The popular music streaming service Spotify is popular not only for its usability, but also in part for its aesthetic. The Spotify logo as we know it features a very minimalistic design that is simply just a circle with a visual representation of sound booming inside of it, and the word “Spotify” spelled out in plain letters beside it. This is set to bright green backdrop that helps the icon stand out, looking classy yet entertaining, which describes the Spotify app fairly well, from a user standpoint.
While Spotify’s logos have always looked at least decent, there has been quite the evolution since the company’s beginnings in 2006.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek says that the company’s name was born from something that he thought he heard his fellow co-founder Martin Lorentzon saying one day. They found that it suited their company perfectly, so they decided to roll with it. Little did they know that they were about to create what would become the biggest music streaming service in the world.
It wasn’t until two years later, in 2008, when Spotify first introduced a logo, designed by Christian Wilsson. The original Spotify logo was less professional than the modern one, but also a bit more fun. It featured the company’s name set to a puke green background, typed out with a real casual font, with the letter “o” bouncing up above the line. Coming out above the “o” is Spotify’s signature music or volume icon that they have stuck with the whole time.
In 2013, after Spotify had taken a sizable market share in the growing world of music streaming, they decided to conduct an overhaul to their logo and branding.
According to a 2013 Gizmodo interview with Christian Wilsson, he was again involved with the Spotify logo for the initial redesign that year. They were looking for a less quirky design, but knew they wanted to keep the wave symbol from the original logo, with slight modifications.
By the way, Wilsson says that the squiggles represent streaming:
“I was the first guy to do the logo back in 2006 and we came up with the waves then. It’s basically illustrating streaming. Or at least that’s what the thought was back then and now. It’s supposed to be streaming.”
Even with the decision to make the Spotify aesthetic more professional, they still decided to keep the puke green color when they redesigned the logo.
Overall, though, I would call the first redesign a marked improvement over the original branding. They wanted to become a household name, and this logo was much more suited to it than the playful design from their humble beginnings.
The second Spotify logo introduced a design that looks almost exactly like the design as we know it today, other than the color scheme. They changed the font from the original logo and tweaked the streaming waves to make them look more natural.
Spotify stuck with this version of the logo for two years before doing one final redesign in 2015, resulting in the Spotify logo as we know it today.
The main modification done in the 2015 redesign was the changing of that ugly green color to a different, almost equally as ugly color that at least does not warrant a comparison to vomit. The green is more of an electric green, and it pops, which I believe is what Spotify was going for.
It’s untold whether Spotify have settled on their final logo design, but I’d say they have bigger fish to fry at this point than to worry about changing their already-successful branding.