As probably you already hear, Fotolog has returned to our lives. The one that was one of the first and more active social networks at the beginning of the year 2000, has evolved to recapture a position in our daily routines.
Backed by Telefónica under the Wayra umbrella, a new and ambitious team with an experienced track with both technical and business profile has retaken the assets of the prior company to give the platform a brand-new second life.
Thanks to our relationship with Telefónica and Wayra, we had the privilege to work with them to define the improvement of a brand with some much relevance as Fotolog carries.
A short, powerful and notable tale.
Fotolog was devised in 2002, with the purpose of being the online platform for professionals and photography lovers all over the world, through sharing their work and forming a community. The principal goal was to focus on prime quality content, as it was established the blueprint for publishing only one photo per day with a short description.
This condition affected the business model for the social network since it was possible to upgrade the model and publish with no restrictions.
Throughout Fotolog, influential artists careers (unknown at that time) were launched, friendships were established and relationships that remain today started.
As typical, things usually don’t happen as we might though in the beginning, so the platform grew in an exponential model with users of every kind, where the only thing that mattered was the community and the interactions.
In this community, influential artists careers (unknown at that time) were launched, friendships were established and relationships that remain today started. Plus, we can assume that it was when it emerged for the first time the influencer role.
From a platform with 5 million users in 2006, it rose to more than 20 million in 2008 (reaching 33 million in 2013). Unluckily, this user growth didn’t result in enough profits to support the maintenance of the project. This, with the problems of adjustment and with the constant mutation of the online world, wrecked the last years of the platform.
When your principal feature kills you
With the rise of Tuenti and Facebook, began the massive departure of users that didn’t have to wait till the next day (or pay) to publish more than one photo, including the ability to engage more with their community — let’s mention that Fotolog only allowed comments in publications.
There were some procedures to adapt and relaunch the project, but they were not successful…The platform has lived in the last decade in a type of coma, with a small active community that was fighting for preventing the end of their favorite social network.
In 2017, the current team has taken the project with the goal to readjust it, once and for all, to today’s context. And this is when we start working.
Our work with Fotolog
The work with Fotolog started in the beginnings of 2017. At that time it was presented to us Wayra portfolio investments that demanded brand strategy for various presentations for potential venture capitalists. We went from awkwardness to surprise when we recognize that in that selected group was Fotolog.
Fotolog? Fotolog? Fotolog? That’s correct. Throughout meetings with the new team, we set a project that placed Soluble to generate and maximize the brand value. Let’s do this.
The first action was to get all the information as possible to verify all the hypothesis and indications that we held. Clearly, this was not going to be an easy job.
We put all our efforts into building a suitable strategy to achieve the launch of a platform, we expect, to be controversial.
Luckily, the internet is full of stories and thoughts about Fotolog. The constant news about its closure, all the ups-and-downs and the path of the website, allow us to observe different reactions to the several scenarios that we could pick.
The online research, amongst inquiries with selected profiles and with hand-to-hand collaboration with the internal Fotolog staff, allowed us to validate and define the most prevalent belief associated with the return of the social network: nice to remember our past, but not good if they come out today.
It’s obvious that there is a love and hate relationship between Fotolog and its community that has determined the decisions that were taken during the time. Fotolog user profile has evolved during this years and now it’s the moment for the platform.
Everything is about context
Sounds ironic that the thing that ruined Fotolog is now the main claim to users in today’s context. We are experiencing a saturated information society, managing our time between social networks and apps that demand our time with an aggressive approach.
Fotolog returns to give users the control of their time. A photo per day suggests choosing well what to publish. What photo describes the most relevant moment of a particular day and originate the discussion with something that is relevant for the user.
Centering on the content, it magnifies the idea of a visual diary, supported by a powerful and unique calendar by the platform.
What destroyed Fotolog in the past, is now the asset for today.
A new brand
The evolution of the digital world that we are talking about also affects other major concerns of the context, as is the connection between brands and their audience. Today, brands have to offer more than some features and the intanglibe is almost more relevant than the tangible ones.
Fotolog brand in the past hadn’t quite take care of its connection with their audience. The lack of communication, the frustration between releases not announced and the ups and downs of the company, had influenced our perception of Fotolog brand.
This new life, with a new team and an ambition plan is a great opportunity to fix the errors of the past in terms of brand value. The goal is to preserve and enhance the positive things from the past and work on the forgotten points of contact.
Think of Fotolog like this sitcom character that is a little bit messy but we couldn’t stop caring.
Find the balance in what we preserve and what needs changes was our personal challenge. Elevating the brand key-elements to create a fast identification but also promote, with no problem, that this is a new chapter, with a new spirit and without the mistakes of the past.
The new brand was built from the childish and provocative essence of Fotolog. This unconcerned caring for the community is, as a part, the essence of fotolog, and there’s no justification to return to be a fluffy brand.
Think of Fotolog like this sitcom character that is a little bit messy but we couldn’t stop caring. It comes and goes, is selfish and he’s not capable of changing, but adds value to the team and everyone agrees that it has something that makes him irresistible.
A refreshed visual system
The plan and the goal to uncover the right balance between what we should keep and what we should replace was what set the redesign.
At Soluble we believe and support the idea that the brand strategy should be born within the client’s company and the item that should guide the definition of identity and the activation of the points of intersection to define the concept which will position the brand in the desired target.
The evolution of the company should clearly state the new corporate identity, without missing the bond with the logo that we already recognize.
The structure, the famous square plus the wordmark are kept. Adding the color was the solution to improve renovation, having former details with minor adjustments to meet today’s digital context.
A new icon for a new age
The new icon has the role to promote evolution, whilst the wordmark and the definition of the product represent the continuity of the brand.
The focus on quality content converts in the perfect aid for the new icon, which was built upon the famous square into a grid of 9 cells that connect to a calendar of publications and a set of photos.
Colour is the protagonist of the photo (also when it’s absent) and we use it to promote evolution and adaptation to the new digital context.
A modernized wordmark
Considering the wordmark, we chose Gilroy font, almost resembling the original logo, in which we have conducted some improvements. For a better adjustment to small sizes and screen requirements, we have increased the tracking and change the kerning.
For now Helvetica
Fotolog has always used Arial font in its web and in some other content. As a first iteration, we switch it to Helvetica to assist the internal team in having the required resources to operate since the first day.
The world is in color
White and black had played a primal role in Fotolog visual identity since the beginning, letting color to have a secondary and unsatisfactory role in the customization of some user profiles.
The purpose now is to use a strong and modernized multicolor palette, with the use of black and white as a background to support the role of the content.
The grid as a system.
The solution of the icon opens a new door and a new path, nevertheless in development, where we could have infinite possibilities to respond to different content needs. The grid has the potential to serve as a stage for boosting a recognizable visual system, flexible and consistent.
Taking the product to the next level.
We would like to have this opportunity to thank Minide, the team who was in charge of the product redesign in the mobile and web interface. The adjustments in terms of UX and UI were apparent and consistent, in profound association with the new brand standards, as we can see with the strong bond with the brand strategy.
The party begins
As with all the brand identity processes, this is just the beginning. It opens a new and wonderful chapter, where we perspective that Folotog will have a new role in our mobile experiences and hope we will use Fotolog in our daily digital routines for many years.
The ones that used Fotolog in the 00’s have grown. Now, Fotolog, too.