On November 04, Facebook announced that it would be changing its parent company’s logo to a visually different one. “People should know which companies make the products they use. Our main services include the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal and Calibra,” announced the company in a blog post.
The interesting part of the logo change is that it does not include a change in the parent company's name to differentiate it from the social platform. Facebook, the social networking site that users log on to, will retain its original blue and white identity, whereas the parent company's logo is the one that has changed. The parent company's new identity will have its presence felt across the apps Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal and Calibra.
Three design experts share their point of view on the visual appeal of the new logo and what it really means for the social networking giant.
Ashwini Deshpande, co-founder, director, Elephant Design
Whether the company Facebook has been through controversies or not, it is always a good idea to make connections and ownerships clearer, especially when they concern cross-platform privacy issues. I believe it is a good idea to create a distinct visual identity for the parent company. Intent seems right. Going for a simple font and all caps seem like highly measured decisions. All caps lettering provides an advantage of displaying the corporate brand's confidence and stability as an umbrella covering a bouquet of consumer brands.
Changing colour provides a good balance of a playful and not so serious image against the font with minimal character. All caps are also less obtrusive as they form a uniform colour band for easy viewing, keeping the focus on app brand intact. ‘Digital-First' or ‘Digital-Only' brands can certainly go for changing colours or other dynamic elements in the visual identity. It will not only align with their more known brands that have strong associations with their own colours, but will also help the brand remain flexible for any upcoming acquisitions or developments.
However, they would have really got my vote if they changed the name of parent company as well. It would have completely eliminated any potential overlaps and confusion between parent company and app with the same name.
Neha Tulsian, founder and creative director – NH1 Design
Given the scrutiny Facebook, the social networking platform, is going through, it was a business decision to strategically and visually separate the parent and product brands. The company established an endorsed brand architecture with its new identity to maximise brand equity for the parent brand while trying to minimise any negative image transfer to other business. One may ask, what if we renamed the parent company? But then we need to have a conversation with Zuckerberg for this.
Changing the colour of the logo could have been done to avoid clutter and to create an overall visual harmony on app screens and communication. It almost says “I belong to the brand and the brand belongs to me”.
Alpana Parida, managing director - DY Works
In terms of brand strategy, it's a good thing to separate the social media site from the parent company, but if you look at the way our mind processes things, it's more visually oriented. Take the brand Nike for example. Imagine if you see shoes and some other product (such as a restaurant, for example). When you have two visual mnemonics that are connected to the same word — it tends to create confusion and dilutes the original brand. Even in the case of Titan, the corporate brand is different and its watch brand is different.
Most digital companies don't have static identities and this change is reflective of that. What effect this tends to have is that the parent brand does not overshadow the brand and yet makes its presence effectively felt.