This is a picture of me.

Simon Buckley

SMNBKLY.CO


Slack Has a Logo Problem

17 January 2019

Slack, the popular workplace collaboration tool, today unveiled a new logo design, seen above in concept art developed by design studio, Pentagram. It’s been a difficult time for a lot of perennial graphic designers on Twitter, with opinion-havers coming out of the woodwork everywhere, having to yet again demonstrate their peerless expertise, lest we forget.

Horror. Shock. Disbelief. Incredulity. Outrage. Justified?

Launched in October 2013, some would argue that the redesign was overdue, and as Slack HQ said themselves, there were real issues with the original logo; this wasn’t just a case of change for the sake of change.

At the risk of parroting the naysayers, I’d like to touch on a few of the issues with the logo.

1. Visual identity
Slack’s logo, flawed as it might have been, was iconic. Slack was instantly recognisable, even against the noise of an iPhone home screen. There’s a very real risk that this redesign takes away from that brand value.

Slack’s new logo is more or less Google Photos’ logo, rotated 180 degrees

2. The Swastika Problem
I mean, come on. How hard can it be to design a logo that isn’t a “playdoh penis swastika”?

3. And, uhh
Three items seems like a nice number to round a list out to, but honestly, despite the glaring issues above, I’m fine with the new logo. I think it looks clean, modern, and I can’t fault the reasoning behind it. Ultimately, this isn’t the hill I’m ready to die on.

Change is hard, and it will always be met with outrage from some, no matter how it’s managed. If you want to understand why this had to happen, check out SlackHQ’s fantastic post explaining the process.

Design

This post was last updated on 8 October 2019