Sundae Scroll #9: Instagram’s New Look

Instagram, the ever so popular photo sharing application, recently redesigned their logo and user interface. There have been mixed reactions regarding the update, generally most of the users loved the new UI, but not the new logo.

I think there is a need to explain the sudden logo design change for those that are still warming up to the idea of the new look. As such, here are the few points highlighted by Instagram’s Head of Design, Ian Spalter.

The Challenge: Honor Instagram’s identity while reflecting its growth

While the application’s icon is currently much loved, they felt that it no longer reflected the community, and thought they could make it better. To begin their design process, they figured out what do people loved with the classic icon. They asked a bunch of people in the company to draw the icon from memory within 5 seconds. The result? Almost all of them drew the rainbow, the lens, and the viewfinder.

With this in mind, they decided to translate these into a modern icon design with a balance between recognition and versatility.

The Solution: The Rainbow and Camera as a bridge

The lens was used by the team as a bridge to the bolder, and simpler glyph. While the rainbow was the bridge to the colorful gradient which has always been an integral part of the Instagram experience – representing the various filters, and the community’s photos and videos.

They moved from having a detailed rendering of a retro camera to a glyph in order for the icon to be more flexible and scalable.

All in all, with the icon update, Instagram moved towards a more unified visual identity with the applications within its family namely – Layout, Hyperlapse, and Boomerang.

instagram new logos

To complement the rainbow icons, the user interface was also updated into something simpler and cleaner. Quoting the Instagram’s design team:

While the icon is a colorful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the color should come directly from the community’s photos and videos.

As such, with the recent update, we can help but feel a little more giddy while scrolling through our feeds. Enjoying the photos and videos posted sans distractions. Furthermore, I think those #feedgoals users are jumping for joy with the new minimalist UI.

We are excited Instagram, once more you have piqued the interest of our creative minds. Thank you!


Instagram Blog

Designing a New Look for Instagram, Inspired by the Community


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