The Icons, They Are A Changin'

Planning Center

Pop open any one of Planning Center’s web applications and you should notice a fresh, new logo in the top left corner. Why would we change it at all? Let me give a little context to help explain.

When Planning Center started over a decade ago, we had one application focused mainly on scheduling volunteers and organizing worship services. This application was known as Planning Center Online.

Planning Center Online received a ton of support from our amazing community of customers, and with this success came the opportunity to create other applications to help meet the needs of the church.

As the team here began strategizing how it might extrapolate some of the success from the original application, it became clear that a few changes were in order. First on the list was naming.

Naming is hard, just ask programmers or parents-to-be.

We changed the company name to Planning Center and we changed the name of our original application to Services. This change in name allowed us to apply the recognition of the Planning Center brand to the new applications we planned to build.

Once the company name was sorted, we needed a way to visually distinguish each new application while piggybacking on the existing, familiar design of Services. We settled on taking parts of the original clipboard logo and assimilating them into the new product icons to create a cohesive look that didn’t stray too far from the original Planning Center logo.

Planning Center app icons V1

The square clipboard design has served us well, but we’ve always seen it as a transitory step in Planning Center’s design path. We originally designed the app icons (square with rounded corners) in the shape of mobile icons because that was the standard back then.

Now mobile, desktop, and social media icons are much more varied, using squares, circles and various shapes in between. Just in the next version of Android our icons could be enveloped in one of 5 different shapes!

It’s become clear that the constraints of the rounded square needed to be reevaluated. Out with the clipboard, and in with…

Planning Center app icons V2

Squircles! This playful shape is how you’ll typically see the icons displayed, but they can easily be freed from their bulbous constraints to roam free in containers of any shape, which is essential in helping us distribute our apps on various platforms in the future.

We are excited to roll out these new icons and look forward to keeping things fresh and relevant to the great work you all do! Thank you for supporting us in making great tools to serve the church community.

~ Planning Center Design Team