The Facebook brand is one of the most recognized in the world. And its logo is no small part of that.
The Facebook logo showcases, and has always showcased, a pretty simple and straightforward design. The wordmark is in a white lowercase font on a blue background for the majority of its iterations.
So, where did the logo come from and how have small changes updated the design to make it more technology and mobile-friendly?
Let’s discuss this famous social media company and go through an overview of the evolution of its simple but memorable logo.
From a local website started by college students in their dorm room to a social media giant with over two billion active users and a massive influence throughout the globe, the history of Facebook is storied and fast-paced. Facebook has had an illustrious history and its famous logo has played a significant role in its marketing. making
As the undisputed king of social media, Facebook’s simple logo started as the company began to grow from its own humble beginnings.
In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg was in his second year of college at Harvard University. During a drunken night, a fact Zuckerberg himself admitted to in one of his earliest blog posts at the time, quickly came up with the idea for a website called “FaceMash.”
The site would allow students at Harvard to rank side-by-by pictures of fellow students based on which one was more attractive. These types of ranking sites were popular during that era, but it was caused quite the scandal at the university. They quickly took it down, and Zuckerberg barely avoided expulsion. This odd occurrence provided the foundations for Facebook.
The next year, Mark Zuckerberg chose to create an online directory of Harvard students. He deemed it “TheFacebook.” Just six days after launching, Zuckerberg’s site drummed up even more controversy. According to the tale, three fellow students accused Zuckerberg of pretending he would assist them with the construction of the site HarvardConnection.com. They stated that instead, he used their ideas to build a competing website.
The students contacted Crimson, the university’s newspaper, and an investigation began. Despite the controversy, TheFacebook saw large success on the Harvard campus. Within the first month, 50% of all the undergraduate students at Harvard had created accounts on the website.
Though membership on TheFacebook started as limited access to only Harvard students, Zuckerberg soon opened up the site to Yale, Stanford, and Columbia students. Shortly after that, he opened them again, this time to all ivy league schools. Next, it became open to most universities in the United States and Canada, and then eventually open to the public across the globe.
In late 2004, Facebook also incorporated, and Sean Parker, one of Zuckerberg’s informal advisors throughout building the website, was named President of the growing company. In 2005, “The” was dropped from the site’s name, and Facebook purchased the domain facebook.com for $200 thousand, which considering its current success was a steal.
Facebook stayed a private company until 2012 when it held its initial public offering. Since its IPO, Facebook’s stock has done very well, and the company continues to attract more active users and increase profits via extensive advertising.
Facebook, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, faced controversy yet again. Throughout the 2010s, there was increased concern and speculation surrounding Facebook’s use of private user data. In 2017, Zuckerberg testified before Congress regarding his company’s use of data, censorship on the website, and how Facebook itself may have influenced the 2016 US Presidential election.
Nevertheless, Facebook has continued to excel as a highly profitable company and has acquired several important social networks, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, to become the overarching Meta.
As the company has changed from Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms, Inc. it has leaned into the embracing of growing technology and seeks to expand “the metaverse.”
Where has the logo come into play over the years through the course of the company’s expansion and success?
Let’s take a look.
Facebook Logo Over Time
Once Facebook grew from a university networking site to worldwide success, Zuckerberg and Parker hired Mike Buzzard, of Cuban Council, to design a logo for their brand.
Buzzard’s logo is nearly identical to the one that Facebook uses to this day, not counting the Meta logo, and the company has made only minor changes over the years to that original design.
In an interview, Buzzard stated that some of the design decisions were “a modification of the typeface Klavika, which was designed by Eric Olson. Type and graphic designer, Joe Kral, who was a good friend […]working closely with Cuban Council […], completed the type modifications and final wordmark[. …] I oversaw the project.”
Additionally, it is rumored that the blue color scheme was chosen because Zuckerberg has deuteranopia, a form of color blindness that makes distinguishing between colors, particularly green and red, difficult. Blue is supposed to be much easier for those with the condition to identify.
