Airbnb asked DesignStudio to overhaul its identity, website and mobile interface and create a consistent visual signature for the company, which was founded by design graduates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia in 2008.
Related story: New Airbnb logo: "someone didn't do their homework"
"They'd never really sat down and said 'let's give this a look, let's think about how this works as a design language'," DesignStudio executive creative director James Greenfield told Dezeen.
Throughout the project, DesignStudio decamped to Airbnb's San Francisco headquarters for extended periods of time to learn more about the company and share ideas with employees.
Members of the DesignStudio team also travelled around the world and stayed in Airbnb-listed accommodation to gain user perspectives from both listers and guests.
Using the brand principle of "belong anywhere", the designers came up with a symbol - called the "Bélo" - which they thought would become easily recognised internationally.
"The idea we finally settled on was creating a brand that anyone can draw, something that went beyond language and becomes a universal mark," said Greenfield.
The symbol is designed to represent three things: a person with their arms above their head, a location marker, an upside-down heart – people, places and love – as well as resemble the letter A.
It is used with a simple font, chosen so that it could be more easily read by users who aren't used to reading Roman characters.
The logo can be customised by anyone using an online tool. The company hopes that listers will create their own versions to stick in windows, label possessions that guests can borrow and brand their properties.
Changes to the web interface have been made to create a simpler layout, which translates to the app for mobile devices for consistency.
When Dezeen spoke to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky earlier this year, he talked about how he and Gebbia built the home-stay booking website that is now bigger than most hotel chains.
British designer Ilse Crawford, who is working on a project with the company for this year's London Design Festival, told Dezeen that Airbnb is causing a sea-change in attitudes towards design by allowing people to experience stylish interiors first hand rather than via magazines and websites.
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