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Reddit, the renowned American social news aggregation and discussion platform, has undergone a transformative rebranding initiative in collaboration with Pentagram. As the 18th most-visited website globally, Reddit sought a more unified, contemporary, and intuitive identity, streamlining its branding materials and navigating away from confusing tangents.
Pentagram, led by partner Natasha Jen and her team, approached the project in 2022 with the goal of preserving Reddit’s signature friendliness and joy while infusing a modern sensibility into its identity system. At the core of Pentagram’s strategy was the acknowledgment of Reddit’s inherently eclectic, positively different, delightfully absurd, and genuinely candid qualities, which are reflected in its unique platform features and active community.
Maintaining Reddit’s creative spirit was paramount, and the first challenge involved refining the company’s positioning. Pentagram identified Reddit as “the heart of the internet,” encapsulating its role as a place for discovery and participation through conversation.
The beloved mascot, Snoo, underwent a significant transformation, evolving into a character as iconic as Super Mario. Pentagram rendered Snoo in 3D, creating a suite of emoji-like versions and establishing a new core illustration style. The character development aimed to formalize Snoo’s shape and details, ensuring its joyful persona resonated with users.
To highlight the importance of comments and discussion threads on Reddit, Pentagram introduced a conversation bubble as a cornerstone of the brand’s visual identity. This bubble became a key graphic element, framing text and images and adapting to shape-shift, symbolizing the essence of Reddit’s communities.
Typography played a crucial role in the rebranding, with Pentagram customizing the Reddit Sans wordmark, turning rounded counter forms into bubbles. This customization led to the creation of Reddit Display, a unique custom typeface featuring the distinctive bubble motif in headlines and large-scale typography.
The conversation bubble, established as the anchor point, was animated to stretch or expand, accommodating various content types. The motion behaviors mimicked sliding drawers and doors, providing clarity in organizing and revealing content logically.
While the signature OrangeRed hue was retained in the color palette, Pentagram introduced a refined secondary palette, simplifying it to 15 colors from a library of over 100. This balanced approach allows community expression while maintaining brand coherence, providing moderators with a curated spectrum for customization.
In conclusion, Pentagram believes that the evolved Snoo, the introduction of the conversation bubble, Reddit Display, codified motion behaviors, and a streamlined color palette collectively represent Reddit’s unique brand attributes and position the platform boldly for its next chapter.
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