Reddit Logo And the History of the Business

This is a look at the Reddit Logo and some history behind the business.

To try a monochromatic color scheme or show sincere solidarity to the “Black Lives Matter” campaign in the United States, Reddit Logo went neutral without its orange color. The current Reddit trademark is a genderless mascot nicknamed Snoo with the brand’s name boldly beside it in lowercase letters.  

The mascot, which most people identified as an alien, has a white oval head, ears, antenna, and orange eyes and mouth. Its black lowercase wordmark also has an orange color on its letter—i.  The Reddit logo, drafted from a boring marketing class in a notebook, witnessed about 1.5 billion visitors in September 2020, making it one of the most celebrated social brand ambassadors on earth. 

With about 2.2 million subreddits worldwide (Reddit Metrics, 2020), Reddit is the fifth most visited social networking mobile app in the United States (Reddit, 2020) and the seventh globally. It’s now one of the preferred traffic powerhouses for entrepreneurs. 

Its brand ambassador, the celebrated alien, called Snoo, is used on all company’s products and the above the line marketing collaterals—internet, television, radio, and billboards. It’s also featured on the company’s promotional merchandise. 

The Reddit Logo Evolution

The mascot is an adorable alien named Snoo instead of S’new (meaning something new) and registered under the alias kn0thing. In 2005, Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, had a moment of inspiration in a boring marketing class at the University of Virginia to doodle the alien image that has become one of the most popular social networking trademarks. 

At home and using an old jail-broken PlayStation Portable 5.0 Console, he transferred the sketch from his notebook into a digital format.  Later, a graphic artist added a professional touch to the mascot, and it becomes the official Reddit Logo. 

The First Official Reddit Mascot—2005 to 2017

Reddit’s mascot comprises two major elements—a complete alien and lower case wordmark of its name. The famous mascot has an antenna, an oval head, semi-circle ears, and circle eyes: It also has a mouth, semi-oval torso, arms, and legs. 

The antenna identity it has an alien from a different space. The mascot is neither a male nor a female, and it’s all white with a black outline and orange eyes. This original mascot served the company for nearly twelve years. 

The Second Official Reddit Mascot—2017 to Present

An update took effect in 2017 to give the mascot a modest appearance. The designer eliminated all the parts, leaving only the head. Still featured in white with an orange mouth and eyes, the mascot lies in an orange circle frame. Somehow, the wordmark reduced in size, and the circle above the ‘i’ took on an orange color instead of white in the previous logo. 

Why the Reddit Logo Works

For nearly fifteen years, the Reddit mascot has undergone just a slight update once since its appearance in 2005. This consistency in appearance across all marketing mediums has impacted positively on its revenue. 

Its minimalist outlook, pleasant and all–smiling mascot has contributed to the astronomical increase in its daily visits, active users, and the growing trends in its communities. 

To make users feel the Reddit experience, the owners allow Redditors (users) to customize the mascot’s appearance. But there are restrictions which include: the head must remain white, and the eyes must also remain orange. 

It’s a perfect strategy to let Redditors develop an intimate relationship with the brand while maintaining its core features to convey its brand philosophy. 

Reddit Logo Design Elements

Though shared a close resemblance to the original, the current Reddit logo has some of its graphic elements discarded. That includes the torso, arms, legs, and the black outline. With these elements out, the current design is still eye-catching, recognizable, and enjoying a minimalist attitude.

Reddit Logo Shape And Symbols

  1. The Reddit Antenna:

The Reddit logo, at a glance, looks like an abstract human being whose gender is obscure. However, the long antenna on its head emphasizes that the mascot has the extraterrestrial traits to travel within time. With this, most people agreed that Snoo is an alien. 

  1. The Circle:

The geometrical shape, the circle, in its various styles, forms the largest part of the Reddit logo—the head, eyes, ears, the tip of the antenna, the torso, and even the orange background. The circle represents infinite and movement, a perfect fit for a social networking brand that starts the communication between people and communities. 

  1. The Line:

The short line, which represents the mascot’s mouth, is significant for giving life to the Reddit logo. The mascot has a smiling appearance because of this single line, and it conveys friendliness and willingness to associate with others. 

Reddit Logo Colors

Colors give artistic beauty and meanings to brands. And Reddit has done pretty well to pick colors that are resonating well with its brand persona. Since its inception in 2005, Reddit has maintained its traditional hues of the orange, white, and black color scheme. 

  1. The Orange Color:

The original Reddit logo has the eyes being orange. But after about twelve years, it refreshes its logo, and the color orange became more prominent. It now represents the eyes, the mouth, the background, and the tiny circle above the ‘i’ in its wordmark. 

As a social media site that allows people to find reliable information, the color is the right choice. It conveys warmth, joy, enthusiasm, creativity, and success. People also associate it with fun, freedom, health, and expression. 

  1. The Black Color:

The original logo has black color in both the mascot and the wordmark. But with the current logo, the black is only seen in the wordmark. The black outline in the first logo gives a beautiful aesthetic contrast to the white background, allowing the mascot to appear more visible.

In the simplest sense, the color black is the absence of light. Using black as one of its traditional logo colors, Reddit communicates to its target audience that it’s a powerful, elegant, and authoritative brand in the social networking business. 

