Instagram Goes ‘Apple-esque’ with its New App Icon Design

Brand Building May 19, 2016

Making a logo (or in this case, app icon) change can be quite the process.

There’s always an inherent risk involved along with the perceived benefits. The benefit is the fact that you get a whole new and fresh look for your brand. The risk, on the other hand, is that you may lose some of that recognizability for which you’ve fought long and hard. In most cases, for several years.

Either way, Instagram decided to take just such a jump themselves by ditching their tried-and-true “camera” app icon:

Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form.

You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: LayoutBoomerang and Hyperlapse.

We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.

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.

Instagram also released a video that highlights the updated look:

When it comes to logo and branding changes, I typically look at the update from a communication and clarity perspective. Not every mark has to necessarily shout its core message and the products and services it represents, but it should have a semblance of clarity.

My personal take is that the overall look and style of the new icon is visually appealing, but seems to lack some of the uniqueness and character of its previous design. One of my first reactions after seeing the new designs was to consider, “did Facebook sell Instagram to Apple?”

Part of the reason for this is it heavily follows Apple’s latest trend of including incredibly simplistic iconography with a gradient background:

Apple app icons. (Image credit: ITS Comstats)

How intentional was the Apple-like style of the new app icon? Who knows.

If you happen to be in the camp with those who prefer the old icon, there’s actually an article out there that can walk you through how to change back to the old logo.

All-in-all, again, it’s a visually appealing design—the question is—will it help or hurt the Instagram brand?

What Do You Think?

What do you think about the new Instagram look? Yea or nay? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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