Billions? Yes, billions. Facebook alone had 1.49 billion monthly active users at the end of the second quarter of 2015. That’s a lot of eyes on one social platform. Eyes that could have noticed a new change in July 2015. But did you notice the change?
An up-do hairstyle is known to be rather fancy and sophisticated. Well, Facebook thought their old logo felt too serious, like an up-do. They decided to change their typeface to appear “more friendly” by tweaking the old typeface, Klavika, and adding their own twist. The new look was a collaborative effort between Facebook’s own in-house design team and Eric Olson from Process Type Foundry.
Some of you may be asking yourself, “What in the world is a typeface?” But don’t worry, because I had the same question too. So I did a bit of digging and found the easiest way to explain the difference is to think of a typeface as the look and font as the look and size.
And if you’re still confused between the differences, refer to Fast Company- Design. Neither of them are too important when understanding how the look has changed, because it’s rather obvious in the pictures. But it’s still nice to know the difference!
Josh Higgins, Facebook’s creative director, said the old logo was meant to look “grown up and to be taken seriously” while the company was beginning to grow when it first took off. The new typeface includes a single-deck ‘a’ and a more organic stem on the letter ‘b’, while the familiar ‘f’ remains the same. It seems like the infamous ‘f’ is recognized by almost everyone with internet access world wide, so it only makes sense that they let it be.
This is the first time the company has changed their logo’s typeface since it started in 2004. That’s back when it was “Thefacebook”. Some people might not mind this change, but this is a big deal to typeface enthusiasts like the MayeCreate designers, Tyler and Tim.
“I don’t think it looks bad, just kind of bland,” said Tyler when asked about his thoughts on the new Facebook logo. “The old logo had more character. This one looks like a blue street sign,” he added.
Tim decided to express his opinion about the new typeface in a way we can all understand. “I’m looking at these letters like teeth to an orthodontist,” Tim said. “When I look at the old Facebook logo, the letters line up nicely and I see straight teeth. When I look at the new Facebook logo, I see ‘scragly’ teeth.” — Tim has a way with words.
Facebook redid their icons per design manager Caitlin Winner’s request. The original design had a symmetrical man but the woman “had a little chip in her shoulder”. “I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration, but as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me,” said Winner.
The women’s logo redesign no longer includes a chip in the woman’s shoulder, but it does have a new hair do. Winner described the original logo’s hair as “like a Darth Vader-like helmet.” Now the hair has a side part and the ends flip out at the bottom.
For the men’s logo redesign, there is now one man with hair and one man without hair. But that’s really all that changed for them, besides being sent to the back of the bus.
Not only did the individual logos change, but the ‘groups’ icon changed as well. Originally there was a man in front, with another man and woman just behind each shoulder. That can be seen as sexist against women, so the new icon has a woman in front with men off each shoulder (one with hair and one without).
There are also icons with a man and woman standing next to each other. Originally, the man’s shoulder was in front and noticeably larger. Now, the woman’s shoulder is in front, but the icons seem to be more equal in size.
Take time to go navigate through your Facebook profile and notice all of the different icons throughout. That’s the first thing I did after learning they changed. As a daily Facebook user, I didn’t even notice the subtle changes. Oh, and while you’re there, make sure to “like” us on Facebook!
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