Meet the new brand
In a few short months Engadget will celebrate its ten year anniversary. (Pretty mind-blowing considering back in the early days we weren't even sure if it would survive to see a second or third anniversary!) Although the site has changed and evolved enormously over the years, Engadget's identity has started to show its age.
I'm not a fan of screwing up the classics -- and let's be clear, the Engadget brand has become a classic. So when we decided to undertake a logo redesign, it was under a single premise: if we didn't feel like we were able to improve on Engadget's identity in a meaningful way, we'd scrap the whole thing and just keep what we had.
Mike Cosentino, my long-time partner in (design) crime, and I enlisted the help of one of the best identity designers I've ever had the pleasure of working with: Gino Reyes. Together the three of us set out on a multi-month journey to capture and retain the essence of what made the classic Engadget brand so great, while refining, simplifying, and evolving it.
With the new identity we focused on streamlining the entire brand, creating clean, harmonious proportions and a system of consistent geometries. Paring down many of the logo's excess shapes doesn't just make the logo dramatically simpler, it also becomes far more balanced to look at.
We also used the logo as metaphor, referencing what's at the core of Engadget's world: the personal technology devices we use today. Just about every device in the world has the same thing in common: a screen with hard edges enclosed in a body with soft, human-safe corners. This metaphor of machine and man -- hard and soft -- informs the smooth corners and the sharply sculpted negative spaces of our letters.
After hundreds of directions and revisions, I feel like we finally arrived at something that feels like a fresh start that both respects the past and hints at the future. This is what the Engadget logo would look like if we were launching the site in 2014, not 2004.
An all new look
Engadget is and always has been an arbiter of taste in the design and experience of consumer technology products. That level of taste should apply to our own products as well (like this site), and we've been hard at work over the last few months laying down a new foundation.
The latest design is the first step towards a reinvented Engadget experience. We focused on things like reserving more space for content on the home page and in articles, making it easier to read and scan; adding a ton of helpful new features and details, like the sticky nav, headline bar, and collapsed share buttons; as well as incorporating new optimizations to keep things loading faster.
Most importantly, however, is the new overall design language of Engadget. We decided to move away from the noise and clutter and get back to basics, focusing on a clean, minimal, beautiful design language on which we'll be launching tons of new features in the coming days, weeks, and months.
We know this new site isn't perfect -- nor did we expect it to be. In fact, what you're probably used to is a refreshed Engadget design once every few years, with not much in between. Well, that's changing too.
Engadget's commitment to the evolution of design and technology doesn't just end with its editorial. We have a lot of work to do, and we're on the case. We are committed to evolving the quality of our product not just once in a while, but constantly.
Engadget is almost ten years in, but it feels to me like we're just getting started. We'll never be satisfied -- and neither should you.
P.S. -Stay tuned for part two of our big fall release cycle, coming in the next few days we've got a ton of amazing new features that have been in the works for years, including: user profiles, forums, product lists, user reviews, price alerts, product comparisons, and much more!
Ryan Block is Engadget's Head of Product and Editor Emeritus.