Created simply as a doodle by a bored college student, Snoo — the name of Reddit’s logo — has become one of the most popular aliens of all time.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was in his senior year at the University of Virginia when he penciled down the most popular alien since E.T., as Reddit receives an estimated 7.6 billion page views per month, according to AdWeek.
The face of “the front page of the internet” looks like a piece of clipart taken from the late 90s, but millions of Redditors proudly embrace their mascot. Reddit’s Director of Outreach Ashley Dawkins said:
“[Snoo] is a trademark, a mascot and an important part of the Reddit family.”
Snoo is slang or shorthand for “what’s new?”. The iconic antenna establishes Snoo as a space and time traveler, the lack of gender illustrates that the sex of the alien is not particularly important, and the red eyes are probably the only consistent staple for the mascot, as the hue is always #114500. Ohanian wrote on Reddit:
“I doodled it while bored in marketing class. Not sure why it’s an alien. I just kind of like the idea of having a time-traveling alien mascot.”
Although the alien is rarely the same, the logo is perfect for the Reddit platform as the community is built of people who resist traditional marketing.
Redditor Matt Bull noted that the the alien is fitting. He said:
“Reddit’s livelihood depends on a kind of nonaesthetic captured perfectly by Snoo, who looks like a never-used piece of ’90s clip art. As a piece of design, Snoo seems like an afterthought, a space filler. But as a piece of brand identity, he’s perfect.”