The Drive Behind Uber’s New Branding

February 5, 2016 by Megan (Megatron) Lukas

uber_header

Evolving the Uber brand was a no brainer. Since they are a young company with such sudden growth and an audience primarily of young people, keeping their look fresh is essential. However, Uber’s rebrand is not so much an evolution, it’s more of a complete overhaul.

 

The Mark

Uber replaced their identifiable “U” with two different yet complementary logos, a circular form for passengers and a hexagonal one for drivers. Uber refers to the shape with a small square inside as “Bits and Atoms,” the “Bit” being their technology and the “Atom” representing the goods they provide and the people they serve.
 
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The new Uber icon and its rationale leave me feeling perplexed. I can grasp the “Bits and Atoms” concept, but what I don’t understand is why it is important to their customers. What do Bits and Atoms have to do with my getting a ride to LaGuardia? It seems overthought and complicated. It is a far departure from the “U” people have come to recognize. When you are dealing with people’s safe transport, you want people to be familiar with your brand. As a woman, I want to feel totally comfortable about getting into a car with a complete stranger. By removing all aspects of their well-known mark, they create the potential of turning people away.

 

The Type

The typeface was also refined, using a bolder typeface and dropping of some of the flourishes found on the “U” and the “R.”
 
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The refined typeface is something I can get on board with. It’s bolder, more condensed and easier to read, especially on mobile applications. I would have used this thought process for the logo itself, simply evolving the “U” icon and expanding on the visual that has already been established.

 

The Culture

The final piece of Uber’s rebranding puzzle is a unique color palette and pattern for 65 different countries. I have to admit, I like the concept. The new icon aside, I think the pattern aspect of the rebrand is something that can speak to all of their customers. It shows that Uber recognizes the people they serve all over the globe, not just in the United States.
 
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There was intense research that went into the color choices and pattern subtleties. As a designer, that is something I can really appreciate. The color palette makes Uber more approachable. While their old black and silver logo was sophisticated, it was also cold. These palettes bring the company to life.

Uber serves 65 countries around the globe. Just last month, they launched a local food delivery service “UberEats” in 10 U.S. cities. And for all the developers out there, Uber shares access to their API, allowing you to integrate their software features into your app or website. There is no denying that Uber has grown exponentially from its “private driver” persona in just a few short years. The main thing here is that they recognized that growth and responded to it. Now it is up to their audience to decide whether it is successful or not.

About the Author - Megan (Megatron) Lukas

Designer, dreamer and dog lover.




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