(Est. 2013) “Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing stock photography under the Unsplash license. The website claims over 100,000 contributing photographers and generates more than 9 billion photo impressions per month on their growing library of over 690,000 photos. Unsplash allows photographers to upload photos to its website, which are then curated by a team of photo editors. The permissive copyright terms on its photos has led to Unsplash becoming one of the largest photography suppliers on the internet, with its members’ photos frequently appearing on articles.” (Wikipedia)
Mackey Saturday (New York, NY)
The challenge was that their symbol, when separated from the Unsplash name, was indiscernible from any other generic camera icon. A core function of a logo is to be distinctive, and while humbly sitting in the background of all the great work they display is an honorable business practice, being confused or seemingly invisible—especially when used externally—wasn't the right choice for the brand.
The solution was to create a symbol, one that stemmed from the idea of choosing exactly what image you need, that also subtly referenced the first letter of the name. The simple form, constructed within a perfect square, allows for consistent use and immediate recognition even in the most limiting of situations. Though maintaining the same general proportions as the original camera icon, the abstract mark leaves plenty of room for interpretation. As the team at Unsplash says it, "However you see it, the new Unsplash logo is yours."
Images (opinion after)
(Before starting the opinion, I just want to point out that I received around 20 tips about this redesign. It may not sound like much but on average I get 5 to 7 tips of big-ish changes and maybe 20 for things like Uber or Airbnb, so it’s quite commendable for Unsplash to see what a strong following it has amongst our audience.) The old logo… to be honest, I had never noticed it. I only use Unsplash on my browser and never paid attention to the site’s branding — which is a good thing as it places the emphasis on the content. But, yeah, it was bland and generic. The new logo sort of looks like a camera, sort of looks like a “U”, sort of looks like a download icon, and ultimately it’s all of those things but it’s also none of those things. I like the brutal minimalism and abstraction for sure but the icon is ever so slightly generic as well. The main selling point for it is how it’s supposed to be picking out an image but I’m not sure I buy that concept since when I pick an image, I drag them to my desktop not levitate them Minority-Report-style. Still, gutturally I like the icon. The geometric sans wordmark is expected but nice and the alignment is top notch, with the ascenders touching the base of the top rectangle. Overall, a definite improvement but the best part is that, at least for now, the Unsplash branding remains secondary to the content and there wasn’t an urge to over-brand.
Thanks to Max Saladrigas for the tip.