Facebook relaunches with new corporate identity
Facebook has been in the midst of a crossfire over the past two years as it strives to recover from the privacy scandals surrounding the company. Its new corporate identity is a parent brand founded on empathy, devised to relaunch Facebook and its products. But recent events demonstrate the need for additional changes in the internal company culture, to reflect the propositions of the new brand.
Facebook is more than its namesake mobile and desktop social media app. The tech giant owns a number of other products and services such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus, yet those are not always associated with their parent company. In early November, Facebook launched a corporate logo to unify its brands under a common identity. The design was created in house, in collaboration with brand agency Saffron and typeface designers Dalton Maag.
Distinction from the Facebook consumer platform was the first challenge in the design process. Facebook opted for an all-caps typeface, which can be condensed into an ‘FB’ monogram in small spaces. The new brand was founded on the principles of clarity and empathy, with a flexible colour palette to reflect the products owned by Facebook.
Facebook’s introduction of a parent brand is not dissimilar to what other companies have done in the past. Google has announced the Alphabet brand in 2015, while Vox Media, NatGeo and Discovery channel have gathered all their products under one parent company, following an analogous path.
While the dynamic colour palette is meant to symbolise diversity, recent events show that Facebook is yet to truly welcome openness at all levels. Last week, an anonymous open letter from Facebook black employees was posted on Medium to denounce accidents and toxic attitudes in the company. According to the letter, the stories reflected behaviours against black, Latin American and female Asian employees, who said Facebook treats them every day as if “they do not belong” there.
With Facebook falling out of this year’s top 10 best global brands, the brand is facing a crisis which will be challenging to turn around. The public welcomed it with caution and scepticism, but the new corporate brand is a chance to relaunch and strengthen Facebook’s reputation, following the privacy and Cambridge Analytica scandals. Changes in the internal company culture will be necessary to follow it up, but an identity founded on empathy may send the brand off to a new start.