A new brand system designed for clarity, inspired by people.
By Zach Stubenvoll, Sam Halle, Andrew Stirk and Luke Woods
Facebook started as a single app. Now, 15 years later, we offer a suite of products that help people connect to their friends and family, find communities and grow businesses. These apps and technologies have shared infrastructure for years and the teams behind them frequently work together.
This is the next step in our effort to be clearer about the products and services from Facebook. The new company branding is designed to help us better represent the diversity of products we build, establish distinction from the Facebook app and communicate our purpose in the world.
Here is a look into the decisions we made to design our company brand.
A Collaborative Process
Inspired by how our company builds products, we designed a process to learn, prototype and iterate quickly. We began by building a collective understanding of our company, conducting listening tours with employees and the people and businesses who use our products. We then brought together people from across the company to design and work together. We explored three creative territories, uniting around one final concept inspired by the potential of people when they can come together. We refined the brand system by working with designers across the company to ensure it performs in product, hardware, marketing and physical spaces.
Through the process, three foundational design behaviors that informed our brand system emerged:
- Clarity: a brand that simplifies and builds Understanding
- Empathy: a system that is respectful of context and environment
- Creating Space: design that supports people and their stories
Today, when people hear “Facebook” they think of the Facebook app. This posed a unique design challenge. We needed the wordmark to establish distinction from the Facebook app and allow for a clearer connection to the full family of technologies. The new brand system uses custom typography, rounded corners, open tracking and capitalization to create visual distinction between the company and the app.
Choosing an all-caps treatment as a way to create distinction from the app made it more important to craft unique letterforms. We designed the new company wordmark with clarity and openness in mind. It’s built on a stable structure through the use of consistent stroke width, harmonized capital letters and a horizontal emphasis. The generous spacing and open letterforms allow clarity at small sizes, and the subtle softening of corners and diagonals adds a sense of optimism.
The wordmark condenses into a “FB” monogram in small spaces. This monogram builds on existing equity: FB is already associated with Facebook, is the company’s stock ticker symbol and is used in domains and employee email addresses. To perform in smaller spaces across product and company touch points, the FB monogram has a heavier weight and extended letterforms.
An Empathetic Color Palette
Instead of the company owning a single color, we designed the brand to be responsive to its context and environment. This system allows the wordmark to take on the color of our individual brands, creating a clearer relationship between the company and the products we build.
We wanted the brand to connect thoughtfully with the world and the people in it. The dynamic color system does this by taking on the color of its environment.
We use motion in our system to create space for people and their stories. The wordmark itself opens up through tracking and fading, aiming to support and never overshadow.
The brand comes to life in the context of people, cultures, communities and relationships. The art direction is designed to capture the emotional connections between people and express a sense of potential when they can come together.
We continue to be inspired by the communities and people who use our products every day. The brand system was born out of a commitment to be clear, empathetic and create space for people’s stories to shine through. As the company continues to evolve, we hope this brand can help us better communicate the progress we’re making.