The Facebook Logo and the History Behind the Company

Take a look at the Facebook Logo and the History Behind the Company

From a local website started in a college student’s dorm room to a social media giant with 2.19 billion active users and significant influence on the global stage, the history of Facebook is one of the most interesting stories that any company is able to boast. In this article, we’ll detail Facebook’s illustrious history as well as look at the company’s famous logo and the role that it has played in making Facebook the undisputed king of social media.

Origins of Facebook

In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg was in his second year of college at Harvard University. While intoxicated – a fact Zuckerberg admitted to in one of his early blog posts at the time – he quickly created a website called “FaceMash” where students at Harvard could see two pictures of fellow students side by side and vote on which one was more attractive. The website was quickly taken down by the university and Zuckerberg narrowly avoided expulsion. Nevertheless, the foundation for Facebook had been laid.

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg decided to create an online directory of Harvard students he called “TheFacebook”. Six days after the site was launched, Zuckerberg ran into more controversy when he was accused by three fellow students of pretending he would help them build a site called HarvardConnection.com and instead using their ideas to build a competing website. The student’s contacted Crimson – the university newspaper – and an investigation ensued. In spite of the controversy, though, TheFacebook was big success on the Harvard University campus, and within the first month, half of all the undergraduate students at Harvard had accounts on the website.

Though membership on TheFacebook was initially limited to Harvard students, Mark Zuckerberg soon opened up the site to students of Yale, Stanford, and Columbia. Shortly thereafter, membership was opened up to all ivy league schools, then to most universities in Canada and the United States, and eventually to the public worldwide.

Later in 2004, Facebook was incorporated and Sean Parker – one of Mark Zuckerberg’s informal advisors throughout the process of building the website – was named the president of the company. In 2005, the “The” was dropped from the website’s name, and the company purchased the domain facebook.com for $200,000.

Facebook remained a private company until 2012 when the company held its initial public offering. Since its IPO, the company’s stock has performed exceptionally well as Facebook continues to bring on more active users and increase profits through advertising. Currently, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are facing controversy yet again – this time surrounding Facebook’s use of private user data – and in 2017 Zuckerberg was called to testify before Congress regarding Facebook’s use of data, censorship on the website, and the way the company may have influenced the 2016 Presidential election.

Nevertheless, Facebook continues to excel as a highly profitable company. What role, though, has Facebook’s logo played in the company’s tremendous success, and what is the history behind it?

History of the Facebook Logo

Once Facebook began to grow from a university networking site to a worldwide success, Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker hired Mike Buzzard of Cuban Council to design a logo for the company.

The logo that Buzzard designed is almost identical to the logo that Facebook uses to this day, as the company has made only minor changes to their original logo over the years. In an interview, Buzzard explains some of the design decisions of the logo, saying, “It was a modification of the typeface Klavika, which was designed by Eric Olson. Type and graphic designer, Joe Kral, who was a good friend that was working closely with Cuban Council at the time, completed the type modifications and final word mark, whilst I oversaw the project.”

Interestingly, the blue color scheme of the logo was chosen due to a vision condition that Mark Zuckerberg suffers from called deuteranopia. Deuteranopia is form of color blindness that makes it difficult for someone to distinguish between colors. However, the one color that someone who suffers from deuteranopia is able to easily distinguish is blue.

In the time since Buzzard completed his original design for the Facebook logo, only minor changes have been made, most of which you probably wouldn’t even notice if you weren’t looking for them. Facebook has stuck by the simplicity and recognizability of their logo, opting to keep it as a stable aspect of the company in spite of the fact that website itself has changed dramatically over the years.

Design Elements of the Facebook Logo

The Facebook logo features a relatively simple and straightforward design, with white lowercase font on a blue background. As already mentioned, the blue and white color scheme was a purposeful choice based on Mark Zuckerberg’s vision condition. However, there’s also some significance to the color scheme itself as blue and white have long been used in combination to represent purity and optimism.

As is often the case when using lowercase font, the lowercase font of the Facebook logo is likely meant to represent that Facebook is a casual and laid-back company. People go to Facebook largely for entertainment and for casual connections with friends and family all over the world, and the company is able to convey part of that message about what the atmosphere on the website is like through the lower-cased font of their logo.

Beyond the color scheme and the font choice, there are few other design elements to the Facebook logo, and the company has only changed minor details such as sizes and shadings in the years since the logo was first designed. When it comes to their logo, Facebook sees simplicity as being key and has been hesitant to alter what has thus far been a winning design.

Popularity of the Facebook Logo

There’s something to be said for the popularity of a logo that is seen by 2.19 billion people worldwide at least once a month and for most people at least once a day. Nevertheless, the Facebook logo is something that few Facebook users ever consider when logging onto the site.

Unlike many companies, Facebook does not struggle in the least at creating awareness for their brand. As such, the Facebook logo is less of a marketing tool for Facebook and more of a symbol for the company that Facebook has kept unchanged since the beginning.

The fact that Facebook has chosen to keep the simple design of their logo unchanged may be a reflection of the logo’s effectiveness, but it’s more so a reflection of the company’s attitude toward their logo. Facebook doesn’t need a flashy logo that changes regularly to drive users to their site. What they need is a logo that is simple and unchanging – one that Facebook users all over the world will recognize and associate with everything the company has come to represent.

In that regard, the Facebook logo performs exactly as it should, playing a prominent role in the website’s design but not being used extensively as a marketing tool. While it is fair to say that Facebook may not rely on their logo in the same way that many companies do, the Facebook logo still plays a prominent role in the brand’s image and has been there throughout the incredible history of the company.