Medium launches new identity based on concept of “conversation”

The long-form publishing platform’s new identity – created in-house with type designer Rod Cavazos – aims to be a logo that “unfurls and builds like a great and memorable conversation”.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.00.57

Long-form publishing platform Medium has launched a new identity that it says aims to reflect “overlapping strains of a conversation”.

Medium launched in 2012 and was set up by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Since its launch, it has been using a black-and-white “M” logo set in the Stag font.

In a joint post on the platform, Medium’s art director Erich Nagler and designer Karen Jaimes say: “While simple, elegant, and strong, this Stag M proved rather inflexible as a logo.

The previous identity
The previous identity

“It served us well through our first few years, but as Medium has grown and evolved, the logo has begun to feel flat, impenetrable, blunt, and not to be toyed with. It is also not particularly distinctive, either.”

To create the new identity, Medium’s in-house team worked with type designer Rod Cavazos, from type foundry PSY/OPS.

Nagler and Jaimes say: “With Rod, we pursued the concept that our logo could be made of a series of interconnected ideas or shapes that, when joined together, would form a new thought.

“A logo that flows, unfurls, and builds like a great and memorable conversation.”

In the development phase, the design team looked at different geometric interpretations of the letter M. They say: “We began to see the four planes of the logo as overlapping strains of a conversation. A conversation whose tone and direction shift as the planes come into contact with each other.”

After developing the logo, Medium briefed PSY/OPS to create a custom wordmark that would “pick up on the angles and spirit of the logo, without becoming too harsh or overly geometric”.

The team then settled on an isometric perspective and, they say: “As a very last finishing touch, we rounded those sharp corners just a tad, so we didn’t accidentally poke someone’s eye out.”

Images via medium.com.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.59.58Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 11.00.08

Development sketches
Development sketches
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Comments
  • Martyn McDermott October 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I cant see this being well received by the Medium community! Seems to go against the core ethos of Medium to be clear, simple, frictionless etc. This is abstract, complicated, hard to read, looks like an N in the browser favicon etc…ooops!

  • Marianne Dear October 11, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    It’s derivative of the City of Melbourne identity unfortunately

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