In the years since Buzzard provided his original design for the Facebook logo, minor changes are all that have been made, many of which are unnoticeable unless you know to look for them. Facebook honors the simplicity and recognizability of its logo, choosing to keep the design consistent while the company itself has grown, changed, and updated several times over the years.
The Facebook logo is a very distinctive symbol and focuses on the wordmark. Even its smaller icon form, used to represent the app in stores and other situations, has changed very little and has stuck with the simple letter f in white against the familiar blue.
Now, let’s look at variations of the logo icon Facebook has used over the years and how it has changed since its beginnings as FaceMash.
The Original FaceMash Logo (2003-2004)
The first attempt at creating a social website by Zuckerberg was called “FACEMASH.” As you know, this wasn’t truly a precursor to Facebook, but it start the wheel turning. The site did have its own logo, the word written in white font in upper case against an elongated red rectangle.
Blue Appears from 2004 to 2005
From there, big alterations were made not only to the site but the logo. The platform launched under the name “thefacebook” and appeared as a single word. It was the basis of the logo. The phrase was in blue lowercase letters within square brackets and sat against a darker blue rectangular background.
The Logo from 2005 to 2015
Then came 2005. It was a crucial year for the social network. Much of the visual identity was updated following the purchase of the appropriate domain, and the owners redid the emblem. Not it was officially facilitated and perfected.
The article “the” was removed from the name and now viewers could easily read it and know precisely where they were. The font was enlarged and switched to white so that the wordmark was more attention-grabbing and, as stated, easy to read. The wordmark also changed in scale, filling nearly all of the blue rectangle. From here on, the logo would stick with a rectangular, simple format of the two primary colors.
During this period, Microsoft also bought shares in the network, and as a result, the site and app took on a more business-type format. To keep with this more business-centric vibe, the logo for official documents also received an update and a simple graphic element was proposed – the first letter of the name. It was showcased in the same way as the full wordmark- lowercase, white, and sitting on a blue geometrically pleasing square background.
The Current Facebook Logo (2015 – Present)
In 2015, the new logo was finally approved. Just like the earlier versions, they only used the wordmark, “Facebook,” and corresponding colors. There were also small amendments made to the lettering, which are imperceptible at first glance.
When viewers look closely they can see that the letter “a” is completely different. There is no longer an upper segment and it has a greater intra-letter clearance. The letter “b” also changed. The company also created a black-and-white version of the logo to be used in conjunction with the typical blue.
In 2019, the company also released a logo for mobile screens that used a brighter blue.
Interestingly, the latest update of the logo was actually related to the transition of Internet users to personal devices like phones and tablets. Because smartphones, tablets, and other modern devices have such small screens, the logo developers knew they needed to make certain adjustments.
The streamlined design, which still maintained much of the original design, allowed the logo to avoid pixelation and clarity issues when it went from large pages to small and back. The creators fine-tuned the logo so that it looked good on displays of all sizes.
Updating the icon version of the logo was a particularly significant challenge thanks to its distinctive single “f.” The lowercase letter used to sit almost in the middle of a blue square with rounded corners, but gradually moved to the right and lower within the square. The lower leg of the f hit the bottom of the shape, which is why the white color it normally has would naturally change to match the surrounding space.
In 2013, the graphic emblem was updated again to eliminate the restrictive line and tone down the 3D elements. The “f” itself moved even more to the right, but this wouldn’t be the final stop either.
The current icon logo is a circular blue shape with the lowercase f contained within it. The blue used also matches the bright version of the wordmark logo that is used for mobile devices and was introduced along with it in 2019.
The Meta Logo
The new Meta logo debuted in 2021, and the idea behind it came from a desire to make its visual branding simpler and showcase the brand’s utilitarian values.
Facebook, Inc. changed its name to Meta Platforms, Inc., often just referred to as Meta, and switched over to an infinity-style loop logo that resembles the letter M.
