Hey, did you see the Uber rebrand?

rider_icon

I like it. People apparently don’t.

This HERE is the release on Uber’s site.

Wired has a nice breakdown of the process HERE.

I’m big into these process breakdowns. Partly my background in creative but also because I’m a bitter know it all who likes to judge designers and branding.

I’m a big fan of the new brand. There are some really nice symmetries in the new logo – balances of curves and angles that point into the main iconography (the ‘bit’, as they call it) in the centre while also connotative of maps and routes. Then there’s the sense of openness and connectivity through the up/down iconography and sharper structure in the partner icon. The contrast of humanity in the consumer icon against the partner icon is also well executed.

Here’s that partner icon.

driver_icon

The ‘bit’ itself is a nice bit of iconography that’s going to become very recognisable. It brings to mind machinery, gears, wheels without being brutal. Much better than the crappy U, and once again with the right correlations to technology, connectivity and adaptation. It’s short-sighted how some of the complaints centre on the dropping of the ‘U’, which was the worst part of the logo – it was harsh, highly dated and didn’t connect with what they wanted to do.

I like the softness the consumer logo lends to the brand. It’s approachable and human. I love designer Catherine Ray’s inspiration from bathroom tiles – very ‘home’ but executed with some nice finesse.

The colours are awesome – moving away from the harsh slickness that pervades the branded world towards a layered multicultural world. The regional variations really emphasise this. A China variation that doesn’t shout red and gold? Holy fucking craziness.

Getting technical, I can see the lines in the background becoming a technical problem for reproduction – a couple of bad colour mixes, some nasty reproduction/odd backlighting or ambient light on a device, and the lines will cause a bit of noise. Similarly they could be a touch noisy at a certain distance, but I don’t think that’s insurmountable (and also kind of the point – to highlight the ‘bit’ at distance, but give texture when closer).

The use of the ‘bit’ concept (let’s call it, to be radical, a square) is then carried through in their brand guidelines, site. I mean, that shit ain’t setting the world on fire (it’s a SQUARE), but hey, designers gotta justify what designers gotta justify, and the CEO needs something that strengthens the connection across the whole company ecosystem. The execution behind the man is a nice use of the bit in a balance between human and branded.

social-gid-update

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From the Wired story HERE

I’m not convinced by their inspiration from mid-century modernist geometry for the art. When I first saw it on Wired I thought it was a Wired illustration as it fit the retro-techno flat art that they love. I’m take it or leave it on that idea. I can see the appeal – it’s flat enough that it can cross countries and connects visually with the lines and curves in the logo/bit and has enough of that homely feel to it to connect. But it doesn’t excite me. Hopefully they’ll embrace the intersection of the bit into photography.

Font wise it’s not radical, which is good. It’s confident and well placed to be recognised. Structured, easily reproduced to keep corporate happy and with enough character to keep the designers feel like they’ve changed the world.

This rebrand is what Uber needs at this point – their brand has really become the bogeyman of transformative technology. It’s faceless, worth billions and uncontrollable. Their sharp U logo really reflected that concept, but this rebrand really grounds them in a nice connective state between slick business and local randomness.

On the flip side…remember when Pepsi re-branded by paying a lot of money to get a logo that looked the same, but came with the wankiest branding document ever created?

Pepperidge Farms remember.

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