. This in turn will allow the social network to carry on business as usual with their most recognisable asset (the single F icon) not needing too much of an update. Unlike Twitter’s move to the tweety bird in 2012, millions of sites around the world won’t need to update their social iconography to keep with the times - a move which further strengthens Facebook’s identity as it sits beside plenty of outdated Twitter ‘T’ icons around the web.
Like many new logo reveals, designers all over the world have been leaving their comments and feedback on this new identity with mixed views overall. Maybe the simplicity and step away from a more unique typeface has angered some, but generally speaking the more approachable look of this updated logo will no doubt benefit Facebook’s branding and tone of voice further. After all, who are you more likely to share your precious memories of drunken nights out with? A slightly rounded and close friend you can trust, or a big harsh-edged corporation that makes millions of dollars each day out of us - the product.