How Medium's new logo was designed

Blogging platform Medium has unveiled a new logo, ditching the typographic M for a geometric rendering that's supposed to be more fun.

In a post on the site, the company's art director Erich Nagler and designer Karen Jaimes have explained the creative process behind the change – starting with what they thought was wrong with the old logo.

They say that the old logo – which was an unchanged capital M from Schwartzco's Stag font in a square box – was "flat, impenetrable, blunt and ... not particularly distinctive".

Erich and Karen doodled ideas for a new logo (below) before settling on the idea that core concept that the logo should be "made of a series of interconnected ideas or shapes that, when joined together, form a new thought".

To turn this idea into a finished logo, Medium brought type foundry PSY/OPS, whose Rod Cavazos ideated multiple versions (below) before settling on a final version that's geometric but with rounded corners "so we didn’t accidentally poke someone’s eye out". It's also designed to be adapted across multiple colourways.

Reading between the lines, it appears Medium wanted a new logo that's more flexible than the old one. There's a broadsheet-style seriousness to the old logo that reinforces the idea that Medium is a place for informed commentary – but which may not be as appropriate for writing that's more playful or humorous.

And that's where some are going to take issue with Medium's new logo, which in bright colours is much better suited to comedic writing but – even in plain black-and-white – doesn't have the feeling of authority that the old logo.

In short, if you see Medium purely as a place to read or write longform clinical thinkpieces, you'll probably hate the new logo. If you think it should have a broader remit – and Medium itself clearly does – you'll find it a better fit.

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