modernizing an icon

Embedded into the visual consciousness of hundred of millions of people, the ShareThis icon truly is iconic, and has been seen across the web and apps for almost a decade now. Our familiar and simple three-node, “v-shaped” icon so aptly captures the very human desire to connect via sharing with one or more people. This desire is rooted deep within human beings, reflecting passions, wants, and lifestyles; providing a digital means for connection is at the core of ShareThis, and we feel our icon very accurately reflects what we’re so passionate about.

This is just one reason we chose to do a brand refresh, as opposed to an entire rebrand. Leveraging the brand-equity we have established by being the first company to allow publishers to install plug-and-play cross-channel sharing tools allows us to strengthen our brand and emphasize what we’re passionate about—connection. Refreshing the brand to exude a more modern and elegant exterior represents the latest stage in the evolution of our business, and better illustrates our mission to capture unique sharing data and power publisher success.

Having a common brand narrative, platform, and visual language that evokes the vision of connecting people though the content they love will enable our employees to speak the same ShareThis language, as well as more consistently and clearly share with others what we do and where our passion lies. Our brand pillars and differentiators can be summarized as: We are the first company to collect unique sharing data at scale from publishers in real time to help any data-driven business better understand people.

So how does all this relate to designing a new logo and look and feel for the company and its website? The process is lengthy and strategic, and involves distilling the core attributes and values of the company into words that designers use to start creating visual concepts. For ShareThis these concepts include words like innovation, connection, expertise, friendliness, intelligence, fun, and more… This resulted in a long, iterative process where many different variations on the logo icon (or glyph) were explored, as well as the font type that captures these concepts visually. In parallel we explored different visual ideas around content, graphs, sharing, connectedness, and more with graphic art and photography – often referred to as “moodboards”. We chose to use graphic art to represent the technology, but photography to represent people, pulling in the human aspect of our brand. We went for a simple, clean look and vibe for the brand since sharing is such a basic and innate human behavior. Photos of people engaged with content on a screen were used to capture the truly human aspect of what our brand enables; this further enhanced with the subjects mostly in pairs, having their focus be on the screen and not the camera, illustrating that they are focused on each other by way of ShareThis enabling that connection—thus, connecting people through the content they love.

In the end, the logo we designed ends up being friendly and fun with the brighter green, while also more refined and elegant to convey professionalism and a seriousness behind what we do and are working toward. The type face is a custom font designed specifically for ShareThis that is both sophisticated and modern while at the same time visually innovative in its simplicity and clarity. The shade progression between the words “Share” and “This”, along with the green dotted ‘i’ are meant to connect all elements of the mark into one cohesive whole while still maintaining the distinctive nature of each. The glyph itself was slightly modified to be a bit more sophisticated, clean. It highlights the nodal connections of the circles and lines to emphasize the connection graph we have integrated into our brand, while maintaining the existing mark’s brand equity. When viewed in its entirety, the logo is new, distinctive, and modern whilst not being too far afield from the previous logo. The new logo mark conveys innovativeness, intelligence, and friendliness.

The refreshed logo along with the written positioning platform is the foundation for the ShareThis brand moving forward. The new website is the first major product of our refreshed brand. In its version one launch the site’s main goal is to educate customers, partners, and potential employees about our mission and vision. The new site exhibits what our company and brand represents and is passionate about, while also providing the framework for launching new products as the year progresses. It exhibits our brand narrative in a long form parallax experience—a pretty unique and innovative way to launch a brand refresh for an established brand such as ours.

Finally, our brand represents our relentless customer focus on delivering innovative solutions with product market fit built on the very human desire to share. We look forward to hitting the ground running this year as we all work hard to make publishers successful, continue to collect very unique data to help our partners better understand their customers, and best of all, connect people through the content they love.

ShareThis. Powering a more authentic digital experience.