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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Scribd gets Designd

Reviewed Mar. 18, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Publishing Tags /

Scribd Logo, Before and After

Perhaps one of the most underrated platforms in the realm of web innovation, connection and the freeing of information is the three-year-old Scribd. While Facebook and Twitter get all the social media recognition and Google Books all the information hoarding props, Scribd is a vibrant repository — 10 million documents published so far — of user-generated content that makes books, magazine articles, white papers, presentations, and more, available in a painless format that is easy for users to share and for readers to access. I became enamored with Scribd when we were working on Graphic Design, Referenced as we were able to find plenty of articles and essays that otherwise would have been a pain in the behind to acquire. The service isn’t perfect, of course, as it’s prone to illegal uploads but in its short three years, it has grown tremendously — the time for a redesign seems appropriate.


I happened to like the old logo quite a bit, at least the icon with that blank piece of paper sitting in the rainbowish gradient, but if it had a fault is that it looked too much like all of Google’s multicolored logos and was probably easily mistaken for another of its properties. The new logo is somewhat of a downgrade in that you could write anything in that Archeresque typeface and call it your own, so it lacks any sense of ownership from Scribd. The wordmark starts out well, with a pretty “S” but it gets awkward from there on, with the clunky slab serifs. It also has a bit of that Web 2.0 patina that we had just begun to see disappear. However, the new wordmark is part of a complete overhaul of the Scribd web site and, in that regard, it works very well, establishing a more formal and serious look, with the brown and blue palette serving as a great way to identify Scribd.


A Visual Code History of Scribd from James Yu on Vimeo. “Each dot is a file being touched.”

Thanks to Andre Redelinghuys for the tip.



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