On branding: YouTube new redesign goes slick

On August 29, 2017, YouTube rolled out their newest logo. It looks significantly different than the previous ones, but to be honest, it just sits right.

In fact, the new logo remains identifiable like always. In the last 12 years, all YouTube logos had always preserved the wordmark ‘You’ along with the word ‘Tube’ surrounded by the red screen. Sure there had been some slight modifications—like the omission of “Broadcast Yourself” tagline in 2012 or the purely two-dimensional logo in 2015—but they were so subtle.
The red tube that is akin to the old TV screen has been removed and the new logo now sports a two-part icon instead: the red play button in brighter red (#FF0000) and the wordmark YouTube in a new typeface to the right of it. The familiar bright red player button becomes a shorter version of the logo according to the service’s brand guidelines and, on YouTube mobile app, it serves as the app icon.

While some have differing views about the deletion of the iconic tube, we don’t think it’s a bad move after all. The play button logo has always been closely associated with YouTube, so it’s a safe bet that the play button will become more ubiquitous in the future. Besides, dropping the clunky, TV-like red screen can actually reflect the service as the biggest and all-round video-sharing website better (like, honestly, no one spends much time watching TV instead of YouTube).

Also, the in-house design team seems to have experimented a lot in creating the new typeface that can complement the updated look of the logo. The changes of the typeface might not be extremely noticeable, particularly when being viewed in smaller screens, but if we take a closer look the deeper crotch of the “Y” and the rounder sides of other letters balance out the whole look of the wordmark.

Along with the logo and the wordmark, YouTube also announced a a variety of updates including some improvements in UI. The service’s website now looks refreshed and cleaner as a result of the generous amount of white space. YouTube has been testing it for months now so it feels familiar already.

The desktop overhaul also introduces many new features. You can speed up and slow down the playback of a video on desktop and watch videos in vertical, square, or horizontal format. But we particularly found this feature called Dark Theme, which allows users to change the usual white background to dark, very useful (especially when you watch videos a dimly-lit room—don’t do this at home, though, totally unhealthy for the eyes).

In a nutshell, the overhaul finally does justice to the name. The new logo is great and the updated wordmark looks great sitting to the right of it. The bright red logo looks crisp and neat even when being viewed on small screens. What are your thoughts on it?


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