What’s Not-So-Funny About the Snapchat Logo – History, Design Elements, and Future

In a fast-paced world where new social apps are cropping up every day, Snapchat has made its position in the top five with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Launched in 2011, by a group of Stanford University students, namely Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel, and Reggie Brown, the app was originally known as Picaboo, for iOS only. 

Within two months, it was renamed as Snapchat, which quickly gained popularity and attracted the attention of some serious investors like Benchmark Capital, Benchmark Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners. 

There are a couple of reasons behind the app’s outstanding success. Firstly, it closely mimics real life communication, as interactions that last only for a few seconds and are forgotten automatically. Secondly, guardians and older members of the family are mostly active on Facebook, causing youngsters to look for a new platform that they could use privately. Snapchat entered the scene at the right time and made a big hit.

Finally, it’s the Snapchat logo, which depicts the ghost and is a graphical representation of the company’s “phantom” policy. Here’s all you wanted to know about the Snapchat logo, including its meaning, design elements, and story of evolution.

Snapchat – A Quick History

As stated above, the application was the brainchild of three University students. Reggie Brown seeded the main idea of creating an application for sharing pictures that would be deleted automatically after a certain time set by the user. Since he did not have any knowledge in business, he quickly turned to Evan Spiegel for help and advice.

In order to turn the idea into a viable venture, Brown and Spiegel needed someone who was expert in coding. Finally, they met Bobby Murphy and all of them worked together at the project for a very long time.

Soon, the tables turned and Brown, the main person behind the assignment, was let out of the company. This story reminded us of another popular social platform, Facebook, which started and ended in a similar way. Brown filed a litigation against Spiegel and Murphy, and eventually settled for $157.5 million.

The Outstanding Journey of the Iconic Snapchat Logo

2011 — 2013

What’s Not-So-Funny About the Snapchat Logo – History, Design Elements, and Future

The original Snapchat logo, known as Ghostface Chilian, appeared in 2011 – at a time when the application was first launched and was called Picaboo. Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s co-founder, admitted at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that he casually created the icon on a computer, from the comfort of his bedroom.

The character looked like a smiling ghost with its tongue out and was named Ghostface Chilian, as a tribute to the American rapper Ghostface Killah from Wu-Tang Clan – the gangster music group.

This was quite expected, because Spiegel was an ardent fan of the group and a rap artist himself. While choosing the most appropriate color scheme for his brand mascot, he analyzed the logos of some of his competitors and saw that none of them used yellow. He chose the color almost instantaneously. Would you believe it if we told you that it took him just one evening to design this ghost-shaped symbol and its color scheme? 

2013 — 2019

What’s Not-So-Funny About the Snapchat Logo – History, Design Elements, and Future

In 2013, the brand introduced an updated logo wherein the character had zero facial expression. According to official reports, this was not a mistake; the ghost was designed to reflect the various range of emotions that the members of the community portrayed. They suggested that every user is the face of the application, and hence there’s no need for any special expression. However, there are some sceptics who suspect that there were other reasons for the logo redesign. 

According to them, the removal of the graphic expression is related to the lawsuit filed by one of the creators of Picaboo, due to an infringement of his copyright.

2019 – till date

What’s Not-So-Funny About the Snapchat Logo – History, Design Elements, and Future

2019 marked the most noteworthy and memorable redesign of the Snapchat logo. This time, the ghost was given a thicker and darker border, which made it easier for the audience to see the logo from a distance. Unfortunately, these changes were not announced publicly but the audience immediately noticed the changes in the iPhone App Store, where this improvised version of the application appeared with an unusual icon.

Many users started filing petitions and writing negative reviews about the new logo. They even went ahead and uninstalled Snapchat from their phone, due to “the ugly” emblem. This was possibly because a thick outline made the ghost appear rude and aggressive.

There is also another version of this logo, where the yellow background features multiple black dots and a black solid border. 

How Popular is Snapchat? 

Like many popular one-to-one and group messaging apps, Snapchat also allows you to share multimedia messages with your friends and family, but the only exception is that they vanish within seconds. It is compatible with smartphones running on Android as well as iOS. Today, Snapchat also gives you the freedom to record and post live reels, make voice or video calls, send edited images while on a call, leave audio or video ‘notes’ while messaging, find friends on an engaging app, and so much more.

By 2016, the app was being installed by over 150 million people in a day, consuming approximately 800 video hours per second. That’s equivalent to watching 13 episodes of “Game of Thrones” each second. According to recent reports, the app has 293 million everyday active users, which indicates a development of 23% per year.

Incredible, isn’t it? Snapchat features Stories that are visible for 24 hours, special add-ons for picture messages, and Memories that can be saved and shared later on. Snapchat is a highly popular application, especially among teenagers and youngsters, for their special emojis, real-time special effects, face-swap and superimpose features, snapstreaks, and excellent privacy settings. 

Snapchat Logo – Design Elements

Emblem: Picaboo, the very Snapchat logo, is the chief inspiration behind the Ghostface Chilian signage. The word “Picaboo” when divided into syllables, is spelt as “Pic a Boo,” which means ‘a photo of a ghost’ in Spanish. The app’s iconic black, yellow, and white logo, featuring a joyful ghost with its tongue out, was designed by Spiegel himself. Over all these years, several details were dropped from the emblem and now it’s just a modern and minimalist version of the same.

It’s important to note that the multimedia messages aren’t entirely deleted from the app (although you can’t access it after sometime), and kept in memory for future reference (if required). Similarly, the ghost logo implies that even if you cannot see something, it is still present in some supernatural form.

While there are several versions of the Snapchat logo, the difference lies only in shapes and color pallets. You could either see a ghost in yellow, black, or white, on a yellow or white circle, with black borders, or the same creature on a square with curved angles. No matter the color or shape of the emblem, the Snapchat logo is instantly recognizable by users across the world.

Colors: Ever since the launch of the first Snapchat logo, the emblem has always used a white and yellow color palette, with black accentuating the borders. After scrutinizing the logos of numerous similar brands, the designers finally settled on the Pantone Yellow U shade, because nobody else did. The present version, however, features a somewhat different tone of yellow than the previous one – a sunny, almost acid shade.

Moreover, the previous versions had a tinge of red (the tongue of the ghost), which is missing in the current version. While yellow stands for clarity, positivity, energy, and enlightenment, white represents harmony, purity, innocence, and a fresh beginning.

Snapchat logo color codes 

YellowHex Color: #FFFC00RGB: 255 252 0CMYK: 0 1 100 0Pantone: PMS 396 C
BlackHex Color: #000000RGB: 0 0 0CMYK: 0 0 0 100Pantone: PMS Process Black C

The Future of Snapchat 

While many social media platforms are struggling hard to retain users amidst an anticipated recession, Snapchat is going strong, and has an increased number of daily active users (DAUs) since 2020, when compared to Meta and Twitter. According to the Parent company Snap, there’s an estimated 332 million DAUs as of Q1 2022 – a surprising 18% leap since last year.

Wrapping up,

In this fast-moving digital landscape, it can only be anticipated that short-lived messages will rule the social media platforms. Many advertisers are already investing in paid social media marketing instead of regular TV and radio promotions, and it’s expected that futuristic companies like Snapchat will devise innovative modes of advertising for the audience. By making the most of new technology and focusing on real-time solutions for real needs, Snapchat is sure to conquer the virtual space in the coming days.

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