illustration of a crown
09 October 2023

Patreon's new logo design is good actually

From my post in r/logodesign

Patreon logo

Patreon is the latest brand to get dragged by the internet for its new logo design. At the risk of catching a few strays, I'm here to defend it, just a bit, especially in the context of this sub.

Is the logo marking basically just a blob? Yes. Is the accompanying philosophy maybe a little pretentious and wacky? For sure. It reminds me of Pepsi's logo rebrand doc

But the Patreon logo is fundamentally a good design, in my opinion (which I try my best to form using guidance from great logo designers). Here's why:

It's identifiable, scalable, and highly adaptable.

Identifiable: The marking is as simple and solid as possible without feeling ambiguous. We might see a kidney bean now, but that will pass. Over the years, the marking will be unmistakably "Patreon." Same with the custom(?) lettermark. It complements the marking but is distinct enough to stand on its own.

I see so many designs here that first aim to be clever, adding unnecessary ornamentation at the expense of recall ability.

Scaleable: When I think of scaleability, I think of the Twitter logo. You can tell that the designers worked hardon keeping its shape when small. Patreon's marking, lettermark, and combination mark are identifiable at any size. The marking will even look good as a favicon (32x32). How many logos can claim that?

Adaptable: Patreon's brand guide covers multiple use cases for its logo. All work well. Adaptability is primarily dependent on the first two points above. For example, the ability to use the logo as a marking, icon, lettermark, and combo mark without losing its identity means it'll adapt to any medium, from an app icon to a billboard.

The logo also looks good monochromatic. I don't know what they're doing with the animated blob thing, but it doesn't lose any detail as a solid color. That's important for formats that restrict the use of color, or when the logo isn't the focal point of the marketing message.

Conclusion #

Patreon's logo is just very different from the geometric outline shapes we're used to. It's solid and organic. It's anti-brutalist and anti-Scandinavian (design style, not the people.) Maybe it's the start of a whole new design era. Who knows. Organic shapes and ornamentation are already popping up on website designs.

None of this is to say that personal taste doesn't account for anything. A logo can be fundamentally "correct" and still look ugly. Maybe that's the case with Patreon. But personally, if I'm aiming for anything in a design, it's the three things mentioned above. These are targets too important to miss.


label name
Plot freelance
Type note
Assumed audience freelancers