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New Uber logo/look


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Rider icon, partner icon, wordmark

 

Wired has a deep-dive on the new look for Uber, which includes local color palettes by country. It was heavily guided by the CEO, which I can say from personal experience, is usually a bad idea that traumatizes designers and produces compromised work.

 

Here's the breakthrough moment in the narrative:

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The concept stuck: Bits and atoms gave the team a scaffold on which to hang the redesign. They returned to the war room armed with a conceptual framework for building out a toolbox of materials. The old branding materials were nearly nonexistent—black, gray, and blue colors and a few small design elements (a grid, a dot, and a line) that Uber’s marketers could use to put together ads and promotional materials. This bits-and-atoms framework provided a north star for the team, as they began to consider new colors, patterns, photographs, and illustrations they could pull together. Once a week or more, they’d invite Kalanick to the war room for jam sessions that could last up to four hours.

Meanwhile, a set of patterns emerged organically. The creative mind behind these was Catherine Ray, 28, a communications designer who was puzzling over themes when she found inspiration in the small square tiles in her bathroom. Their grid formation echoed the bits aspects of their bits-and-atoms theme. She began playing with the idea, sketching out ovals and lines, and then printing out 50 options that she affixed to a display. She stared at it. The team stared at it. Kalanick stared at it, slapping red post-its on his favorites. She marked the problematic ones—ones she felt were too squished up, or too busy—with yellow post-its. Eventually, they agreed on the pattern that would represent the global brand.

 

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It's so strange to see such a young company change their logo, but the reasons for it speaks to something bigger.  Uber now has a higher evaluation than General Motors and every automobile company on the planet.  We're talking about a company that's likely to have an IPO that opens to $100B.  And it's one that's not just going after being a taxi service, they're looking to be a primary automotive logistics company.

 

Still though, why change the U???

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im going to read that article later to get a better sense of the process. but looking at only these 3 things out of context (not in the environment which they "live") i'll just say they look fine. i love the inspiration for the patterns and is exactly why you hear people say to carry a sketchbook with you everywhere; ideas can strike at any time or place.

 

what does concern me though is this:

"It took a year and a half to agree on five pillars that best described the company Uber aspires to be: grounded, populist, inspiring, highly evolved, and elevated."

1.5 years for a company to decide who they were and what their purpose was. and i'd be willing to bet they don't feel really great about what they decided on. it is impossible to design anything when you don't know what  it's supposed to represent. 

 

edit- ok digging in a bit more, theres something i really dont like about the icons.  i dont see how they represent "rider" and "partner" at all. they look completely abstract. this is fine if we're talking about a logo but not icons. they have to be completely clear because they dont just represent a thing, they tell you where to go, what to do. unless its spelled out for you next to the icon, theres nothing to suggest what they mean. and if you have to spell out what it means, its a failed icon design

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8 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

article later to get a better sense of the process. but looking at only these 3 things out of context (not in the environment which they "live") i'll just say they look fine. i love the inspiration for the patterns and is exactly why you hear people say to carry a sketchbook with you everywhere; ideas can strike at any tim

 

If you have to read through the rationale for the brand to have a better understanding of it, to what extent is it representative...? I'm not big into the 'core values' of companies (who would describe their brand as not 'inspiring'?) and Im highly dubious that a branding company can express such concepts in the way they seem to feel they can.

 

I agree, the marks don't seem connected to each other or the nature of their application. It seems a bit odd that they slightly hint at 'O' shapes... I dont get the connection to the wordmark

 

It seems a large part of any big brand refresh/ exercise these days comes as part of its rational. Much of that has to do with the self promotion of the brand team. Most of the images in that piece feature those people... Thats fine as long as the brand works in its environment and as a stand alone symbol to the consumer. I guess this might?...

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7 hours ago, davidson said:

 

If you have to read through the rationale for the brand to have a better understanding of it, to what extent is it representative...? I'm not big into the 'core values' of companies (who would describe their brand as not 'inspiring'?) and Im highly dubious that a branding company can express such concepts in the way they seem to feel they can.

 

I agree, the marks don't seem connected to each other or the nature of their application. It seems a bit odd that they slightly hint at 'O' shapes... I dont get the connection to the wordmark

 

It seems a large part of any big brand refresh/ exercise these days comes as part of its rational. Much of that has to do with the self promotion of the brand team. Most of the images in that piece feature those people... Thats fine as long as the brand works in its environment and as a stand alone symbol to the consumer. I guess this might?...

thats a good point. i guess my initial reaction to this was i didn't like it or get it, but wanted to give the article a read in case there was something i was missing. turns out, it didn't really clear much up. i do like to define some values of a company or better yet define some words that describe it's "personality", but you hit on where that can go wrong. of course everyone wants to be "inspiring" - as every University wants to "honor tradition while building for the future" - and i'll throw in another issue with their values: whats the difference between "highly evolved" and "elevated"? 

 

a also agree, teams can get too caught up in the rationale and the "story" of it all. as the CEO in the article said when designing the logo, "whats the story behind it?". i don't think there needs to be one here. i think they're a simple enough service that they only need 1 good idea, not a whole "story", and that should probably center around usability. because right now i have no idea what to do with those icons, they're meaningless. 

 

here's what Armin over on BrandNew has to say about the icons. . . 

 

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The bigger issue with the redesign — far more troubling — than the logo redesign is the app icon. In this case the app icon gets more action than the logo itself. That’s the first interaction from most users. . . . The new icon is completely unidentifiable in any way as Uber other than it saying “Uber” underneath. Let’s assume that it’s a matter of being used to poking on that icon for the last five or six years and that we just need to get used to poking at this new one but, even then, it seems like this is an icon for something else altogether. I don’t think there is enough strength in the bit as the principal (and literal) touchpoint. Having a separate icon for drivers that looks even less like anything doesn’t help the cause of establishing a consistent, recognizable mobile environment. 

 

After watching the two movies above I’m still left unclear about what the purpose of anything is. It feels like the team just threw stuff together hoping it would add up to a cohesive whole but everything seems disjointed in a very polished way that ticks off a number of trends, including dramatic music in the videos. Perhaps part of the problem was the process.

 

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On 2/3/2016 at 6:47 PM, Saint Zephyr III said:

It's so strange to see such a young company change their logo, but the reasons for it speaks to something bigger.  Uber now has a higher evaluation than General Motors and every automobile company on the planet.  We're talking about a company that's likely to have an IPO that opens to $100B.  And it's one that's not just going after being a taxi service, they're looking to be a primary automotive logistics company.

 

Still though, why change the U???

 

We really deserve the pending economic crash don't we.

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  • 2 weeks later...
7 minutes ago, The Six said:

The new wordmark looks like it's for an alcoholic energy drink marketed to college kids. It definitely says "I was sexually assaulted by my driver and insulted by the CEO on Twitter".

This is oddly, oddly fitting for some reason...

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