YouTube is a multilingual video hosting service from the USA. It appeared in 2005 on the initiative of former PayPal payment system employees: Jawed Karim, Steven Shih Chen, and Chad Meredith Hurley. Since November 2006, it belongs to the Internet giant Google.
Meaning and History
The YouTube name and logo came up with Hurley, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, author of the original PayPal icon, and graphic designer who earned a degree in visual arts. He served as executive director of YouTube but took full responsibility for the brand image. And at some point, he confronted his friends with the fact: this is the emblem of a new web service. The decision was made unanimously and was not discussed.
The artist, who painted the famous icon, admitted that his main inspiration is Walt Disney. Perhaps that is why Hurley managed to convey the meaning of the YouTube icon interestingly. After all, “Tube” is nothing more than the slang name of CRT televisions with vacuum tubes. And the big red rectangle on which this word is written represents the screen of just such a device with electron beam illumination.
However, the design of the brightest element often changed. In 2005, the emphasis was placed on the volume gradient. In 2011, a rounded rectangle became burgundy and plain, although the three-dimensional effect remained. In 2013, the color changed to red. There were no other updates in terms of visual brand identification: YouTube adhered to the classic style, which was part of its marketing strategy.
2005 – 2011
On the debut logo, there are two parts: graphics and text. It is composed of the name of the Internet service, which is divided into two fragments. The first is the black inscription “You,” made in elongated grotesque letters. The second is “Tube,” written in white and placed in a large red rectangle with a gradient transition to a dark palette.
2011 – 2013
The original version was saved, but the changes affected the color scheme. For example, the rectangle is now burgundy, and a gray nebula has appeared at the bottom of the word “Tube,” reaching the middle of the letters.
2013 – 2015
In 2013, the emblem was redesigned as a result of which the rectangular icon located on the right acquired a scarlet color with a slight gradient at the bottom. The inscription “You,” on the left, has become jet black.
2015 – 2017
After the next revision of the logo, the palette was changed again. In this version, the blackout was removed at the bottom of the rectangle, and he received a pure red color without tinting transitions.
2017 – present
In 2017, the management redesigned the logo, radically changing the image. In the current version, the phrase “YouTube” is written together with the allocation of capital letters. In front of it is a red rectangular button with a white triangle in the center – this is the designation for starting a video for viewing. The inscription’s style remained the same: the only change concerned the recess at the letter “Y,” which became more elongated.
In 2012, entrepreneurs decided that the CRT on the logo does not convey the essence of the world’s largest video hosting. Also, they were going to introduce new features and applications into their web service that were not associated with the technology of the last century. It was an evolution, and it has touched all areas of YouTube.
Christopher Bettig, the head of the art department, suggested that people do not even realize the true meaning of the word “Tube” and do not understand why it is in a rectangle. Therefore, it was decided to remove the red TV screen and shift the focus from “Tube” to the video playback icon. So the largest redesign in the history of the company took place.
However, the changes were only “cosmetic.” Owners did not dare to make a complete transformation so that YouTube did not lose its recognition. They emphasized a smooth transition from a website to a family of multi-platform applications: YouTube Kids, Music, TV, Red, and Gaming. Thanks to the universal design, the new logo was able to combine all these services.
At first, Bettig and his team experimented with a single Y icon. But then they realized that this was a losing option and decided to do it even easier: save the old inscription by adding a red play button to it, which is located in the center of each video and is closely associated with YouTube.
Also, the developers changed the headset and color scheme. They designed their font based on the styles of classic TV and the VHS era. They managed to preserve the history of the original typography and, at the same time, give it a more modern look.
Designers wanted to connect the logo with the video, so they stopped at the shade of red # FF0000, which is presented in RGB. The inverted triangle inside the button is white. As for the color of the inscription, there are two options: white (#FFFFFF) or black (# 282828). The first is used on a dark background, and the second on a light background.