Reddit users across the globe have come to know and love the iconic Reddit logo. The famous Reddit logo has remained constant since 2005, making it one of the most consistent and recognizable logos on the internet.
So what is the Reddit logo called? The alien character used in all versions of the Reddit logo is named Snoo. The logo background and dot over the “i” in Reddit are both Orange-red (#ff4500) while Snoo himself is typically transparent and matches the site background. The Reddit logo utilizes black lettering and the VAG Rounded font.
Although most users are familiar with the Snoo character, many do not know the unique story behind the logo. Reddit’s clever and simplistic logo design ensures that Snoo can be customized to fit all sorts of purposes. A custom Snoo can reflect subreddit interests, or relaying social statements and holiday greetings from Reddit.
Where does Snoo come from?
Snoo can be seen all over Reddit. You can find the happy alien on the homepage of Reddit, in error messages, in customized staff avatars, in user avatars, and in subreddits just to name a few places. Snoo has been Reddit’s mascot since the original design in 2005. According to Reddit legend, the first Snoo design was created by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddi,t when he doodled the smiling alien during a marketing class in college. The sketch became the basis for their logo design and an iconic internet figure.
When Reddit founders were brainstorming names for their future website, they considered calling the site “What’s New.” During this time they named their alien mascot S’New, a contraction that played off of the site name. When they decided to instead name the site Reddit, they kept their alien name, S’New though they did opt to re-spell it as Snoo. Though they experimented with different site names and fonts, Snoo was always a constant. Since that initial notebook scribble, Snoo has been front and center of the Reddit logo.
The alien’s design is simple. He is often white with orange-red eyes, black outlines, half-circle ears, a bent antenna, and a big smile. Because of the genderless and simple design of the character, it can be recreated easily and in a large variety of positions, outfits, etc. This easy to pleasant-looking and easy to customize design is part of why he has become such a staple of the site. The versatility of this design helps include everyone in the fun and ensures that any user can feel empowered to create and share their version of the alien.
In the latest update, Reddit even gave Snoo a life mission: to discover and explore humanity. Ohanian adds to the lore by claiming that Snoo is an alien from the future who has time-traveled here to observe. The little guy has become so popular that he even has several of his own subreddits where Redditors post their own doodles of the beloved mascot. His devoted subreddits include:
- r/Snoo – This subreddit has nearly three thousand and five hundred users and is devoted to all things Snoo.
- r/bizarrosnoo – This subreddit devotes itself to more out of the box fan renderings of the alien mascot. If you’ve chosen to go outside the Snoo design standards featured below – this is the place to post.
- r/snoospotting – This subreddit encourages its users to post photos and videos of Snoo found out in the world, often in the form of everyday objects that look like the familiar alien.
- /snoovatars – This is the largest Snoo specific subreddit with over eight thousand members. Users are encouraged to share their custom snoovatars (a Snoo avatar created for their other subreddit) and get feedback on the design.
Reddit’s Custom Logos
While many brands and sites tend to update their logo frequently, Reddit has been devoted to the VAG font used in the lettering, the orange-red accents, and the smiling alien for over fifteen years. Reddit is loyal to its classic logo design and only changes it up to mark special occasions. If Reddit wishes to show support for a movement or to celebrate a holiday, they’ll create a temporary logo. Some logos appear on the front page for all to see, while some are created for specific subreddits. These logos often serve to create a sense of community.
Creating these custom logos is a great way to build community engagement and showcases the versatility of the simple logo design. Instead of lengthy articles and press releases, Reddit can choose to make their opinions evident through a logo design. This design shorthand has been employed many times over the years to evoke and emotion or mark an important event. There are even subreddits devoted to cataloging and remembering the many logo updates from Reddit. When a design is uploaded to the main homepage of Reddit it can be seen by millions.
Here are a few types of custom logos that Reddit has created over the years:
- Celebrity memorial – These are created when a celebrity passes away and can often be found in that celebrities subreddit. For example, to mark the passing of David Bowie, Reddi created a custom David Bowie Snoo with full makeup and hair beside the Reddit text. Similar tributes have been created for Prince and other celebrities.
- Pop culture phenomena – To celebrate the widely love Game of Thrones tv show adaptation, Reddit updated the front page with a Snoo dressed as a popular character. This created even more buzz for the show and resulted in very active discussions about it throughout the site. If a show or movie is particularly popular, Reddit may feature one of the characters in their homepage logo to drive engagement.
- Holiday messages – Reddit often creates custom logos for the front page to wish it’s members a happy holiday. In 2015, for instance, they created a special logo for Halloween that showcased a Snoo with devil ears and tail holding a jack-o-lantern beside the Reddit text.
- Supporting a movement – Reddit likes to support social causes and movements through their logo design. They often demonstrate solidarity by making changes to the color and design of the homepage logo.
Custom Snoos for Subreddits and Individuals
Reddit has also harnessed the popularity of its logo character, Snoo, to find new ways of engaging with their users. They encourage their users to create and share their own creative versions of the logo character in multiple places across the site. There is even a subreddit (r/snoovatars) where users are encouraged to share and comment on each other’s creations.
The customizable nature of the logo and character offers subreddits and users the ability to use the Reddit logo to express themselves. This gives Redditors the chance to feel more connected to the brand logo and the character of Snoo. As it became popular to create your own Snoo, Reddit decided to put out a few non-negotiable design elements for anyone creating their own version of the beloved mascot to ensure that even fan-made Snoos stay consistent across the website:
- Snoo should always appear blank or neutral-colored
- Snoo should be genderless
- Snoo should always have the logo colored orange-red eyes (#FF4500)
- Snoo should never have fingers
- Snoo should always have ears
Many subreddits create customized Snoo logos to celebrate their own subculture interests. Individuals can also get in on this fun. In fact, Reddit also created a Snoovatar feature for users to create their own avatars featuring Snoo. You’ll need access to old Reddit to use this feature. If you are using old Reddit, you’ll find the button to create your Snoovatar under your username and karma points. Here’s how you can create your own custom Snoo for your subreddit if you are using new Reddit:
- From your homepage select the drop-down arrow beside your username
- Select “Visit Old Reddit” this will open a new window.
- On the right-hand side of the screen under your username and karma points, you’ll find “view/edit my snoovatar.”
- If you’d like for everyone to be able to see it, make sure that you select “make public”
- Firstly, you’ll have the option of keeping your Snoo the traditional white/neutral color or creating a brightly colored Snoovatar.
- Next, you’ll customize your Snoo by selecting which part of the design you’d like to edit and using the large arrows on either side of the Snoo to navigate the options. You’ll have the option to customize clothes, accessories, and props. For each element, you’ll also be able to select a color.
- Once you are happy with your Snoovatar customization, make sure that you save it. If you decide to make changes in the future, just repeat steps one through three to navigate back to the editing features.
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