January 29, 2019

Slack Rebrand Recap

Slack Rebrand Recap

I’m working on a project with my interns that helps them build their writing skills. Here’s the first one, by Natalia: a recap on the new Slack rebrand.

As someone that doesn’t use Slack but is a designer, the rebrand of the collaboration platform was interesting to watch unfolded through social media. Seeing as I’ve yet to use Slack but know of its notoriety, the company’s decision of a new look came as a surprise. Slack’s original logo, a multicolored hashtag tilted on an angle, already had recognition. Why bother fixing something that isn’t broken?

Turns out, things were kind of broken. Slack’s old logo had many colors, an angle that was easy to get wrong, and an identity that wasn’t unified across platforms. The new identity, created by Slack’s in-house team and Pentagram, takes a step back from the previous hashtag identity, or octothorpe, and uses simple geometric shapes to form its new logo. There has been mixed reactions to this new approach, as the hashtag is an integral part to the way users interact on the platform. The hashtag is used as a feature in Slack to reference to or organize chats. 

Slack’s new logo uses speech bubbles and lozenges to evoke connectivity and communication. The new system allows the logo to be pulled apart into pieces and used across collateral. Instead of the previous 11 colors, there is now four primary colors with the distinctive aubergine purple as an accent color. The logo type has also been updated to an angular typeface. By combining a simple color palette and balanced logo mark, Slack has fixed its main issue by creating a clear and recognizable identity that lends itself to many platforms.

Whether you miss the hashtag or prefer the old look, it’s hard to argue against Slack’s new identity. As the platform’s user base continues to grow, Slack’s choice to distinguish itself from the now overused hashtag icon is a step in the right direction. The rebrand allows Slack to have an identity that can grow with the brand, instead of holding it back. Give it a year, and the new look will be as recognizable as the old one and that’s #process.

Source: Under Consideration

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