Transport company Uber has launched a new identity, which has been developed in-house by the company’s chief executive and co-founder Travis Kalanick working with its design director Shalin Amin.
Kalanick says he and Amin have been working on the rebrand for the past two years and that he wanted to develop a new look that reflected “our technology, as well as the cities we serve”.
Uber launched in 2009 with a red magnet identity, which was replaced in 2011 with a black-and-white logotype.
This 2011 logotype has been reworked, says Kalanick, to become “more grounded and elevated”. He adds: “This will help you see Uber from afar, and when it’s in small places. It also reflects a more substantial look as we too have matured as a company.”
Kalanick’s team has also added a number of design frameworks to the new identity.
“The bit” is a square motif which Kalanick says “will put our technology front and center, as well as provide consistency, highlight information and make our brand easy to recognise”.
Another motif is “the atom” – or the use of colour and patterns – which Kalanick says “will bring out the human side” of the company and will reflect the different countries it serves.
This element of the branding can change depending on location. Kalanick says: “In Mexico, we were inspired by Mexican pink and the patterns in the local tiles; in Ireland, from the Georgian architecture and the lush greens; and in Nigeria, from the ankara, which came up again and again because of its bright colors and beautiful geometric patterns.”
He adds: “The team has spent months researching architecture, textiles, scenery, art, fashion, people and more to come up with authentic identities for the countries where Uber operates.”
Kalanick says the long-term goal is to have unique designs for each city Uber serves, saying that this will mean adding “hundreds” of new colour palettes and patterns over time.
For the new app icons, the “bit” element of the identity has been placed at the centre, while the “atoms” – local colours and patterns – are used in the background.
Kalanick says: “The old Uber was black and white, somewhat distant and cold. This belied what Uber actually is—a transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move.”
He adds: “Today we aspire to make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere and for everyone. Our new brand reflects that reality by working to celebrate the cities that Uber serves.”
All images via Uber.