Buzzfeed UK has revealed a new logo and bespoke typeface, designed by art director Tim Lane using the “trending arrow” as its point of inspiration. In June 2017, Tim spoke to It’s Nice That in-depth about the lengthy redesign process of the UK site, aiming to “raise the design standards of Buzzfeed and give the UK its own visual style”. Unveiled today on It’s Nice That ahead of its roll-out on 1 June 2018, this new logo and bespoke typeface design is “the next big step in cementing the redesign,” he says, catching up with us almost a year on.
In tune with his creative direction for the site, the Buzzfeed UK logo is “irreverent, bold and considered” in style, with UK written in the typeface Buzz UK, which Tim developed based on Buzzfeed’s arrow icon. “I took elements from the iconic BuzzFeed trending arrow to create a font,” Tim explains, "for example, the angles and the weight of each letterform are drawn from the arrow. It’s a nod to the overarching logo of Buzzfeed, while still specific for us.
“I imagined that the arrow was a character in a typeface, and built it from there. I started with ‘a’, ‘g’ and ‘w’ to get a sense of how it would work… by the time I got to ‘u’ and ‘k’ it was quite fluid and came easily.”
While at the moment the typeface is just being used for the UK logo, it will begin to be rolled out in headers for articles across the site. “It’s not the only font we’ll use – though we have narrowed our font use down to two or three – but for the right articles, we’ll drop it in.”
The logo has been designed to work across eight platforms, from the core site to social media, so Tim’s design had to be adaptable to all sorts of format, including a circle, square, wide banner and video. All Buzzfeed’s design work is mobile-first as analysis found 75% of users browsed content on mobile. “Whenever we think about anything visual, illustration, photography, and so on, we have to consider mobile first.” During the process, Tim says the team considered paring back the logo to become “BF UK” but it felt “too far from the main brand, so we tapered it back.”
It also stays true to the core brand using “Buzzfeed red” as its main colour. At its heart, the logo – as with all the in-house creative team’s output – has been designed to encompass both sides of Buzzfeed’s identity: the fun quizzes it first became famous for, and the serious, hard-hitting and award-winning investigative news.
“I feel this design is more reflective of the UK’s visual output. It gives us our own identity and aesthetically separates us from the rest of the world. It’s still ‘Buzzfeedy’ but with a UK twist. It’s well overdue that we take ownership.”