  1. The White Color

Reddit’s logo’s third color is white—a neutral bright snow and heaven color.  Often, professionals use it to convey simplicity and purity. The face of its mascot is white on an orange background. As a cheerful color, Reddit is expressing cleanliness, humility, and safety by incorporating white in its trademark. People will also associate Reddit with goodness, sincerity, and clarity to use the color white. 

The Reddit Typography:

Brand personality is crucial for recognition, memorability, readability, and scalability. And the font choice of Reddit meets all the values of an effective logo. The official Reddit font is bold, with rounded corners to emphasize unity and community.

Though the official wordmark is all lowercase, it took some careful thought and changes to get it right. The draft created by Alexis Ohanian in 2005 has nearly five different versions. In uppercase letters, the five alien mascots featured in various positions: three in the middle and two on the sides. 

Finally, Mr. Alexis settled on the lowercase wordmark with the mascot on the left. With all these graphic elements combined, the Reddit mascot logo is recognizable, readable, memorable, versatile, and timeless.  

Who Started Reddit?

Reddit is an American social news networking site based in San Francisco, California. Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian founded it in June 2005: These founders were roommates at the University of Virginia, United States of America. 

Within the same year, the founders raised $100,000 from Y Combinator in seed funding. In the latter part of the year, the founders brought in Aaron Swartz by emerging with his company Infogami, giving him an equal status as an owner. 

In October 2006, the initial founders, Huffman and Alexis, sold Reddit to Conde’ Nast Publication for about $20 million. A month later, Aaron Swartz complained about the level of productivity in the company. And in January 2007, for no exact reason, the board fired him. 

While working at Reddit, Steve Huffman assumed the co-founder and chief executive officer’s title, and Alexis Ohanian maintained his position as co-founder. 

How Did Reddit Get Started?

Reddit combines social media features, a forum, and a news site to connect, create communities and interact on diverse issues—news, sports, television, animals, etc. Most people consider it the “Front page of the internet,” a term coined by Dr. Paul Graham.  

It all began in 2005 when most people less knew the internet and its seamless potential of Apps.  The two students from the University of Virginia, Huffman, and Alexis decided to develop a mobile application that would help users order food online. 

They sold the idea to Y Combinator partner Dr. Paul Graham, who they met after attending his lecture in Boston, Massachusetts. He became their mentor and invited them to apply to his startup incubator, the Y Combinator. Frankly, he told them the idea, My Mobile Menu, was awful. 

So, he suggested they build an App that mirrors a bulletin board site like Delicious. He further advised that the App should be able to pop up the most popular news across major news outlets without users navigating every morning to get them. 

The two aspiring entrepreneurs embraced the feedback from Dr. Paul Graham and put the new idea into action. Dr. Paul Graham called this the “Front page of the internet.” 

With financial support from the Y Combinator, Huffman created the algorithm that allows popular information to pop up without editors’ need to do the curating. He used Common Lisp to perform the coding, but in December 2005, he used Python. 

Just within 16 months of launching the platform, and precisely in October 2006, Conde Nast Publication bought Reddit based on its validation and high traction. The two founders worked for a while before leaving to pursue other passions in 2009. In 2015, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian returned to occupy the CEO and executive chairperson positions. 

How big is Reddit?

Reddit started as a user-curated list of links without subreddits. It also used two buttons—interesting and uninteresting. Reddit has grown organically to include actions like up and downvotes, awards, comments, comment highlighting, exclusive subreddits, personalize Snoo, etc.

Reddit is the most influential social networking site in the world. It has about 130,000 communities, nearly 30 billion monthly views, and about 430 million average monthly active users.  It ranked as the fifth most visited social website in the United States and the 17th globally. 

Today, Reddit has an annual revenue of nearly $100 million. Its users, called Redditors, can share, comment, and vote on links, texts, images, and videos. These are the primary content that encompasses any topic ranging from news, sports, pop culture, literature, films, etc. 

Reddit has both freemium and premium services. Users can join the community for free; however, those who want to use the platform without seeing the advert can choose the Reddit premium. It cost $5.99/month, and users get 700 coins every month.

The Reddit App

Reddit launched its first mobile web interface in 2010. Its function is to aid in reading and website navigation on touch screen devices. A little under four years, it released the “Ask Me Anything App.” This App lets users see active questions asked, receive notification and vote. 

Users on Reddit for many years relied on external apps to access it on mobile devices. It purchased Alien Blue in October 2014 to address this pressing need. Alien Blue became the official iOS for Reddit. 

Less than two years, Reddit abandoned Alien Blue and launched its official application, called Reddit. In April 2016, the official App featured on Google Play Store and iOS Store.   

Bringing the Curtains Down

The Reddit Logo’s genesis is the tale of remaining productive regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. It reminds everyone that humble beginnings are to be appreciated, pursued with one’s might, and explored every opportunity that comes one’s way. 

Just like its friendly mascot, the Reddit platform is accessible to anyone who wants to find a voice and a place on it. From a failed idea to a small bulletin board to one of the social networking giants in less than two decades, it tells how vital it’s to pay attention to your customers, your logo, and to have a contingency plan for potential threats.