Three PayPal employees named Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim created YouTube in 2005. It allowed users from all over the world to upload video content and share it with anyone. Because of its simplicity and versatility, the YouTube brand grew quickly. The YouTube brand also features a classic logo that has gone through some changes but also stayed with its beginning roots. The YouTube Logo design is one that has emulated and influenced other logos in the industry.
The history of the YouTube logo is instructive because it proves that classic design doesn’t have to be complicated to be successful. Read on to find out more about how YouTube logo history has evolved through the years.
YouTube Logo Design Elements
Throughout its history, the YouTube logo has been divided into two distinct parts. The first is the word “You” in black letters over a white field. The second part features the word “Tube” in white letters over a red field that is in the shape of an old television screen, something that you would see from the 1950’s cabinet style tv. Using this design, the logo represents a connection between new and old technology. Just as the invention of television is a revolutionary product, YouTube is a product ushering television into the modern age.
Changes and Evolution
YouTube has preserved its original two-part logo throughout the years. Early in its history, the red “Tube” portion of the logo was lighter in the upper right-hand corner and then shaded more toward the bottom. This gave the red outline a curved appearance to the screen shape to make it looked like a curved screen of an older T.V. The logo also featured the slogan “Broadcast Yourself” at the bottom in black letters. This slogan gave a little insight on what the YouTube product was about, but also gave the logo a clunky appearance.
In 2011 the company opted to tinker with the “Tube” part of the logo. This time eliminating the curved appearance of the television screen. The light portion in the upper right-hand corner was removed for a darker appearance. Only a year later the slogan part of the logo was also dropped, giving the logo a much cleaner look.
The YouTube unveiled their existing logo in 2015. Again it involved a change in the “Tube” portion of the logo in which they eliminated all of the shadings that gave the screen portion a curved appearance. This new look preserves the shape of a T.V. screen around the word “You” yet gives it an even cleaner look.
In the period between 2005 and 2011, the YouTube logo underwent subtle color changes. The “You” portion of the logo got darker with a slightly deeper shade of black in 2013. The “Tube” part was also suffered changes to make the red background lighter. Additionally, any subtle lines that outlined the word “Tube” were eliminated, giving the red portion a flatter appearance than any of the other previous logos.
YouTube has maintained the same classic font in all of their logos which is reminiscent of the same that you would find on the title screen of a classic T.V. show in the 1950’s. Certainly, this font helps the brand continuously convey the message that it is connecting modern technology with the past.
Its parent company, Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars, heavily influenced the YouTube logo. Google famously likes to introduce stylized versions of its logo that have to do with various anniversaries and themes throughout the year depending on the day. These are Doodles which add fresh looks and fun to the logo during celebrations. YouTube has their version of the fun drawings, too, referred to as Yoodles. Similar to other internet based companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, YouTube has also influenced logo designs. In fact, all these tech and social media companies look for simpler, cleaner and more visually appealing logos.
Like many internet companies, YouTube started out with very humble beginnings. Interestingly, YouTube’s first headquarters were located in a space above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. The company though grew exponentially in a very short period. In 2006 Google purchased YouTube which gave the company more money to expand its capacity to reach more users. Time Magazine honored the company in 2006 by naming YouTube the “Person of the Year”. A prestigious if not odd accolade presented to an internet based company.
As you can see the YouTube logo has gone through a variety of changes yet, they all have been subtle. All things considered, judging from the past the YouTube logo will continue to undergo just small changes that deviate from its initial classic design. No doubt that YouTube logo history will change as it continues to deliver mind-blowing content to its users and lead this exponentially growing industry.