Launched in 2001, StumbleUpon is a discovery site where registered users — 20 million of them at last count — can share, rate, explore, and “stumble” upon web pages of their specific interests. StumbleUpon was the de facto site for random-ish web browsing before sites like Digg and Reddit surfaced as competition in the mid aughts and while all these three shared a crappy design aesthetic and functionality they co-existed well but with the relatively more finessed approach of Facebook and Twitter, StumbleUpon now feels like a relic of the original dot-com era. Today, StumbleUpon is relaunching its service with new functionality and services, designed by Huge. Along with this comes a new logo.
The old logo was pretty lame but not entirely terrible, especially considering all the crap logos that came out from 1999 to 2001. The concept behind the logo was the idea of pages funneling through the system getting from one user to the next. The new icon retains that idea through a more abstract “SU” monogram where the “S” connects into the “U” — a detail that is only noticeable at larger sizes and one that gets lost since the logo is usually seen very small. I’m typically not one to look for shapes in clouds, much less go for kick-in-the-groin humor but, let’s face it, the “SU” monogram looks like a small, husky penis. Even more so when used small, no pun intended. I like to urge designers to always ask themselves: “Does this logo look like a penis?” The answer has to be a resounding “No”. If there is just a slight hesitation, then it probably does look like a penis. But let’s assume I’m just being juvenile, the icon is actually nice, bold, and simple. The typography is quite decently typeset and works well with the icon. But the main change is at the web level and in that regard, StumbleUpon is a massive improvement with a much more sophisticated look and accessible experience.