This symbol was designed to look good no matter where you’re seeing it and draw attention to the new iteration of the company’s innovation and simplistic appeal. The design also holds with the modern austere design trend.
Facebook Logo Key Elements
There are a few things that have been updated since the logo’s creation, but most of the design elements have remained the same. The most significant parts of the logo are detailed below.
1. The Wordmark
The simple wordmark of the company name has been a staple of the logo design since the days of FaceMash. Facebook, and even “thefacebook,” has been the heart of the logo with not much else going on. From the full logo to the icon, the letters and the word are the staples of the logo.
2. Blue Coloring
In the very beginning, Facebook’s logo featured the bracketed solid wordmark “thefacebook” in light blue against a darker blue. Since 2004, Facebooks’s official symbol is the iconic rectangular shape and its connection to color. Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg is said to have liked the blue because he was able to distinguish it easily with his specific type of color blindness.
However, there’s a lot of speculation, and many don’t support The New Yorker’s claim that it was Zuckerberg’s vision impairment that prompted the company to select the blue background. Regardless, the blue has been a constant for years.
Additionally, when it comes to marketing, color theory states that they can influence a customer’s purchasing habits. Colors, even those ties to a brand, can be associated with an emotion, and one study concluded that nearly 90% of impulsive buying decisions can be based on color perception alone.
Additional research has looked at the effect of particular colors on a brand’s reputation, and some theorists and marketers state that certain colors work better for certain industries.
For instance, makeup, retailers, construction, and fashion brands frequently showcase black in their logos, packaging, and branding materials. Green is often connected to food, health, environmental, fitness, and education industries.
Blue is often seen as neat, spacious, and connected with technology. From Facebook to LinkedIn, high-tech companies across the globe use this color in their brand visuals. In fact, the color is almost synonymous with technology, which could make any decision to steer away from blue a poor one. Even the new Meta logo is a shade of blue.
The darker blue of Facebook’s logo is Celtic Blue with the following stats.
- Hex color: #0165e1
- RGB: 1 101 225
- CMYK: 100 55 0 12
- Pantone: PMS 2726 C
The lighter blue is Picton Blue.
- Hex color: #17a9fd
- RGB: 23 169 263
- CMYK: 91 33 0 1
- Pantone: PMS 2925 C
Within the new Meta logo, you’ll find that Celtic Blue along with Azure and Gunmetal, for the wordmark underneath.
- Hex color: #0080fb
- RGB: 0 128 251
- CMYK: 100 49 0 2
- Pantone: PMS 2727 C
- Hex color: #1c2b33
- RGB: 28 43 51
- CMYK: 45 16 0 80
- Pantone: PMS 5463 C
3. The Font
The font used for the wordmark remains the most popular in the world and is a subspecies of the Klavika typeface. This distinctive but simple font has remained with the brand with few changes since its branding as Facebook.
The lowercase font of the Facebook logo is probably designed to evoke the sense that Facebook is a casual and laid-back company and environment. Facebook is a platform for easy entertainment and casual connections with friends and family across the globe, so having an understated wordmark can showcase that well. The company can convey part of its messaging regarding the website’s atmosphere quickly through the lowercase font.
The lettering in the new Meta logo is a full-size sans serif. It is smooth, even, and easy to read. The typeface sits somewhere between the Nexa Text Bold and Carmen Sans Semi Bold fonts.
Beyond the color scheme and the font choice, there isn’t much else to the Facebook logo. The company has only altered minor details, including sizes and shadings, in the years since it first started using the Facebook wordmark, including “thefacebook” wordmark. When it comes to its logo, the company flaunts simplicity as the key to its visual identity and hasn’t altered what has been a winning design.
Even as the brand changes and updates to become Meta, the individual logos of the branches within the organization remain. Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, and Oculus all showcase their unique logos under the Meta umbrella, and as the new AR/VR side of the company grows, it’s unlikely that they will mess with a design that’s stood the test of time.
Whatever the future holds, the Facebook blue and lowercase wordmark will likely stick right along with it.