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The Rise of the Famed TikTok Logo and the Brand It Represents

tiktok logo image

Social media is a big part of our lives today. As a mode of communication, news, business, and even entertainment, we rely on various social media platforms quite heavily. One such platforms that has gained popularity recently is based out of China, and is represented by the easily recognizable TikTok logo.

Known as Douyin in China, the TikTok app is a Chinese social media platform that is built on the concept of creating and sharing videos. It was launched in 2016 by a company named ByteDance. Soon, approximately two years later, the company merged with another Chinese platform called Musical.ly, which helped it expand to Europe and the USA.

Let’s find out how this seemingly small and simple Chinese social media platform and its representing symbol changed the way we look at social media and its impact.

tiktok primary logo

Since the inception of the app in 2016, and the release of the TikTok logo a little later, the design for the brand symbol has remained the same, for the most part. The only major differences we have seen in the past five years, is the joining of the two words of the brand’s name, from Tik and Tok to TikTok.

The app was originally name Douyin, and that is the name it was known by in China. However, for the rest of the world, the name TikTok was chosen to represent the brand. Steadily gaining new users, the app saw its first major surge in new user signups when their parent company ByteDance, bought out their primary social media competitor Musical.ly in 2017.

After getting bought out, the social media platform was integrated with TikTok, with existing users migrating to the new platform due to a similar work theme. And the essence of that brand was captured perfectly by the logo design services they hired to create the TikTok symbol.

The meaning behind its logo is quite straightforward. The primary mode of posts on TikTok, and Musical.ly too, was users dubbing over small clips of existing music. The majority of the videos posted had people doing an activity that somehow related to the song overlaid on the video.

Combined with the original Chinese name for the app as Douyin, the symbol is a combination of the letter d, and a musical note.

1.1- TikTok App Logo Font

The right logo fonts are essential when it comes to creating a great brand symbol. They serve a great visual purpose. By drawing attention to your logo with their design, it informs the viewers about your brand.  

The custom font used for the wordmark is a simple san-serif, blocky typeface that makes it easy to read it due to its distinct design. The top stroke of the letters T in the logo has a slightly slanted right side, which draws the eyes due to the variance from the otherwise straight strokes.

1.2- TikTok App Logo Color

The color combinations used by the logo is another thing that makes the design unique. The predominant colors are black, used for the design and the wordmark, over a white background. However, both the icon and the letter O in TikTok are accented by a bright light aqua and reddish-pink.

The result is an understated logo design that keeps its simple smaller sizes, yet shows its true vibrancy on larger canvases.

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2- The Evolution of the TikTok Logo Through the Years

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the TikTok logo and find out how the company modified and adapted their brand symbol through the changing design aesthetics of the consumers.

Basically, different types of logos can feature a variety of subtle changes before requiring a major redesign. As the brand manager, you need to decide what works well for your style of logo, and implement the changes according to business needs.

2.1- The Original TikTok Logo 2016 to 2017

tiktok logo original

The primary symbol for TikTok has always been the musical note in the shape of the letter d. This was the logo originally introduced in 2016, alongside the international release of the social media platform. The design features a simple light aqua, black, and reddish-pink color scheme.

The resultant design is an interesting logo that looks as if three iterations of the symbol are overlapping over each other, giving depth to the design. However, for a newly launched social media platform, it was hard to make its mark and be recognizable in a world already dominated by the major platforms, including Musical.ly.

2.2- The First Redesign of the TikTok Logo 2017 – 2018

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Logopoppin is a graphic design agency that specializes in logo designing, web development, video production and advanced branding services. We love to innovate businesses with new age technologies, allowing them to improve their visual reputation.

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tiktok logo 2017

A year later, the design for the TikTok platform’s logo was modified to boost its recognition, and allow people to associate the brand and the symbol easily. The new symbol featured the same musical note icon. However, a wordmark spelling the brand’s name was added to it.

The wordmark was written in bold, sans serif masculine fonts. The clean strokes and straight lines of the new wordmark logo made it easy to read the app’s name. However, the rounded edges of the curves and angles made the text hard to read even at the smallest sizes.

2.3- The Current TikTok Logo 2018 – Present

tiktok logo present

The latest tweak to the TikTok logo’s design was made in 2018. Considered a major change in terms of branding, the wordmark was modified. The new design featured the words Tik and Tok joined together, now spelling TikTok.

Moreover, there were other changes made as well. The font was changed for one with more angular typeface, and the letter O was accented with the aqua and red.

This version has been in use since then, and can be spotted being used by people across the globe.

3- TikTok Logo Icons

tiktok logo icons

The icons for TikTok have been seen in a variety of styles and designs. Available in simple monochromatic styles as well as a multi-shade options, they are great as social media icons for business cards and websites.

The icons themselves are direct variations of the primary TikTok logo itself. It has three color variations besides the primary black on white color scheme. They include white, blue, and pink background.

Companies today can leverage the impact and reach of TikTok to engage their consumers, as well as enhance their market reach. If we take a look at the platform’s growth in the last two or three years, more and more people are using this app, making it a great option to market to those consumers.

4- How to Create a Great Logo That has a Good Chance of Becoming and Iconic Brand Symbol?

When you want to know how to design a logo for your business, there are a couple of options you can pursue to ensure that your brand symbol has the potential to be truly iconic.

The first, and simplest option is to use an online logo maker like Canva to create your brand logo. Their online tool uses an AI-based model that helps you choose the best visual elements in order to create a truly unique brand identifier. However, as it relies on pre-drawn art for its logos, it can never be truly considered unique.

If standing out and being unique is what you desire from your logo, then your best option is to hire a professional logo designer. These design experts are skilled at taking your industry information, as well as your company design needs, in order to come up with a brand symbol that would be the perfect representation of your brand and its message.