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The Influencers

The Power of the Logo

INFLUENCER: Serviceplan Design Hamburg's Christine Lischka responds to the new YouTube logo and how it reflects the metamorphosis of brands in the digital age

The Power of the Logo

YouTube has a new logo. Actually, this isn’t completely true. Brands that expanded during the era of digital transformation no longer have a traditional logo with fixed specifications incorporated into a rigid system. Logos that have primarily been designed to work on digital platforms have to meet new requirements.

They always needed to be simple and succinct – but now they also have to be versatile. This means that logos should work, have a dominant position and convey a consistent brand message in every context and on every channel.

As a brand, YouTube has changed from a product to a service. There is now YouTube Kids, YouTube Games, YouTube TV, Music, etc. All of this no longer fits within one brand that only represents one of these channels. That’s why the company needs a logo that represents all of these services. The new YouTube logo shows precisely this expansion in content; it takes the emphasis off the (television) 'tube', both verbally and as a symbol. YouTube is creating an independent figurative mark with the red 'play button' symbol.

Together with the word mark, the logo forms a strong cross-channel word/figurative mark.

The appearance of the logo’s writing and images is minimalistic and clear. By merging the two parts of the name into one word, the word mark has become more compact. This new simplicity gives the logo structure and, therefore, an improved design.

So no, it’s not a revolution, but rather a logical development. YouTube shares entertainment content but isn’t an entertainer itself. And that’s a good thing.


Christine Lischka is Managing Partner at Serviceplan Design Hamburg

Genre: Strategy/Insight