20 October 2014

New Airbnb logo – Why it works

by Simon Richards

A new brand identity will not resolve issues with local government taxes or quarrels between landlords and what their tenants are doing by sub-renting their properties, but the new Airbnb logo and identity is a confident step in the maturing of the brand.

New Airbnb logo

One of the powerful elements of the new brand execution is the symbol, or should I say “Belo”. This symbol has a strong idea at the heart of it and works on many levels:

An “A” for Airbnb

  • Features the pin icon used on maps and part of its previous visual language
  • An inverted heart comes across strongly, reinforcing passion
    (Habitat may have got there first though)
  • A simple execution that lends itself to many creative expressions
  • A warm, personal attitude that will establish quick recall

The approach to the new Airbnb logo and identity is a refreshing change from the previous word mark, and the brand now has a new tool in its brand armory to build awareness, differentiate and communicate the brand’s passion.

Looking at other brands in the digital realm – eBay, Yahoo, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr, Skype, these all feature word marks and lack any real strong idea, personality or warmth to their brand identity (apart form Yahoo with an exclamation mark – says it all!).

The launch of the brand has also been widely accepted, due to the fact that the brand is moving forward in a positive manner, and they have not tried to use the brand evolution as the only story. Brands reviewing their identities need tangible reasons for change and enhanced brand experiences must be visible and paramount. Airbnb has also achieved this, with additional and improved services on its site.

Unlike other recent controversial brand re-launches (Gap or Yahoo), Airbnb realised what they had (and what they didn’t have) and have built upon this.

The approach in brand identity by Airbnb may be old school, but it is a welcome return to brand identity and logo design that has depth and meaning. If you think the logo can be improved then Airbnb have created a nice tool where you can create your own:

“Sketch it. Paint it. Put a penguin on it.
Make a symbol that reflects your Airbnb experience, and add it to your Airbnb profile”

Take a look HERE.

New Airbnb logo and brand