YouTube has finally given its logo a very slight refresh after 12 years.
The red "tube" which wrapped around the word has been moved to the front of the wordmark, and turned into a more recognisable icon (and more inline with what the service provides) – a play button.
YouTube’s art department head Christopher Bettig told The Verge that no one knew what the word tube in a tube meant (Tube is slang for a television set, which is increasingly irrelevant to the YouTube platform). "It’s an evolution, not a revolution," Christopher says.
As well as the new play button icon, which Christopher has described as the brand’s “unofficial shorthand”, the online video platform is getting a new typeface, colour palette and changes to its desktop and mobile app (seen below).
Since its inception, the brand has transformed into a multi faceted service (YouTube Kids, Gaming, Red, TV and Music), and a recognisable visual language is needed.
The original YouTube wordmark typeface – Alternate Gothic II – was from 1903, but the design was modified so that some of the letters didn’t match up; the 'U' for example. The four corners of the play button weren’t all rounded the same way either.
This may be to the fact that there was no art department at YouTube until Christopher joined three years ago. YouTube’s new font, logo and colour rolled out yesterday across its desktop and mobile app.