When you throw back, it is imperative that you throw the right distance. Whether it’s a Facebook photo, a baseball uniform, or a corporate logo, the throwback is trendy but execution is key.
Throw too short and you’re in the awkward years. Oh, be-braced middle-school band picture. This is not where you want to be. There’s a reason you don’t hear a lot of announcements about local professional sports teams’ ’90s throwback uniforms (with the notable exception of the Miami Heat’s, which meh). Don’t nobody want a neon Starter jacket and short basketball shorts.
You want to turn the clock back just the right amount— to a time when every font looked like an arcade game logo, you were riding in a Barbie Corvette wearing tall striped athletic socks, and the great questions were still unanswered— “Who shot J.R.?” and “Where’s the Beef?”
This brings me to Instagram’s new logo. When the photo-sharing app debuted as an upstart start-up, it had already executed the perfect throwback. The Instagram logo was the Keri Russell of corporate throwbacks, hitting a Houston Astros-ian level of early-’80s perfection. The brown, the Playskool-reminiscent camera design, the teeny rainbow flourish! It was a joy to look upon… while wearing a ringer tee and watching “Dynasty.”
But Instagram introduced a new logo this week, shocking its users with a simple, Apple-esque camera logo superimposed on a swirly, impressionist sunset color scheme. Many are unhappy; there’s even a hack to get the old logo back. Gone was the physicality of the retro camera and its promise of charmingly dated filters. Here was, well, a ’90s T-shirt. And what does a ’90s T-shirt portend in an app other than awkward dancing and the unflattering application of floral bodysuits.
A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on May 11, 2016 at 6:51am PDT
Forthwith, the four ’90s T-shirts you owned that are cuter than the new Instagram logo:
Use your index finger to flirtatiously draw a rudimentary camera shape on the chest of your high-school boyfriend’s Hypercolor T-shirt. Voila. You’ll never be able to unsee that.
Airbrushed Myrtle Beach Sunset
Spring Break, ’94! Tell me that’s not the exact color scheme of the new logo, straight off a roadside stand at The Strand. The blending, the vibrance! Frankly, I’m surprised anything other than an airbrush in the hands of a talented transient art-school drop-out can mimic nature to this degree.
I refer of course to the seminal ’90s TV show and the alter-ego of everyone’s favorite juvenile delinquent, Bart Simpson. The yellow-orange of the Instagram logo is immediately evocative of the Simpson pallor, while the purple and red round out Bartman’s attire. Bartman brings to mind the awkward dance craze and squeaky-voiced rap of the same name—with collaboration from Michael Jackson!— whose popularity proved the…