New Airbnb Logo: Our Thoughts

We were pretty sure this was coming. Although the cryptic buildup to the “live” announcement scheduled today by Airbnb weeks ago was enough to make sure the event was on our radar. Ditching the elementary school graffiti cursive of their past and moving towards a more symbolic approach to a logo, Airbnb has reimagined their identity as the powerful community-sourced travel platform has been scrutinized for various legality issues and praised for it’s usability and growth.

 

Here’s what we noticed about the overall change:

 

·      Kept it “soft”: They played to their strongest development factor and biggest ally – using Airbnb is smooth and traveling is easygoing. Even their past logo has a certain joyfulness that didn’t scream “a predator is going to live in your house and steal all your belongings”! Similarly, this new logo has the curves and shapes of something organic (see our final bullet) and maintains a playful tenderness.

·      Emotional narrative: They named it. Of course. Alluding to the “belonging” of the system, encouraging community, and calling the symbol itself “Belo” – with (slightly pretentious) accent. Of course. The story they tell, however, is true to the brand and the atmosphere of togetherness that Airbnb has succeeded in perpetuating through the service itself and their own on-the-ground efforts for meet-ups, event promotions, and lectures.

·      Something else: Gizmodo pointed out that the new logo is something of a “sexual Rorschach test”, evoking… erm… areas of the body that might have had an influence. Honestly, we see where their design team was going: organic. Curves and interconnectedness. But we can’t help but giggle at the online criticism that it’s inspiring a other kinds of “organic” feelings.

 

Whatever your opinions on the actual design, it’s pretty cool to see a full on orchestrated rebrand that keeps the company looking good and seems to point towards a larger global theme. They somehow pulled out the cheesiness of claiming to provide world peace, and instead highlighted Airbnb’s practicality (and, dare we say, beauty) of socioeconomic sharing.

What do you all think?