The visual brand identity for the tech juggernaut Uber has been the subject of a lot of discussion over the years. And despite the company’s seeming inability to commit to a long-term branding strategy, the company has still managed to achieve wild success as a business.
The most recent iteration, however, could be here to stay. Because not only does the new set of brand standards foster clarity. It also seems to be a signifier that the brand has finally “gotten over itself.”
From the beginning, Uber has made design decisions that seemed primarily ego-driven. Bold, heroic and authoritarian visuals like bright red, all caps and an esoteric circular circuit-like icon thing with no inherent meaning whatsoever. Even the name Uber itself suggests what could be classified as a Ruler brand, invoking qualities of status, prosperity, success and authority.
A Visual Brand Identity‘s Purpose is to Signify “Who You Are” as a Brand.
Competitor, Lyft, seems to have figured this out for itself from the get go. Its consistent use of curves (in letter and mustache form) and the color pink give it an exciting and relatable quality that is instantly recognizable. Drawing on archetypal cues that signify “connection,” Lyft is a successful expression and variant of the Lover or “Matchmaker” archetype.
Lover brands are about relationships and intimacy. While Ruler brands imply a promise of stability, authority and control.
Ride sharing, on the other hand, as a concept is the opposite of control. It’s an exercise in trust and a move toward the democratization of basic transportation. Whether that be in a car, a boat, a motorcycle, rickshaw, bicycle or a scooter.
Uber’s new identity signifies a fundamental shift in the brand’s underlying attitude. It’s new tone and manner has abandoned the formerly self-aggrandizing “randian” quality and is much more down-to-earth.
Through self-examination, the company has come to the realization that it didn’t just disrupt the Taxi industry, rather, it created a new way for people to think about mobility. And how if we work together, we can all get where we want to go.