Established in 2010 and hundreds of millions of photographs ago, Instagram is a “fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures”. Obviously, that’s an understatement. For its 100 million users, Instagram is as much part of life as texting and e-mailing and Facebook (who we all know paid a cool billion dollars to acquire Instagram in April of 2012 — who’s laughing now?) and its filters have established a new lingua franca for documenting food, clouds, and POV of places you are not in. Point being: Instagram is big. And important. Small changes are big changes. And its latest update, version 3.5, brought along with it a redesigned wordmark crafted by Denver, CO-based Mackey Saturday.
It was always essential that the design maintained everything that we’ve all grown to know and love about Instagram while creating a logotype that was more refined, durable, and that positioned the brand for expansion. Looking to the past to inspire the future, the script connects with the nostalgia that Instagram was built from, maintains the important character of the original typeface, and places the brand in a unique and prominent position both in the current and future landscape.
— Dribbble shot
The previous wordmark was typeset out of the box using Billabong. Not the most horrible of 1950s script typefaces but also not necessarily the best one, especially that capital “I”. I always appreciate a company dropping a stock font in exchange for a custom-drawn one. Even more so when it’s well done. The change here is a wonderful evolution that transforms the well-known wordmark into something that feels similar but definitely looks (and reads) better, even keeping the quirkiness of the “I”. The new upright script flows perfectly from character to character and then has enough for one last little kick in the flourish of the “m”. This might seem like a small, meaningless change but it lifts Instagram from one-hit-wonder app to what it actually is, a lifestyle brand.