Facebook’s “Friendly & Approachable” Logo Update Has Mobile In Mind
Facebook unveiled a new logo this week, making a subtle tweak that you probably haven’t noticed.
You can see the change by comparing the logos above; the new version is on the right. Most notably the “a” is now single story and rounder. Overall, the letters are slightly thinner and are set off by more white space.
The change is an attempt to modernize the logo, Facebook creative director Josh Higgins said. In 2005 when Facebook’s original logo was created, the young, upstart company wanted to signal that it was serious and grown up. “Now that we are established, we set out to modernize the logo to make it feel more friendly and approachable,” Higgins said in an emailed statement.
Working with Eric Olson, whose Klavika typeface was used for the original logo, Facebook developed the new customized typeface “to reflect where we are now and where we are headed.” Instead of a single platform, Facebook is now an umbrella corporation that owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus, and the new logo will plant the Facebook flag over all those properties as well as Facebook campuses worldwide.
The Facebook favicon logo (the “f” that appears in the upper left corner of the social network on the web) is unchanged.
The new typeface is also designed to appear more clearly on smartphones. The original was designed in the desktop era and appeared fuzzy and less legible on the backlit screens of mobile devices, according to Howard Belk, chief creative officer at branding agency Siegel+Gale. Facebook, of course, has become a mobile first company with 87% of its 1.44 billion monthly active users viewing the network on phones in the first quarter, up from 79% the year before. The company also earned 73% of its ad revenue from mobile in the quarter.
“It’s a utility driven change, clearly to optimize the logotype for mobile devices, which is really key to Facebook’s business strategy,” Belk told Wired. “They’re recognizing that the overwhelming majority of people see [the site] on a digital backlit screen, and most of those screens are small.”