Why We Like Uber's New Look
If you are unfamiliar, Uber is an online taxi service through an app that allows people to submit a trip request to Uber drivers who use their own vehicles.
The company recently went through a large rebranding which a lot of people have been talking about.
We recently teamed up with Uber on a custom project, showcasing their new branding.
"Uber launched a substantial rebranding this month that includes dropping the signature “U” from its app; shaving the typeface on its logo; and swapping its sober black, gray, and blue visual identity for a country-specific series of color palettes that the ride-sharing service says is a “celebration” of the 400 cities and 68 countries where it currently does business."
"In a statement, Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick tried to explain the motivation behind the rebranding by asking: “Have you ever looked at someone’s hairstyle and thought ‘oh my, you peaked in the 1990s?’ Well that’s a bit how I feel about Uber’s look today.”
The rider app will now have a circular symbol that resembles Pac-Man, and the driver app will have a hexagon to replace the familiar “U.” Kalanick said the company “cut the curls” on its ’90s hairstyle with a streamlined easier-to-read logotype that Kalanick characterizes as “more grounded and elevated” and “a more substantial look as we too have matured as a company."
But that change will likely be lost on users, much like Kalanick’s redesign origin story of how the new look was inspired by bits and atoms and how they relate to Uber’s corporate culture. Wired points out in a behind-the-scenes look at the redesign that despite not being a designer himself, Kalanick chose a DIY approach, working alongside Uber design director Shalin Amin and an in-house team to come up with the redesign rather than hiring a corporate branding agency.
While the changes might ruffle a few feathers among riders and drivers until they simply get used to looking at them, the news that struck me as most troubling was swapping the “somewhat distant and cold” color scheme in favor of country-specific palettes that are meant to represent the company as “a transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move,” Kalanick writes.
The team spent “months researching architecture, textiles, scenery, art, fashion, people and more to come up with authentic identities for the countries where Uber operates,” Kalanick writes. It was “inspired by Mexican pink and the patterns in the local tiles; in Ireland, from the Georgian architecture and the lush greens; and in Nigeria, from the ankara, which came up again and again because of its bright colors and beautiful geometric patterns.” The long-term goal, he says, is to create unique designs for cities as well as countries, “adding hundreds more color palettes and patterns” in the future.
(via Kristin Hohenadel for The Eye, Slate's Design Blog)