The crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has rolled out a surprise new logo complete with a redesign of their site. Out goes the old two-tone bubble font logo so familiar to us, in comes a pumped up, super bubbly dark blue logo.
The old logo was simple, friendly & honest
Founded in 2009, New York-based Kickstarter was a pioneer in the field of crowdfunding, the oldest and probably the best known in the sector. The redesign takes the company in the opposite direction to many other established sites, eschewing bright colors and upbeat design in favor of an on-trend minimalistic approach.
Kickstarter Logo Before and After
The old logo was green and black, which felt simple and somehow friendly. There was a sort of amateurishness to it which created a sense of honesty. Jesse Ragan, a typographer based in Brooklyn, NY, is responsible for the new logo, which builds on the old, but is perhaps less a font now than simply a graphic.
Wordmark construction drawn by Jesse Ragan.
In stark contrast to the new logo, simple sans serif fonts, Cooper Light and Maison Neue, are used on the rest of the website, and a new color palette is dominated by the teal of the logo. Kickstarter’s in-house design team worked with New York’s Order to come up with the new look.
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Redesign prompts a mixed response
The pared back, largely monochrome design serves to highlight projects featured on the site rather than the company itself. The only real color cropping up on pages are projects seeking funding. In this respect it is a success, however, reaction to the new look has been mixed to negative.
Many on Twitter suggest that the logo is unreadable due to the pumped up type, only recognizable due to familiarity. Others say that the use of sans serif typefaces give the site a harder, unfriendly edge. A lack of visual hierarchy was also cited as a problem, making navigation difficult since the user doesn’t instinctively know where to click.
Words like “unfinished” and “newspaper” have also been used in reference to the update as well as the age-old argument “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The redesign follows a recent trend toward minimalism with Dropbox among many sites which have cleaned up and simplified their websites. For well-known companies with solid brands, there is much that makes sense about decluttering the user interface. While some of the criticism of the update may be valid, many appear to forget that few people visit Kickstarter without knowing what the company does, it’s a platform rather than a marketing tool, and perhaps this update reflects that.
Kickstarter has so far declined to comment on its blog.
Let us know what you think below. Is this a step too far or can you see merit in the redesign?