Tumblr redesign: dot no more

Just last week, Tumblr announced their redesign of the logo and web. It’s the micro-blogging platform second overhaul to date, after the alteration of the wordmark in 2014.

There was a time when Tumblr was mentioned alongside giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; the platform enables everyone to discover new ideas and share pictures. It’s a place for content creators. However, Tumblr has shown a slow decline for years, quickly fading into background.

For the record, from 2007 to 2013, Tumblr used Bookman Old Style with a little adjustment. With the use of the font, the old mark looked contemporary and fresh.

The old logo of the content platform.

Commissioned by Tumblr in a partnership with the platform’s in-house creative team, Creative Director Doug Richard and the Switzerland-based revealed to have subtly revamped the all-lowercase logotype. Nothing much has changed in the new logo, which is fine – familiarity is important after all in the design, but the dot is now gone for good.

The challenge was to design an identity that clearly represents the brand while differentiating the platform against competitors. And as a platform that caters to content creators, it has to be neutral to represent various communities, individuals, and interests. The team then put together a new typeface named the Favorit-Tumblr that is equipped with four weights and 16 style typefaces.

Speaking of the styles, the typeface introduces one of the attributes dubbed the “lining” to break through the monotony of rather soulless, sleek sans serif-based logos nowadays. The custom type also feature alternative quotation marks and redesigned ligatures. The logo takes advantages from the strategic alterations of the typeface such as cutting the “t” and “r” characters and the optimizations of the tapered slabs to create a more solid, architectural nuances to it.

The “lining” and the various weights of the typeface.

Optimizations such as the elimination of curved intersections make the logo more functional and expressive. And, with the dot removed, the logo and typeface can seamlessly integrate across all applications.

(Images via Doug Richard)

While the roll-out has been low-key subtle, the new wordmark manages to avoid outdated visual cliches. Rather than a redesign, the overhaul ends up being more of a freshen up with the familiarity at first glance.


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