Tech company Oculus makes standalone headsets that don’t require a computer to use. The built-in software is enough to run games directly on the VR display. The author of the original development is Palmer Luckey. Together with a group of businessmen, he founded the Oculus VR firm and presented the Rift helmet prototype. There was no money for the startup, but it managed to raise the required amount on the Kickstarter platform. Then the project owners did something contrary to crowdfunding’s ideology: they sold their brand to Facebook for $ 2.3 billion. So in 2014, it became part of Facebook Technologies.
Meaning and History
The manufacturer of software and hardware products released its first headset in 2012. Since then, a lot has changed: the company has evolved along with VR technology, creating advanced devices and next-generation games. Her logo has also evolved, taking a short path from the frightening eye, which many associated with the Illuminati, to a stylish black and white oval.
2012 – 2015
When Oculus was a green startup raising money for the Rift prototype, it got the eye logo. This sign symbolized virtual reality, but the blue pupil, white iris, and dark gray sclera looked unnatural and eerie. The drawing was primitive and consisted of simple geometric shapes: a circle, a ring, and an ellipse with sharp corners. However, it had no artistic value, which did not stop the company from making its logo and becoming famous worldwide.
To the right of the image was the gray Oculus inscription. This Latin word became the name of the project because it translates as “eye.” There is a double connection here: with the eye-emblem and the visual perception of VR games when using a special headset.
2015 – 2021
In 2014, the company was taken over by Facebook. The new owner decided to “mark” it as his property, and for this, he made a small rebranding. The new design presentation took place on June 11, 2015, at a press event timed to coincide with the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
However, fans could look at the transformed logo even before the briefing. It appeared on the official Oculus website, and then spread throughout the rest of the brand and eventually replaced the eye with geometric shapes.
Although it cannot be said that users saw something completely new, the designers have retained the horizontally elongated shape and geometry of the emblem. It is the same eye, but without the blue pupil and sharp corners. The lettering also remained the same, except for a slight modification of the font and the translation of the first letter “O” into lower case.
This logo collaborates with the talented graphic artists Jon Malkemus, Nicolaus Taylor, Mackey Saturday, and Cory Schmitz. By joining the Oculus team’s creative efforts, they created a bold design that is now associated with a virtual reality headset.
The current icon is an elongated “O” and looks like the front of VR glasses. By the way, the slider on the underside of the devices also simulates this symbol’s shape. In the press kit, the word “stadium” was used to designate the emblem, but it did not become common due to the lack of obvious logical connections. Although the extended “O” really resembles a stadium when viewed from a bird’s eye view.
The developers have tried to create a visual identity that would suit even future Oculus products. They needed to make a logo “for growth,” given the constant development of virtual reality technologies. So an abstract and minimalistic sign is quite justified. It has limitless potential, allows for sub-brands, and looks good in any size.
By abandoning the old design, the company solved several problems at once. First, the eye was associated with an undercover observer and reminded users of a Facebook data breach. Secondly, the new geometric symbol is similar to the head-up display and does not raise doubts about what Oculus is doing.
The only drawback of the elongated letter “O” is excessive simplicity. It doesn’t take long to draw a rectangle with rounded sides, which is why the American software maker Oracle and the German clothing label Vonrosen have the same logo.
The first logo was written in Oculus’ signature Cabin Bold. It can still be found on the company’s websites today. The closest related variants are DIN Mittel Medium and Source Sans Pro, but they are not identical. In 2015, the design team changed the shape of the letters a bit, removing the bottom bar from the “l,” expanding the horizontal strokes of the “u” and increasing the angle of the cut at the ends of the “c.” Also, they expanded the letter spacing and made all characters lowercase, which was not the case in the previous version.
The caption can be located either below or to the right of the stylized “O.” Both elements are on a blank white background and are colored black. Monochrome is another expression of Oculus’s minimalism, designed for the versatility of the logo.
2021 – present
After a small modernization by the design studio Moniker and in-house, the logo received a different configuration. The elements are now arranged in one row instead of being ungrouped in two as before. To do this, the authors reduced the size of the horizontal oval, which symbolizes the eye, and placed the letters a little further from one another.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The modern version still uses the Custom typeface, but the letter spacing in the word “Oculus” has become a little wider, adding lightness and readability.