Instagram — Motion Identity System

Motion Interactive Visual identity

With billions of users worldwide, this pioneering social media brand needs little introduction. Aiming to celebrate and inspire its community of creators, Instagram refreshed and expanded its brand identity. With motion playing a key role in the way their product is both marketed and experienced, Instagram invited Studio Dumbar/DEPT® to collaborate on the next phase of expansion: the creation of a vibrant, all-encompassing motion system.


We were guided by the need to create a motion system with purpose; a system that highlights differentiation with clarity and efficiency. Based on the existing brand identity by 2x4 and custom typeface by Colophon we worked in close collaboration with the Instagram in-house brand design team and focussed on the potential of motion to create rhythm across everything Instagram does.


Influenced by the app’s native attributes, we created a sophisticated motion system that echoes the imperfection of both natural human movement and user-made content. A series of flexible motion techniques were developed to support storytelling and add a layer of engagement to branded elements. Some techniques mimic natural camera movement (suggesting the depth and shifting perspectives of 3D space), while others recall the action of swiping or scrolling. Defining the system’s physics (physics determine how motion is oriented in time and space) played a fundamental role in the project – informing our approach to motion; allowing us to build a cohesive, recognisable system. We expressed the creative potential of Instagram by showcasing the growing variety of tools available to users. In doing so, we ensured that content and creators always come first, whilst highlighting the limitless scope for interaction and collaboration.


Seamless and energetic, the motion system has been applied across Instagram’s core brand elements and plays an intrinsic, daily role in how the app is marketed and experienced. It continues to roll out across focussed campaigns, including our own work on campaigns, which premiered on two huge screens overlooking Penn Plaza in Manhattan. Meanwhile, extensive guidelines, templates and toolkits have been created to empower designers across the globe, so they too can bring the brand to life in a consistent, expressive way. In short, the motion system is Instagram, come to life.

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To bring the design system to life in motion, we utilize our motion techniques and apply physics to Instagrams core brand elements.

The Instagram motion system is designed to be flexible and scalable for both product development and marketing.