Instagram’s new icon, not very appealing

Instagram finally changed its app icon this week and, boy, did the Internet react. The iconic instant camera icon — with a glass lens, viewfinder, brown leather wrap and rainbow, alongside the word “Insta” in the corner is gone.
Surely you’ve seen by now, it’s been replaced with a simplified glyph in the shape of a camera outlined in white and set on top of a yellow-orange-red-pink-purple gradient.

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According to reports, Instagram recently said that, during the creative process of flattening the icon, it wanted to make sure the updated look was still recognizable. But my issue is it’s too minimal and the gradient choice is too loud.
Though the old icon was a remaining vestige of skeuomorphic design (digital designs that resemble physical objects to make them more relatable and familiar), there was something very calming about seeing it on your homescreen and then tapping on it.

Whether that was because of the brown upper-third portion of the icon (warmer colors are known to be more relaxing) or the old-school lens and viewfinder design inspired by old instant cameras, the app icon didn’t feel like it was ever in your face.

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The new icon does. It’s screaming for attention. OPEN ME! (Like we don’t already compulsively check Instagram 20 million times a day anyway.) The new icon’s loud design is intentional; its designers feared a bare bones icon would get lumped in with other camera apps.


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