Uber rebranded again and I’m late to the game

Disclaimer: Like the , I neglected to publish this on Medium in a timely manner. Think of this as a time capsule, or maybe just a woefully outdated hot take that’s turned a bit cold.

Uber’s latest 2018 branding

A while back , but I was really writing about the angry chorus of armchair designers it provoked. This time around I’ll take more of a look at the actual work and save my gripes about The Internet for later.

When am company as big and visible (and embattled) as Uber rebrands, people notice. The last time around, when Uber introduced it’s “circuit’ logo and icon, the dissenters were roused and ready. This time, at least from my perspective, has been tame by comparison. So is the new logo better?

First, and most notably, with Uber has done away with a brandmark logo entirely, relying instead on in all cases. This is a pretty significant change and means pretty significant things for that wordmark.

Firstly, it has to be their most legible, reducible logo yet. With no symbol to rely on, the wordmark has to be incredibly recognizable at any size and in any context. The large lowercase-style “U”, rigidly geometric “b” and “e”, and comparatively narrow “r” all make for an unusual feel that is simple but decidedly branded. I particularly like the way the lowercase-style “U” mirrors the shape of the “b”.

Secondly, the wordmark now does all of the heavy lifting of setting tone on its own, no handy symbol there to shoulder the burden. The word is lighter now, both in weight and in tone. The previous Uber logos were heavy, all caps, imposing things. They were statement pieces and, in my opinion anyways, overly masculine. This new logo feels like it represents a mature company with a little less to prove.

Geometry

Uber’s new logo uses (nearly) true circles to define its letterforms. While quicky geometrics sans typefaces have become all the rage in recent years (I’m looking at you, Brandon Grotesque), Uber’s logo keeps things casual. The attitude is less quirky and more friendly.

What’s next?

It’ll be interesting to see where the Uber brand goes next. The trend has been to get friendly, more accessible, and simpler over time. It’d be hard to continue that trend from where they are now, so the only way left to go is a change in tone. Maybe they’ll finally explore a color palette other than . Maybe they’ll decide a symbol is needed and reduce the use of the wordmark to nil. One thing is for sure, The Internet will have opinions, and so will I.

Head of Design. Former Googler. Opinions are mine, except for the ones I borrowed.