Dezeen Magazine

Designers create alternatives to controversial Uber rebrand

Crowdsourcing site DesignCrowd has revealed the winner of a contest to find an alternative logo for taxi app Uber, after the company unveiled a controversial rebrand earlier this month (+ slideshow).

The winning logo was created by Philippines-based user Arcoalex, who described his design as "playful and elegant."

Uber's new logo
Uber's new logo unveiled earlier this month has been likened to an "asshole"

The competition – initiated in response to release of a design by the company's CEO – asked designers to come up with a single logo that represented the Uber brand overall.

"Rebranding is not an easy thing to get right," said DesignCrowd CEO Alec Lynch. "For a high-profile and well-liked brand like Uber, it can be even harder and a dramatic change can be risky. Many of the world's largest brands get criticised when they rebrand."

Uber rebrand contest on DesignCrowd
The winning alternative design is by Philippines-based designer Arcoalex. Image courtesy of DesignCrowd

"Sometimes criticism of a rebrand is unfair," he added. "However, in this case, I think Uber have got it wrong."

Over 160 entries were submitted in the first 24 hours of the contest going live, and more than 490 logo were received before the deadline.

The only word allowed to feature in any logo was "Uber", and the design needed to illustrate the company as a lifestyle brand – not just a car and taxi service.

Uber rebrand contest on DesignCrowd
Alternative Uber logo by tr.ashok.reddy. Image courtesy of DesignCrowd

Lynch, who co-founded DesignCrowd with Adam Arbolino in 2008, believes that Uber's choice to rebrand internally could've been where it all went wrong.

"While Uber's new logo, app icons and rebrand might have meaning internally, externally the change hasn't been received well," he said. "It's such a shame because Uber is an amazing brand and company. There would be millions of designers around the world that would've loved to have worked on such an iconic brand."

Uber rebrand contest on DesignCrowd
Alternative Uber logo by a13creative. Image courtesy of DesignCrowd

"We'd be happy to donate a new logo to Uber if they want it," he added. "In the meantime, I will continue using Uber. I just won't update the app so I can keep the old app icon."

Uber's head of design Andrew Crow announced he was leaving the company following the rebrand, which was likened to "an asshole" by Gizmodo.

Although he refereed to the logo as "beautiful" in his parting statement, it is unclear whether Crow was involved in the design.

Uber's new logo
Uber's new identity presents users in different countries with customised colours and patterns

Uber was set up by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 as a black car service for 100 friends in San Francisco. It went on to kick-start a transformation of the taxi industry that has caused uproar in numerous countries.

The company's first logo was a red magnet designed by Camp, before a greyscale identity – that the new logo replaces – was introduced in 2011.