Since its inception in 2007, Airbnb has represented itself with a lowercase “a” logo. Over the past several years, the site has experienced major growth and has transformed itself into a top option for alternative lodging, with over 500,000 listings available for interested travelers worldwide. This month, it unveiled a new logo and website design to its users, and received mixed feedback.
Replacing the iconic little “a” is a shape that is similar to an A, but with a loop in the middle that resembles the “map location” pin symbol most internet sites use. It is being called the “Belo” by the company. In a Youtube video, they said it was a “symbol of belonging” that stands for people, places, love, and Airbnb. The new logo is intended to be more modern and identifiable, and hearken to the company’s core goal, which is to be a global hospitality brand.Not surprisingly, the online community has been split over the new logo. While some understand the connection Airbnb is trying to create, and can appreciate the logo’s iconic appearance, others have seen a more suggestive connection at work. Last week, Twitter was blowing up with feedback from various users. “Does the sketch for Airbnb’s new logo invoke a stranger’s bare butt sitting on your couch?” asked user Wallernikki. Many others suggested that the logo looked like various genitals.
“Airbnb’s new design incorporates a lot of the new technologies that have been developed for website design. Their new site looks great, is easy to navigate and designed to be extremely user friendly. I think they really hit one out of the park with this design” said justin Brazeau, Lead Designer at RankXpress.
The logo was developed by London-based DesignStudio, which took almost a year to come up with the design after doing extensive market research, and traveling around the world to talk to various Airbnb guests and hosts.
In addition to the logo change, the company has made major changes to its website. Their design has gone “flat,” which is in keeping with what other major companies have been doing with their websites as well. They have also updated with a brand new listings page. Their Discover feed now takes into account a user’s location, so as to highlight nearby listings so as to suggest an easy weekend getaway. Everything from the typeface to the photography being used has been given a fresh new look.