If you’ve visited the Huffington Post (either HuffingtonPost.com or HuffPost.com) since April 25, you will most likely have noticed something different (or a lot of different things). From the name – now just “HuffPost” to the masthead to the logomark to the layout of the site … everything is different.
And it doesn’t feel right to me.
I get it. Companies like to rebrand and reinvent themselves when launching in a new direction or adjusting their mission or vision. This is the company’s first brand redesign and the first complete redesign of their website. What I don’t get it is the direction that they decided to go in.
The Huffington Post had such a classic look and feel. Since the site had never been redesigned, it was familiar and readers knew where to go. While I’m not saying everything every brand does should stay the same forever, I am a fan of the mentality “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
To be blunt – the new site looks like a tabloid site. It looks like I’m reading a digital version of the New York Post Page Six or the Enquirer … the big, bold, in-your-face headlines and cramped, seemingly disorganized articles are a turnoff. The clean, classy look of the news site I remember from just a few days ago has been traded for content and layout reminiscent of the Enquirer and headlines like “Elvis Presley Fathers Alien Baby.”
Why, Huffington Post, Why?
I will give them this … I’m digging the logomark … the square with the forward slash is great. It illustrates the Huffington Post’s place as the first all-digital news outlet. But again, why get rid of something so iconic that was obviously working?
Although, even though I like the simplicity of the design, the Twitterverse has been lit up with roasts of the new logo. My favorite, because it’s not so crude or demeaning to designers (it can take a while to get to something as simple as this – it’s all about communicating a mission/vision through imagery) is this one:
New HuffPost logo looks like Vermont and New Hampshire pic.twitter.com/Hw5xmOCVVD
— Andrew Mitchell (@snapchatandrew) April 25, 2017
While Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen said the name change to “HuffPost” was a result of wanting to align with what their audience already called them (implying instead of readers calling it “the Huffington Post” they call it “HuffPost”). This is certainly not the case … if you’re going to use that line of defense for a rebrand like this, you might want to rebrand to what your audience actually calls you … HuffPo. (Or if you’re like me, I call it by its full name – giving it the respect it deserves.)
This rebrand downgrades the Huffington Post from a somewhat reputable news organization to someone in their late-twenties so desperately wanting to look, feel and be 21 again that they try way too hard to fit in with people that age (see “Friends” clip – Joey thinks he can be 19 … this is what HuffPost looks like to me). When, in reality, no one expects that 21-year-old to not evolve and grow and become more refined as they age. It’s like the Huffington Post regressed back into a startup that’s trying too hard to standout among the crowd.