FontDiscovery 🖼️ 91: [From the Archive] Branding of Facebook
Plus: Typogram's product update!
Hi Everyone 👋
I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
Time flies, doesn't it? We are already in the fall. The weather has been chilly up here in New York. We are now in the fourth consecutive day of cold rains brought down by a tropical storm.
In the last couple of weeks, we hit an engineering snag with rendering our editable icons, and recently, that has finally been solved. With that challenge conquered, we shared our fourth product update, where we introduced our latest feature: saving multiple projects onto the cloud (screenshot below). You can also read more about what we have been working on here.
This week, enjoy this popular branding post from our archive about Facebook!
F is for Friends: The Branding Design of Facebook, Part 1
Rebranding Time: 2015
Rebranding Reason: needing a quick refresh but retains its original flavor.
Over the years Facebook has gone through several rebranding to spiff off its image. In this post, we’ll take an inside look at how Facebook tried to rebrand itself in the first twelve years after officially naming itself "the Facebook."
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The Context for Rebranding
A lot has happened to Facebook in its first twelve years.
From its birth in 2003 as “FaceMesh” to 2015, Facebook bought Instagram, IPO’ed, and became a network with more than a billion users. The platform is becoming more and more scrutinized for its collection of data, ads, user privacy issues, the authenticity of the information. Facebook needed an update with the public.
What Was Facebook’s Previous Branding Design?
After it had changed its official name from FaceMesh to “the Facebook” the company adopted this logo:
Over the next few years, Facebook grew into a giant network. It drop “the” in the naming and became “Facebook.” It slowly tweaked its logo by making small and incremental changes. Few iterations happened around this time, looking similar to:
And then in 2015, a still subtle, but slightly more obvious rebrand happened:
What’s the Difference Here?
Branding Design Before & After
“a” becoming a single story
“O” became rounder
Bigger counter spaces in letters
More stroke variation, and lighter weight on the rebranded logo
From a Brand Designer’s Perspective
A single-story “a” makes the logo design look more modern and friendly in a sans serif. Its calligraphic counterpart, the double-story “a” is considered a more traditional structure that adds a more serious tone to design.
A more circular “O” can make the design appear friendly.
When counter spaces are bigger, the logo font has more negative spaces. These negative spaces give the branding design more breathing room and make it approachable. The lighter weight also helps with this.
Bigger counter spaces are also more mobile-friendly since the spaces won’t break down on smaller screens.
Stroke variations make the font more humanistic - it reminds the audience of creation by the human hand through calligraphy.
In my opinion, this rebrand did a good job refreshing the Facebook brand, updating it to be mobile-friendly while retaining its original character. In addition, the custom logo font was optimized for mobile due to increased counter spaces. When the rebrand launched, the difference was small but noticeable, generating additional marketing buzz.
That’s it for now. Next week, we’ll go back to our regular Font of the Week Series. What do you think of this rebrand and our new series? let me know via email or comments!
Missing Font of the Week? Check out FontDiscovery 🖼️ 56: Use This Dainty & Eye Catching Font to Get Attention!