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What’s Behind the TikTok logo?

Over the past seven years, TikTok has become one of the most popular apps among younger generations around the world with more than 1.051 billion users by 2023. The app's logo is an essential part of its brand identity and has contributed to TikTok's success. But what makes the logo so meaningful and recognizable? Below, we'll give you more details about the history of the TikTok logo and discuss why a logo is so important to a brand's identity.

logo tiktok
logo tiktok

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok’s logo design is inspired by the electrifying atmosphere of a concert stage.
  • The TikTok logo features a 2D musical note with an electronic wave effect that stands out against the black background like the flashing lights of a concert.
  • A meaningful brand strategy and logo are critical for companies, as they create recognition and differentiation, emotional connection, consistency, competitive advantage, and long-term value.

History and development of the iconic TikTok logo

Before this short video platform with background music became known and popularized internationally as TikTok, the Chinese company ByteDance launched the video app with the original name “”, which was renamed Douyin (抖音) just three months later. By 2017, the Douyin app was already available outside China under the name TikTok. That same year, ByteDance acquired “” from Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang, a similar short video app based in Shanghai with a U.S. branch in Santa Monica, California, and was thus able to expand TikTok’s reach to the United States.

Back in 2016, the now-familiar logo was created by an unknown designer and has remained unchanged since its launch and expansion, except for minor aesthetic tweaks. Since time immemorial, the TikTok insignia has been black on a white background, or white on a black background, with cyan and fuchsia color accents to create the illusion of movement. The author of the logo must have been passionate about rock concerts, so it is assumed that he was inspired by the electrifying atmosphere of a concert stage.

The font used in the lettering of the TikTok logo was originally a simple sans serif with angular corners. In 2018, the brand revamped the font and created the TikTok word mark, which is still in use today. This version of the word mark is more aesthetically connected to the glyph, with a similar cyan and fuchsia effect on the “o”.

If you want to learn more about short video platforms in China read on Kolsquare’s blog: Douyin vs TikTok: What are the differences between the two Chinese platforms?

What does TikTok's black logo symbol mean?

As mentioned above, a live concert served as the inspiration for the social network’s now iconic logo. The excitement and anticipation of a live band performance is expressed in the black background of the logo.

The 2D musical eighth note in the TikTok logo represents the platform’s focus on music and art, while the electronic ripple effect, which stands out against the black background like flashing lights at a concert, represents the technological and innovative nature of the app. Overall, the designer wanted the TikTok logo to be distinctive and consistent with the user experience in the app.

Those who have read this article carefully also know that the original name of TikTok’s word mark was “Douyin,” which translates to “trembling sound” or “trembling music.” This tremolo effect is again reflected in the logo while the musical note can also be read as a lowercase “d” to recall the app’s former (romanized) name. In 2023, the TikTok badge has undoubtedly become one of the most recognizable and iconic logos in the world of social networking.

Is it possible to download the TikTok logo image in PNG format?

There are a few websites that allow you to download the TikTok logo as PNG. Just  google “download png tiktok label,” but make sure they have transparent backgrounds. Also note that any video you create, edit, and post on the app will have the TikTok logo, which other platforms don’t really like . Instagram’s algorithm, for example, will rate TikTok videos posted as Reels lower because the app, which is owned by Meta, naturally doesn’t want to promote the competition. Read also:

Logo and brand identity: how branding triumphs

While many large companies go through extensive rebrandings after their initial success, it was clear to the designers of the TikTok logo that they did not need to make any adjustments. The logo worked well for them amidst TikTok’s audience from the start because overall the logo’s design and symbolism effectively convey the platform’s values: creativity, innovation, and entertainment. The logo has become an important part of TikTok’s brand identity and has contributed to the app’s great success and popularity among users.

A meaningful branding strategy and logo are essential for brands for several reasons:

  • Recognition and differentiation: a solid branding strategy with a well-designed logo helps companies stand out and be easily recognized in a saturated market. It allows people to identify the brand and distinguish it from the competition, which is essential to build loyalty and establish a clear position in the market.
  • Emotional connection: a brand with a strong identity and logo can create an emotional connection with your customers. It can evoke feelings of trust, reliability and familiarity, which can lead to increased loyalty and repeat business.
  • Consistency: having a clear, well-designed logo ensures that a brand’s message and visual identity are consistent across all platforms and touch points, creating a consistent and unified brand experience. This consistency contributes to brand recognition and reinforces the brand’s values and mission.
  • Competitive advantage: A solid strategy can give a brand a competitive advantage in the marketplace. It can help the brand differentiate itself from its competitors, attract new customers, and increase its market share.
  • Long-term value: A strong brand with a structured graphic symbol can create long-term value for a company. A company with a strong brand can command a premium price, attract top talent, and promote business growth.

A strong brand strategy and a meaningful logo are essential for companies, as they help them differentiate themselves from their competitors and create a unique identity in the marketplace. A brand strategy encompasses everything from the company’s name and logo to the company’s messaging, visual style, and tone of voice. It is how a company presents itself to the world and how it wants to be perceived by its audience.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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