Codecademy is the premier online platform for free coding lessons. Since launching in 2011, over 24 million users have submitted billions of lines of annotated computer code to help teach the next generation of programmers.

Today, Codecademy partners with everyone from YouTube and Twitter to NYU and the White House in support of the company's mission to bring computer language into education.

Codecademy has grown into a respected institution, but the company's branding hasn't kept pace.

When the company launched, more casual, script-like wordmarks were all the rage. Google's Lobster font was selected and, initially, it was successful in making Codecademy seem like a computer camp you might send your kids to. But it hasn't aged well.

Lobster is the new Comic Sans in the eyes of many designers, and so Codecademy's wordmark made the company look like it was made up of yokels who didn't know much about design.

Pentagram partner Eddie Opara's first move was to kill Lobster and replace it with a modified version of DIN Next (cheekily christened "CoDIN")

In this new wordmark, a bounding field box surrounds the word "code" and a blinking cursor underneath the "c."

Now based on the graphical cues of coding itself, the complete wordmark has another advantage: Adaptability. Codecademy covers a wide array of different programming languages such as CSS, PHP, HTML, Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.

Now based on the graphical cues of coding itself, the complete wordmark has another advantage: Adaptability. Codecademy covers a wide array of different programming languages such as CSS, PHP, HTML, Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.

It's a vast improvement. Thanks to Pentagram, Codecademy has an identity to match its progressive pedagogical platform, one where learning code becomes a cornerstone in any education.

Co.Design

Codecademy Grows Up With New Pentagram-Designed Brand ID

The Internet's premier platform for free education in computer programming had an outdated wordmark. Pentagram's Eddie Opara came to the rescue with a new visual identity.

Codecademy is the premier online platform for free coding lessons. Since launching in 2011, over 24 million users have submitted billions of lines of annotated computer code to help teach the next generation of programmers. Today, Codecademy partners with everyone from YouTube and Twitter to NYU and the White House in support of the company's mission to bring computer language into education.

Old logo (top), updated logo (bottom)

Codecademy has grown into a respected institution, but the company's branding hasn't kept pace. When the company launched, more casual, script-like wordmarks were all the rage. Google's Lobster font was selected and, initially, it was successful in making Codecademy seem like a computer camp you might send your kids to. But it hasn't aged well. Lobster is the new Comic Sans in the eyes of many designers, and so Codecademy's wordmark made the company look like it was made up of yokels who didn't know much about design.

The company turned to Eddie Opara at Pentagram for a new identity. Opara's first move was to kill Lobster and replace it with a modified version of DIN Next (cheekily christened "CoDIN"). In this new wordmark, a bounding field box surrounds the word "code" and a blinking cursor sits underneath the "c."

Now based on the graphical cues of coding itself, the complete wordmark has another advantage: Adaptability. Codecademy covers a wide array of different programming languages such as CSS, PHP, HTML, Python, JavaScript, and Ruby. Each of these computer languages will now be contextually reflected in the company's wordmark by sweeping the word "code" away from the field box and replacing it with the language's name (or an icon representing it). This also helps guide users through the Codecademy site. If a user is learning HTML, for example, the wordmark at the top left corner of the site will read "HTMLcademy."

It's a vast improvement. Thanks to Pentagram, Codecademy has an identity to match its progressive pedagogical platform, one where learning code becomes a cornerstone in any education.

You can read more about Pentagram's process of re-branding Codecademy here.

[Images: Courtesy of Pentagram]

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2 Comments

  • Definitely an upgrade. The script typeface used for the logotype had some readability issues, not to mention visual congruency with what CodeCademy is all about. Is it just me or is DIN Next the go-to type family for Pentagram? Paula Scher used it for both the NYC Ballet and the NY Philharmonic, amongst various other projects. I love DIN Next as much as the next designer, but let's try some other type families out there.

  • John, I enjoyed your article very much. In comparing/contrasting the two logos or 'wordmarks' as you call them, it is abundantly clear how desperately codecademy needed a new look. I love what Pentagram did. It's no coincidence they are considered one of, if not, the premier graphic design firm in the world. Please keep writing your great stuff. Since I am a BC and AD graphic designer, this is one of my favorite topics. www.artandbytes.com *before computers and advent of digital http://www.examiner.com/graphic-design-in-new-york/alison-gilbert