It was the first wedding brand of the digital age. Founded in 1996, The Knot was a wedding planner and media company all in one, providing couples with inspiration, advice, and resources to plan their big day. In that way, The Knot was well ahead of its time in seeing how content, commerce, and community could play out online. It went public in 1999, and in its marriage to public investors, started to go through the stages of life, expanding to include homewares with Nest, and pregnancy with The Bump. Befitting its expanded family, its corporate parent became XO Group in 2011. Late last year, the company was acquired in a $933 million deal by the private-equity firms Permira Funds and Spectrum Equity, and it merged with WeddingWire. The circle of life.
But while the company and its services have evolved significantly over the years, its own branding has not. With its looping light blue cursive lettering, the old logo was typographical taffeta, all swoops and swooshes, and probably something you’d never wear again after “I do.”
The brand has launched its first new logo and branding since its original one, as one might expect having a little work done now that it has a new relationship. “When we looked at our logo, it felt a bit formal,” says that CMO Dhanusha Sivajee, “so we wanted to focus on cleaning it up a bit in the curves to make it feel more informal and fun, but still holding on to the energetic signature that’s rendered throughout it.” If the original The Knot logo was Runaway Bride, the new one is more Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. reflecting how modern weddings have evolved to be more casual, with more couples looking for fun over tradition.
Also, that light blue in the old logo was turning off dudes. “We’ve also seen more men get involved in wedding planning over the years, so the light blue color of our logo felt a bit too stereotypically feminine,” Sivajee says. “We chose red, not only because it symbolizes love, but also because it’s about confidence and courage.”
Confidence and courage seem appropriate for The Knot itself, a rarity of modern, wedding-based branding that has managed to survive and thrive. Plenty of startups have tried to tap into the estimated $3 billion American wedding industry, but very few have been able to keep their vows.
Created by Abbott Miller and Pentagram, The Knot’s new branding has the same casual-but-carefully-curated feel as many a YOLO Instagram. The font seems to say, “Oh this? Just something I quickly jotted down on a napkin while mixing this Old Fashioned with bitters I made with my own cardamom seeds.”
It’s the logo equivalent of that beautiful, outdoor country farm wedding, between two people who otherwise never leave the city. What I mean by that is, it doesn’t really convey anything too distinct about weddings or The Knot’s business. It could be the logo for a macrame hobby store. Or a punk band. Which is perhaps the point.
Your wedding day is when you and your significant other get to curate your love and your looks to be better looking, cooler, richer, and more stylish than they really are. It’s like an IRL Instagram post, only you have to hold that pose for at least an entire day. This new logo is whatever you want it to be.
“Weddings have become much more personalized,” says Sivajee. “So our products have allowed people to personalize and customize their wedding to make it uniquely about them. It’s encouraging people to make their own traditions and do weddings their own way.”
As branding goes, it’s a Wagner “Bridal Chorus” cover by Mumford and Sons.