Exactly when you thought the web may go multi day without having an emergency over something apparently honest, Slack went along and uncovered its new logo. The work environment chat app revealed its update yesterday as a part of a general refresh, but making a decision by the negative response of social media, it look like the multicoloured hashtag logo will be missed by many.
Made by the app’s in-house design team in partnership with Michael Bierut and the team from Pentagram, the new logo design keeps the colourful palette we’ve come to connect with Slack, however it’s exchanged the hashtag motif for a structure that all the more nearly takes after a pinwheel.
Sold by the Slack team in a blog post as a development rather than an overhaul, the new logo is designed to be less demanding to use and progressively strong over numerous platforms. Meanwhile the past logo, which is either a hashtag or an octothorpe depending upon your vocabulary, worked alright on a screen, however attempted to perform somewhere else.
“It was also extremely easy to get wrong,” the Slack team explain. “It was 11 different colors – and if placed on any color other than white, or at the wrong angle (instead of the precisely prescribed 18º rotation), or with the colors tweaked wrong, it looked terrible. It pained us.”
This awkwardness bodes well when you consider that Slack’s unique logo was made before the company was even set-up. How many first draft logos might you be able to imagine working consistently once they’ve become showbiz royalty? Furthermore, concerning the updated identity, Slack needs it to look new but also reassuringly familiar.
“It uses a simpler color palette and, we believe, is more refined, but still contains the spirit of the original,” says Slack. “It’s an evolution, and one that can scale easily, and work better, in many more places.”
Makes sense, right? Well, try telling that to the legions of online commentators currently tearing strips off the redesign. Search for the Slack logo on social media or give it a quick Google, and you’ll see articles saying it’s ‘simply awful’, ‘really wrong’, and one even comparing the new icon to penis swastikas.
This kind of kick-back is nothing new, even the best logo can be met with a frosty reception. As Slack clarifies however, this isn’t change for change. The old design, while recognizable and distinctive, essentially wasn’t fit for reason.
The Slack team put it perfectly when they said that “a valid justification to change a logo is that it’s not carrying out the responsibility you need it to do – and because a simpler more distinctive, evolution of it could carry out that job better.”
Yes, a hashtag logo for an app that’s all about hashtags makes sense, but isn’t the whole point of logo design to try and find an imaginative, sophisticated and succinct way to represent a brand? The hashtag worked well enough for Slack’s early days, but looking back on it, the design was perhaps too straightforward and weighed down by its colour palette.
The new design, on the other hand, calls to mind a flurry of speech bubbles coming together to communicate. A pretty good summary of the app if you ask us. And by working in the core colour basics and they way they’re laid out in the hashtag logo, the transition from the old look to the new is made as smooth as possible.