Slack’s reason for the rebrand was to make the logo simpler and more cohesive as discussed in their blog:
It was also extremely easy to get wrong. It was 11 different colors — and if placed on any color other than white, or at the wrong angle (instead of the precisely prescribed 18º rotation), or with the colors tweaked wrong, it looked terrible. It pained us.
With the original logo only working well on a white background, they had to create multiple different logos to get options that would work across various apps. Whilst these logos may have worked well in each individual circumstance, this design approach diluted that all-important brand recognition that comes with continuity in your brand design.
Many of the comments about Slack’s new logo are negative – not surprisingly. We all know we don’t like change. The initial general consensus is that people prefer the old logo. Already there is much commentary on social and the many blogs that have already surfaced about the new logo. It’s not difficult to find these blatant comments… so we don’t need to repeat them here.
But should Slack care about this?
As a startup ourselves, Oroson is very much in awe of Slack’s success and roadmap to date. With eight million daily users and revenue expected to grow to $640 million this year as reported by The Verge, it seems like Slack has it all figured out.
However, does a company even the size of Slack want to test the water with its rebrand? Does that explain the gradual rebrand process? The company stated in its blog:
Over the next few months, you’ll see all the other visuals around Slack aligning around this new direction: on the website, in advertising, and in some places in the product (though not in a way that will keep you from the important business of getting things done, of course). It’s still us. We’re still Slack. But more consistent and, we hope, more instantly recognizable.
A rebrand is a considerable job even for smaller companies (as we can testify to having made that journey ourselves in the past six months). Yet we would have thought a company with a pool of resources like Slack must have would be capable of rolling out a rebrand in one swoop. What is also interesting is the fact that even a company the size of Slack, with its own design and brand team, still outsources the rebrand of it’s visual identity to a design studio. Reassuring to us smaller startups!
There are a lot of startups like ours that can learn from Slack. We already have learned from them and will continue you to do so be that from a design perspective or in terms of product development.
When Oroson faced our own rebrand last year, there was much discussion about it internally. A lot of this was based around concern over the time a rebrand can take and the impact this would inevitably have in distracting the team from the product development roadmap.
However the brand had not evolved alongside our product development and no longer reflected the markets we were targeting, so it was deemed a necessary project.
Your branding will always be an evolution for different reasons, regardless if you are a company the size of Slack or a less mature startup like Oroson.
Skip to this year and we have just made another significant design change, this time with our UI.
One of our primary goals with Oroson is to keep things simple and fast for our users so that they can upload project content to one central hub and collaborate with their teams from here. We continuously iterate on our product to achieve this and over the past quarter, we saw that our product navigation could be simplified. So, we changed it. It’s all part of the startup journey, learning from your own experience and that of others.
Whatever way things go with the rebrand, and we do hope Slack gets the support from its users and the wider tech community, one thing is certain, Oroson is watching and learning from the lessons Slack and other successful startups are teaching us.