As a collaboration platform that gives flexibility to hold conversations, discuss projects, share files, and collaborate with team members, Slack gives its users everything they need to work together on projects big and small, no matter where they are in the world. Since its launch in 2013, Slack has been used primarily by designers and developers and is now an integral part of workplace communication for many businesses. While the company is still fairly new and growing, just last month Slack announced their new logo for the brand.
For starters, the original Slack logo was never terrible. Sure, it had its issues, but in the grand scheme of branding, it had an aesthetic that was clean enough to fit the interface of the platform. But in terms of branding problems for the original Slack logo suffered in terms of color and cohesiveness. The “octothorpe” (hashtag or pound sign) symbol was made up of eight different colors, which made it very hard to use on backgrounds that weren’t plain white. If used on the wrong background, one of the colors became lost or clashed with another. This led to different variations of the mark, including a one-colored symbol, and a tightly cropped version of the octothorpe used for the app icon. All of these variations worked in its specific application, but together, they were undistinguishable as the same brand.
Time for an Upgrade
With the help of design giant, Pentagram, and Michael Beirut, Slack rolled out an updated logo that solves just about all of the issues it faced before. The tilted octothorpe has been swapped out for a mark that keeps the integrity of the horizontal and vertical strokes of a hashtag, while eliminating any overlap. The addition of little speech bubbles into the corners rounds out the logo and provides a bit of shape and movement. In terms of color, the new Slack logo pays homage to the original colors of the hashtag while offering a more saturated and cohesive palette. While the mark is still made up of multiple colors (blue, green, yellow, and magenta), the space between each of the shapes lets each color stand on its own and provides a seamless transition to a single-colored mark and avoids color production issues that were seen in the past. Now, even when shown on a variety of colored backgrounds, the logo remains consistent and the primary colors are highlighted.
“The identity updates Slack’s familiar hashtag logo to work consistently in different scales and contexts.” – Pentagram
Although a small detail in comparison to the logomark, it is worth mentioning that the typeface for the wordmark has also changed. What was before a grotesque typeface (notice that the “a” is two-story) is now a more geometric typeface (notice that the “a” is rounder and almost perfectly circular). This is a popular move for logo rebrands in the last few years (ex. Google, Taco Bell, Dropbox, Green Mountain to name a few). Is it lifechanging? No. Some may have not even noticed. Still, the simplicity of the letters squares out the wordmark, gives it stability, and can be read in just about any context it’s used in.
As with any rebrand, the initial unveiling of the logo redesign is always a bit of a shock. I myself am a Slack user, and I can honestly say that I like the direction the brand has taken. It’s fresh and new, but it doesn’t feel TOO different from the original logo (remember the Instagram rebrand?). I appreciate the primary colors remaining the same, and that the deep eggplant color that was used inside the UI of the platform has moved forward to become an integral part of the brand’s main color palette. My favorite part of the logomark has to be the four small speech bubbles in the corners that represent the conversations that are held in the messaging platform. Each variation of the logo feels cohesive and is unmistakably seen as the same brand, no matter where you see it. For that, the Slack rebrand is absolutely successful.