The logos of five popular social networking websites – Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Badoo, and LinkedIn – are unique, yet have many features in common. They are all clean, straightforward, and simple. They use color in a very deliberate way. They tend to provide very apt illustrations of what each website is all about. The logos are attractive yet subtle, and do not interfere with the message of the page. Even when updated, such as Twitter recently was, these key features remain.
Three of the logos build on the base color of blue. Blue tends to be everyone’s favorite color, the color of the sky and the ocean, and it is gender nonspecific. In a logo blue conveys a sense of worldwide inclusion, popularity, something everyone likes. Blue has a calming, peaceful effect. In website design blue can act like a transparent background, allowing the brain to focus on other content aspects.
One of the most recognizable logos is that of Facebook, memorable by its very simplicity. The logo is a sharp, clean blue rectangular shape with white letters enclosed to spell facebook. The logo is plain, eye-catching, easy to look at, and attractive. In addition to properties of inclusiveness and peace, blue also represents integrity and trustworthiness. The deep saturation level intensifies these qualities of blue, and the particular shade conveys youthful energy. For Facebook, the logo represents a trusted, inclusive location where friends can hang out in a safe and nonthreatening environment.
The LinkedIn logo uses blue to evoke a similar global inclusion effect, along with the qualities of trustworthiness and confidence. Blue is a color associated with power and authority, such as the police uniform, so it fits well with the concept of a young professional in a power suit. The LinkedIn logo creates a play on words. The bold black letters of “Linked” convey the message of something powerful and professional that is connected to the worldwide “in crowd”, represented by the “in” in white letters contained inside a blue square.
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Twitter uses a blue/white combination as well, but the font and the shadow gives a floating feeling. Along with the blue bird that “tweets” in the clouds, the logo provides an impression of movement and action up in the clouds, spreading information from a high point to reach far and wide. There is a play on words created with this logo as well, as the twittering is also spread within the shared space of cloud computing.
Even with redesigned colors, the logo itself still seems to move across the page, as if the tweet bird is pulling it along. The Twitter logo aptly describes a social media website where opinions are offered in short bursts of information in an attempt to sway others, provide news, or promote a point of view.
Badoo, on the other hand, is a mix of uniquely colored letters that vary in shape and size. The bright, active colors are exciting, interesting and new. The logo grabs attention and evokes curiosity and a sense of originality. It gives a feeling of something unusual, fresh, and fearless. The lettering of the logo combines concepts of backwards and forwards, small and large, and blends them into an attractive mix, as if it were people of different sizes, colors, and races.
The first large O contains a small circle eye that seems to move along the perimeter, as if looking all around the world. Even the thumbnail, with the eye inside the circle of the white “b” encased in an orange square, still gives a “keeping my eye on the world” message. Badoo is a social networking site with a worldwide feel, available in multiple languages and designed to help users seek out other users around the world to share ideas and opinions.
Ning is different from the other logos in a number of ways. It is a pleasant green shade, which is perhaps the most common color in the world after blue, and it suggests a green meadow, something born of nature that is alive and growing. The logo contains the word NING, proceeded with a circular star-like shape comprised of individual dots that seem to spread outward from the inner circle, providing a sense of reaching out, yet holding the source elements within the circle.
Ning is a play on the suffix “ing” which represents action. In combination the logo says, “I’m holding a circle of items and I’m reaching out for more on an ongoing basis. The logo describes Ning very well, as it is a platform where individual users can create and grow their own social network websites.
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