Founded in 2005, the social media platform Reddit is no longer the quirky little upstart some of us might recall. You know, the one mostly filled with memes, cute pictures of animals, and nudes.
As Reddit charts its new course, the platform has changed to reflect its position in the seemingly infinite domain of all things Internet. These updates included the controversial decision to start charging third-party apps for access to its platform, which led to a user revolt. Now, Reddit is finishing the year with a refresh of its brand identity led by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. Since 2005, Reddit has accumulated a lot of one-off brand assets with a lack of overall cohesion.
The Pentagram and Reddit team identified four core traits to focus on in the brand update, “inherently eclectic, positively different, delightfully absurd, and genuinely candid.”
Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Reddit has a unique brand asset in its alien mascot, Snoo. Pentagram approached and defined the Snoo’s role, positioning it as a brand anchor that evolves over time—think Nintendo’s Mario. Visually, Snoo gets rendered in 3D form, a departure from its current 2D build. Pentagram also introduced emoji-like Snoos. Inspired by Pixar, Snoo’s added depth allows for more expression and doesn’t lose the playful charm of Reddit’s mascot.
Unlike other social media platforms, the comments are where one finds the meaty content and insights on Reddit. Pentagram uses a comment bubble as another anchor to the brand refresh, functioning as a visual frame that works with images and text—and, yes, you’ll find those comment bubbles even in the Ds of the new wordmark. Finally, Pentagram added motion to the bubbles, adding a dynamic component to the new brand asset.
Other updates included a refined palette that reduces the total number of colors from 100 to 15, 5 hues with three supporting shades. The brand’s signature OrangeRed remains, retaining some of the brand’s heritage. Additionally, Pentagram also created a proprietary typeface, Reddit Display, because what’s a major website refresh without a proprietary typeface? Building on the new focus on comments and conversations, Reddit Display adds comment bubble shapes to the lowercase letters.
Reddit’s brand redesign also arrives as the company eyes going public in the first quarter of 2024, with a possible valuation of $15 billion.