Have you checked the new Uber yet?

By Travis Kalanick , New Delhi | In Digital | February 03, 2016
Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder, Uber, on what went behind the new look.

Have you ever looked at someone's hairstyle and thought "Oh my, you peaked in the 1990s?" Well, that's a bit how I feel about Uber's look today. It's not just that we were young and in a hurry when we replaced our red magnet logo with today's black badge four years ago. It's that we were a fundamentally different company.

Travis Kalanick

Uber began life as a black car service for 100 friends in San Francisco -- everyone's private driver. Today, we're a transportation network spanning 400 cities in 68 countries that delivers food and packages, as well as people, all at the push of a button. And, thanks to services like uberX and uberPOOL we've gone from a luxury, to an affordable luxury, to an everyday transportation option for millions of people.

This change didn't happen overnight, but it sure feels like it did. Almost two years ago, Shalin Amin and I started a journey to refresh how Uber looked so it could better represent what we were going to become. The unique aspect of Uber is that we exist in the physical world. When you push a button on your phone, a car moves across the city and appears where you are. We exist in the place where bits and atoms come together. That is Uber. We are not just technology, but technology that moves cities and their citizens.

So today, we're excited to roll out a new look and feel that celebrates our technology, as well as the cities we serve.

The Logotype

The first thing you'll notice is that our logotype is at once more grounded and elevated. Some might say it's less fussy (in part, because we have cut the curls, our 1990s hairstyle). 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.

The bit

We've also introduced the concept of the bit throughout our design framework. This will put our technology front and centre, as well as provide consistency, highlight information and make our brand easy to recognise. Here are some examples from our website, and it's at the heart of our new app icon as you can see below.

The atom


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. To bring out this human side -- the atoms -- we've added colour and patterns. 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.

In Mexico, we were inspired by Mexican pink and the patterns in the local tiles; in Ireland, the inspiration came from the Georgian architecture and the lush greens; and in Nigeria, from the ankara, which came up again and again because of its bright colours and beautiful geometric patterns.

But, this is just the start. Every city has its own character and our long-term goal is to have unique designs for cities, as well as countries. This will mean adding hundreds of more colour palettes and patterns overtime.

A new app icon

New Uber logo

One of the big changes over the years is that Uber no longer moves just people; we're now moving food, goods, and soon perhaps, much more. With the potential for many apps with many app icons, we needed one approach that connected them all. So, we came back to our story of bits and atoms. You'll see that both rider and driver icons have the bit at the centre, and then the local colours and patterns in the background. This is a framework that will also make it easy to develop different icons for new products over time.

Uber started out as everyone's private driver. 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. We're excited to share it with you. And oh yes .. hopefully, this haircut lasts a bit longer than the last.

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