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Axios visuals

Gradients, or rainbow designs, are the hottest new trend to hit tech and media.

The big picture: According to design experts, the trend seems to be a rebuke to the simplistic design trend that captured the early 2000's, when web logo simplicity was more functional.

Driving the news: Facebook unveiled its new logo Monday, showing off a gradient of rainbow colors in the text.

  • HuffPost also unveiled an updated design with gradient colors on Monday.
  • HBO Max has gradients in its new logo, revealed last week.
  • Twitch added gradients to its redesigned logo in September.
  • Apple may be revisiting its famous 1977 gradient logo, reports have suggested. That era for Apple was a stark difference from the Steve Jobs era that continuing through until today has embraced monochromatic, minimalist design.

Flashback: The trend seems to have kicked off in 2016, when Instagram famously unveiled its updated gradient camera logo.

  • At the time of Instagram's rebrand, acclaimed Michael Bierut said on his design podcast that the gradient may create a sense of nostalgia — a throw-back to the early days of the internet when tools like Microsoft Paint empowered users to use very harsh design tools, like gradation filters.

The big picture: According to design experts, the trend seems to be a rebuke to the simplistic design trend that captured the early 2000's, when web logo simplicity was more functional.

  • "I believe that some brands moved to flat designs this century to improve their digital presences," says Ashleigh Axios, former Obama White House creative director. "Today, however, technology has improved enough that even more complex color gradients can be made with code and load in our products without such extreme implications."
  • "I think in the case of giant brands, the thinking may be that the only thing more powerful than owning a single color — like IBM's blue, or Coke's red — is to own the entire spectrum. In the digital age, a million colors cost the same as one, so why not?" Bierut emails.

The bottom line: "More recent introduction of saturated, multi-colored gradients is likely a reaction to the feedback about boring logo treatments," says Ashleigh Axios.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

🚨: Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron; Photos

👻: How the no-spectator Olympics could affect the athletes

🇺🇸: "What an honor it is to watch you soar," first lady tells U.S. Olympians

🌏: Meet the underdogs from Latin America

🥇: The six new sports at Tokyo 2020

💉 About 100 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated

✍️ Axios at the Olympics: What it's like inside the opening ceremony

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Senate Democrats demand answers on FBI's Kavanaugh probe

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Democrats are demanding that the FBI hand over "all records and communications" related to the FBI tip line set up to investigate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a nominee in 2018.

Why it matters: The ask comes after the FBI revealed it received more than 4,500 tips about Kavanaugh when he was awaiting Senate confirmation amid sexual assault allegations. Only the most "relevant" of these tips were forwarded to the Trump White House.

Chip relief on the horizon

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Good news: The worst of the chip supply crunch might be near.

The other side: Here's the bad news... CEOs say chips totally flowing like normal is still a ways out.

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