Facebook will soon roll out a new logo. It’s not the ubiquitous “f” in a squared circle that the company updated June 30, but its word mark.
Can you spot the difference? Probably not.
At first glance, the change isn’t that drastic. Facebook is still using the same blue, and the “f” looks pretty much the same as before. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the type is thinner, and the letters are less blocky and more rounded. The new logo also has a “single-storey” letter “a”—there’s no finial, as it’s called—adding to the overall rounded look of the logo.
The initial reviews haven’t been particularly glowing. Design critic Armin Vit called the logo “not Facebook,” and wonders why Facebook wants us to disassociate the last ten years of “what we picture when we think of Facebook” from wherever they are headed in the future. The Verge called the logo “even more generic” than the previous one.
“Now that we are established, we set out to modernize the logo to make it feel more friendly and approachable,” Facebook’s creative director Josh Higgins said in a statement.
But Howard Belk, the chief creative officer of branding agency Siegel+Gale, told the Wall Street Journal that Facebook’s move is “driven by mobile.” The new word mark is arguably easier to read on smaller screens than the logo created in 2005, as its thinner type won’t get as blurred by smartphone backlights as the blockier letters in the old logo, Belk said.
This may well be true, but Facebook’s use of its word mark logo is actually pretty sparse in its core products. The full name doesn’t appear on mobile or desktop. On its desktop site, the “f” logo appears on the top-left of the screen, and is the icon for its Android, Windows and iOS mobile apps.
There are actually no logos whatsoever on the mobile apps, presumably to save space on the small screen, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new word mark, which takes up just as much space as the old one, will be any better suited to use on mobile in the future.
Facebook wasn’t immediately available to comment on whether it plans to use the updated logo in any new capacities. The word mark also does not appear on its careers page, its investor page, or its Twitter page.
On its branding page, it has removed the old logo, but still has guidelines on how to use its old logo. The 71-page document does not mention any acceptable uses of the word mark.
Facebook product designer Christophe Tauziet, who tweeted the image of the new logo on what looks like a rolled-up T-shirt, responded to a question on when we would start seeing the logo simply by saying “soon.”