Genius or balls? Airbnb rebrand sparks web ridicule

22/07/2014

Airbnb has undergone a rebrand as the accommodation sharing website looks to target more markets, but the new logo has attracted widespread mockery on the web for its similarities to certain parts of the human anatomy.

The company released a video about the meaning of the Bélo symbol (which appears to the left of "airbnb" in the logo):

airbnb.jpg

Formed in 2008, Airbnb lets people to list and book accommodation around the world. It was set up in 2008 by designers Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia alongside co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk. The rental service company has grown from that two-person operation to a $10 billion valuation.

The redesign includes a rethinking of the web and mobile experiences, cleaning up listings, featuring photos and simplifying the booking process.

Andrew Schapiro, graphic design lead at Airbnb, says the company was looking to rebrand as the existing identity – which had been in place since 2008 – ‘didn’t capture what Airbnb is’.

The new logo aims to promote ‘belonging’ as the core value – represented with a new stylized ‘A’ symbol known as the ‘bélo’, accompanied by a custom version of ‘circular‘ by type foundry lineto and a bespoke color called ‘rausch’.

However, the new logo saw both positive and negative reaction on Twitter, with some people taking a cruder interpretation of the symbol than intended by the designers:

And even sparking this video song response:


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