Earlier this year, YouTube introduced a major redesign of its desktop website which delivered a cleaner look and new features like a “dark mode” for nighttime watching. The company extended the design and select new features to its mobile app, and unveiled an updated logo and icon. This is the biggest change the YouTube logo has received over the years, as earlier improvements were much more minor tweaks.
The refreshed YouTube logo shifts the emphasis away from the word “Tube” and onto the familiar play button, which has already become an iconic shorthand for the company. The service is also getting a new typeface, color scheme and several major changes to the look, feel and functionality of its desktop and mobile app.
Google says this new logo – a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and icon – was designed to be more flexible across devices of varying screen sizes. On smaller screens, YouTube can use just the icon alone to abbreviate its logo, while still making it easy to spot. The new look is a ribbon that ties these moves together, highlighting the company’s broader shift from a singular website to a family of different apps that stretch across multiple platforms.
The old logo played with the colors red, white and black within the text itself, with the phrase “You” in black text and the word “Tube” in white text housed in a red box indicative of a screen.
The new logo has elongated in length, featuring just the name “YouTube” in black text with a smaller red colored box to the left. The red box has the white play button inscribed within and it is in use as a separate logo as well. The red and white colors of the box play off each other to nicely contrast with the black text, and all colors complement each other brilliantly. Combined with the text, the logo has a more uniform appeal, and looks modern and versatile.
Previously, all YouTube logos boxed the word 'Tube' in a red screen. YouTube has played around with the color of the screen before, and has even had a go at gradient colors and highlights, but never before has it separated these design elements so abruptly.
The new logo puts the emphasis on the play button by putting it in front of the name, and rams the message home by making the red brighter than ever. It's a crisp, tidy logo backed up by sound brand guidelines that show how it will work on different backgrounds.
Similar to Twitter’s blue bird symbol, YouTube is also seeking to establish their big play button inside its own recognizable shape as the main identifier for the company, which is a well-thought-out strategy. After all, every time a user watches a YouTube video, it’s the first thing that is visible.
Overall, YouTube’s logo update is clean, crisp, modernized and simplistic. It is rooted in the company’s heritage and yet manages to stay contemporarily relevant.
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