Uber’s Progressive New Logo Design and the Re-Branding of the Ride Sharing Giant
If you scanned your iPhone or Android this week for your Uber App and found yourself confused about where the black and white logo was hiding (did my finger move it to another page inadvertently, maybe?), this is precisely because your eyes weren’t quite ready for the completely new, sweeping Uber re-branding, including a completely fresh logo design and progressive approach to the growing business.
Today, instead of the stark, simple black and white design scheme that evokes the feeling of “black tie, VIP-only”, you’ll find either a hexagon if you’re a rider, or a circle if you’re a driver – surrounding a small, bit-like square called an “atom” that changes in color depending on what country you’re from – red for China, turquoise for India, dark teal for the US, and so on. When you launch the re-branded app for the first time, you’ll be welcomed by a new animation – an ode to the new face of the ride-sharing company that is growing bigger than its CEO, Travis Kalanick, ever dreamed of.
Uber is now officially more than an app.
The new technicolor experiences, completely separate for rider and partner, all aim to bring Uber users a more integrative, engaging relationship with the brand that will adapt on itself as its service continues to grow around the world.
Uber is now available in 65 countries and over 400 cities worldwide. Because the brand experience will obviously need to be different in Bangkok, Thailand than, say, in Atlanta, Georgia, Kalanick and his crew had to think bigger, wider – and more inclusive.
From its less-than-humble beginning as a luxury ride app for rich kids in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, to a popular blanket service that’ll pick up your kids, rescue the over-indulged, and take your grandma from home to the grocery store and back, Uber has changed from an elitist niche service to a go-to way of life that is preferred by all ages and demographics – with taxi services fighting tooth and nail to keep up.
A New Age for Uber and its CEO
Within the new, more mature branding scheme, we’re reminded that Uber is not a passing trend for Millennials, but an industry changing ride-sharing service. And just like Kalanick, who is turning 40 this year – Uber is getting older, and begs for a more “serious” look and feel.
The most unusual part of the whole rebranding process? Kalanick, an engineer by trade, designed the new brand himself. No, he didn’t go to one of the top design agencies in San Francisco or even give the blessing to his in-house team – instead, the hands-on CEO worked directly alongside his Design Director, refining ideas in what is dubbed the Uber “War Room”. From color palettes to kerning, Kalanick involved himself in the entire process, illustrating just how personal the change was to him.
What the People Think
Kalanick has been doing interviews with throes of tech magazines and websites this week – and he’s answered thousands of questions about his side of the re-branding story, even commenting that he’s confident in the new design but wonders what the consumer market will think.
Of course, the negative commentary is vastly available for your viewing, even at this juncture. Some have said that the atom logo looks like a human’s back end (use your imagination), and was even dubbed as “confusing” by one tech entity. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too impressed when I saw it, personally, but I’m coming around to it, especially because the underlying logic behind it makes sense – and maybe we’ve become too conditioned to be annoyed with Uber over the past few years.
It’s no secret that Kalanick has been known online and in the media to be a young, inconsiderate business bro that was willing to do and say anything to make a buck. Now that Uber has become so useful to so many, and that we have real, young entrepreneurial villains like Martin Shkreli to worry about, Kalanick seems a lot more harmless – and now, or his passionate work on Uber’s newest hello to the world – maybe he’s even endearing.
Regardless of its design or past intentions, Uber is here to stay, and the re-branding will have a positive effect on the future outcome of the service, including its expansion and growth. Despite its whimsical new logo or rainbow of available colors and patterns, Uber as a service is fundamental, and cemented into our social system. For the foreseeable future, it will be a part of our daily lives and the development of modern transportation – no matter what its logo looks like.
Image source: https://newsroom.uber.com/celebrating-cities-a-new-look-and-feel-for-uber/
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