February 6, 2016 - No Comments!

Sorry Uber, The Internet Couldn’t Resist Hating Your New Icons.

The internet hates Uber's rebranding:

The internet hates it so much that Uber's Head of Design & Brand left the company.

I love all the hate changes like this get. It's as if all the sudden, the internet is chock-full of the most accomplished corporate identity strategists and designers. These "experts" say "only the most ego-centric could possibly interpret them as a metaphor." If that's not the pot calling the kettle, "ego-centric," I don't know what is.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I do not work for—nor have I ever worked for Uber. But, I do think that these two marks are forward-thinking. Currently, none of us can get past what Uber does today. None of us is in a position to see the future of the company. Well, none of us, except Uber.

Uber is composed of two components:

  1. People who need transportation.
  2. A dispatching network that can fulfill that need.

You should note that I am purposefully not mentioning Uber drivers. In Uber's business model, these people are key strategic partners to the company; not employees—but independent contractors. If you've paid attention to the company over the years, you'll note that these key partners are positioned as a great value-add, but are actually the very bane of Ubers' existence—as tons of legal and regulatory headaches for the company. They represent a piece of the service that cannot be easily or consistently controlled.

So how do you get rid of drivers? Could the Uber of the not-so-distant future leverage a network of self-driving cars? Would they form another strategic partnership with Google (a company making very aggressive advances in the transportation industry with their autonomous cars)?

The problem with a corporate identity change is that the public rarely has the vision to understand why a company is making a change. A company like Uber is the very definition of innovation and disruption—two words that are very uncomfortable for the general public... and ego-maniacal, "expert" design critics who loathe change. I think we can all agree that Uber—in its DNA—is a company that's not asking anyone for permission to do anything amazing.

I look at this identity and see two things:

  1. A single node in a circle with a background pattern that looks like the cloverleaf ramp patters of interstates.
  2. A relay in a hexagon with a background pattern that looks like large sections of freeway.

Here's my opinon. If Uber can stand its ground on this new identity, I think their critics are going to feel really dumb in the not-so-distant future. You know, when our transportation options expand and this "fundamental parts" identity clicks together.

Otherwise, it's just visual design. So, calm down. They didn't murder your family. And won't a single person foaming at the mouth over how stupid you think Uber is just please admit that the "U" was just plain lazy?

Published by: Bobby Duebelbeis in Articles
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