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Uber rebrands to the sound of whalesong confusion

'Bits' and 'atoms' collide in identity mosh pit

By Lester Haines, 3 Feb 2016

LOGOWATCH Gun-toting driver on demand app thingy Uber has announced a radical overhaul of its brand frontage, involving a "more grounded and elevated" logotype, new app icons and a range of "authentic identities for the countries where Uber operates".

The reworked Uber fontFirst up, check out the reworked "Uber", which apparently "reflects a more substantial look as we too have matured as a company", as CEO Travis Kalanick puts it.

That's fair enough, containing just the merest hint of the whalesong and joss-stick fug which traditionally surrounds such paradigm-redefining reimaginings.

However, Uber has apparently been working on its facelift for two years, so if you think we'd got away with a quick font-twiddle, think again. Kalanick says: "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."

Uber's "bit" is a square which "will put our technology front and center, as well as provide consistency, highlight information and make our brand easy to recognize". The new Uber rider app icon, for example, has such a bit at its core...

The new Uber rider app icon

...but then there's plenty of white space around that for "atoms", or "authentic identities for the countries where Uber operates". Here's the result of some kind of atomic India conceptual montage brainstorm:

Uber's India atom identity

Confused? Here's clarification on bits and atoms and how they come together in one glorious branding mosh pit: "One of the big changes over the years is that Uber no longer moves just people; we’re now moving food, goods, and soon maybe 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 center, and then the local colors and patterns in the background. This is a framework that will also make it easy to develop different icons for new products over time."

The norms of modern online journalism require that at this point we embed a few tweets from the unwashed masses* decrying Uber's descent into branding anarchy, as if anyone really gives a tinker's what people are gobbing off about in 140 characters or less.

However, Twitter's about to be be consigned to the dustbin of history, so we're ditching it as a news source and today offering instead the reasoned analysis of some bloke in the pub last night, who said of the Uber rebrand: "It's a f**king mess. Now piss off and leave me alone." ®

Bootnote

*Were there video available, we'd be obliged to add "which has already been viewed X thousand times on YouTube" to the description, thereby attempting to add legitimacy to its inclusion.

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