When faced with something new, the tendency is to focus on the superficial, the easy joke, and it's too easy to let other opinions steer your own; they're momentarily on equal footing, you see. But the work will last longer than this moment. Your own opinion will evolve. The crowd will move on to the next easy joke and hip-shot reaction.
That's why I like to avoid making more than cautious, small statements until I've had a while to reflect. This work looks nice to me. There's potential for great marketing in an individually customizable — but still distinctive (or distinguishable) — logomark.
Most of this commentary feels like the person in the code review who hasn't taken the time to digest the intent of the code, so they comment on formatting. Whitespace. Trees. Not the forest.
>> I'm not sure I've ever met an opinion on a logo, name, or anything creative less than a month old that was worth a damn.
>> When faced with something new, the tendency is to focus on the superficial, the easy joke, and it's too easy to let other opinions steer your own; they're momentarily on equal footing, you see. But the work will last longer than this moment. Your own opinion will evolve. The crowd will move on to the next easy joke and hip-shot reaction.
>> That's why I like to avoid making more than cautious, small statements until I've had a while to reflect. This work looks nice to me. There's potential for great marketing in an individually customizable — but still distinctive (or distinguishable) — logomark.
> Most of this commentary feels like the person in the code review who hasn't taken the time to digest the intent of the code, so they comment on formatting. Whitespace. Trees. Not the forest.
That said, I think the motion-picture used as the background to the call to action is going to be very short-lived on basic UI principles. It's distracting, low-contrast, and pulls people away from the text, button, etc. I'm sure A/B testing will resolve the issue pretty quickly, but it's very trendy right now - Paypal is doing it too. 
Airbnb pry has one of, if not THE, world's largest collection of amazing real estate photography.
It's possible some massive real estate company might have as much, but I can't imagine how Airbnb doesn't have the largest collection of lived-in home interiors by a long shot.
If it's not, I apologize for misunderstanding. You may want to explain your thoughts a little more next time.
They've had this re-design at least since March (based on their Facebook page).
Courts look at the potential for confusion, which is often avoided if the two companies are in completely different markets, eg Apple Computer complaining about a store that specializes in apple pie and uses the word 'apple' in their business name. Trademark owners essentially have to make a showing of defending their mark or risk being accused of abandonment by someone else who wants to appropriate it, so typically they write a huffy letter, the small business with a vaguely-similar mark protests, and a court or national trademark arbitrator says 'there there, your businesses are totally different and it's OK to have slightly similar names because consumers will be able to tell them apart.'
However it's quite unusual to see two logos that are virtually identical as in this case, and arguably AirBNB is in the business of automating short term lets so there's a possibility of confusion with this firm that offers automation services. The automation firm might have a legitimate complaint for having been using their logo first, but it also depends on which company filed the mark with the USPTO first (which I haven't checked). I'd guess a likely outcome is that AirBnB pays the automation firm some cash to avoid a dispute.
They're even using a very similar shade of orange.
I do wonder if I was making a logo how hard it would be to search for similar ones though. It seems like it would be harder to google than a name.
Since nobody else on HN has mentioned it, all of twitter thinks the new logo looks like a vagina. It's hard to unsee.
Remember all the iPad jokes about sanitary products when it was announced?
That obviously didn't hurt the now multi-billion dollar giant the iPad has become.
Just because the device sells doesn't mean the name isn't bad.
concave or -vex,
so whatever you dream
will be something with sex.
On the other hand, the oldest surviving human art on at least two continents is crude drawings (cruder than the Airbnb logo) of vulvae, so the artistic impulse in this cases is about as old as humankind. (I will be no more willing to rent a room through Airbnb than I was before after seeing today's discussion, and I wasn't very willing before, knowing someone whose reservation was cancelled at the last minute.)
Given that this is part of AirBnb transforming to a consumer brand you'd think they'd pay more attention to what their target consumers think. They're a business, after all.
"OMG, no, no we can't. The logo looks like a vagina."
Nobody actually thinks this way, but I think it's been demonstrated countless times that people respond to branding.
I guess the takeaway is that just because it's possible to make something sound silly doesn't mean it doesn't have an impact.
A second or two later she moved and I realized I'm watching a short video of some lady sleeping. Which felt very creepy.
I just thought that was noteworthy since that's not a feeling that comes up all that often clicking on a link for a business's home page.
On the new logo:
I think it's surprisingly nice. The video introduction was good too. Except for a couple things:
1. The flashing font-color/background-color sequence bothered my eyes quite a bit. It's almost offensively intrusive? It seems like one of those "persistent vision" pictures/illusions. Except you don't expect it.
2. The "four things"... took a nice (if a bit cheesy) message, and really made it feel forced. It clued me into the intent that they want little Bélo stickers plastered in the corners of windows... but I feel like that sort of thing happens organically, or not. If you distribute free stickers to owners, with that suggestion on the back of the peel-away, I bet it's as effective. If you don't distribute them, then the video isn't going to make it happen anyways.
Just my 2c.
could not reproduce.
I hope they didn't pay very much for this, it's nauseating.
When I woke up on my first night in AirBnb I thought I was in my apartment for a moment. It felt like home. This was a great feeling-- here I am in the middle of a foreign land where I know nothing and don't speak the language, but when I go back to my place at the end of the night I feel at home.
It looks like it's designed to convey an emotion - that giddy feeling when you're traveling and seeing something new, coupled with having a homey experience from a local. It's got great big photos, that big hero video, and is emphasizing both people and landscapes pretty well.
Overall, I get the sense that the brand is growing up and expanding from a sub-culture to a larger market of travelers now. And they've managed to look better than an Expedia or Travelocity.
With that said - darn it, now I can't get the "private parts" comparison out of my head now.
(Conspiracy theorist note: Unless, that's what they wanted to put into your head... Ooo...)
However, is it just me, or do the videos in the mantle not really add much? I find the movement in some of them distract from the space itself, while others just seem a little staged or even a bit creepy. I think I would have much preferred photos.
Just don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
"Look, honey! The Bélo! We've found a safe-house!"
Overall I like the logo, but the idea of something akin to the Hobo Code in particular is pretty brilliant IMHO. It's a very Don Draper idea :)
One gripe I have with the new site is the fixed booking form on the right side of the screen as you scroll through a listing. I find it really distracting (perhaps that's the point?). Because of the fixed form on the right, there's also a lot of wasted space in the column. I dunno, maybe I'll get used to this over time.
Anyhow, I read "belonging" as a coded word for "community", and wonder how Airbnb thinks they are going to culture their own community...
Maybe they will make a strategic acquisition? Lonely Planet, for example.
Or maybe they will bleed some of their profits into a virtual currency / karma that folks can earn, trade, and apply toward accommodations? Airbnb could tweak the karma economy to maximize profits while still infusing enough karma to bootstrap their community.
It may be that the path to universality is paved with niches. You can't write a book about everything. You write a book about something, and people see everything in it.
Airbnb probably needs to stay sexy/cool for as long as they can before they become the big/unsexy/bureaucratic administrator/utility providor.
(Sorry for length.)
Yeah, I need a new "community" like I need a hole in my head. Not everything I do needs to be social. I love AirBNB because I can rent something with the amenities of a house wherever I'm going to go. I have no interest in socializing with the owners of that house. I don't care if that's how other people want to go, but if the main focus of AirBNB is going to be on how fun it is to sleep in a stranger's house and then have breakfast with them, I can't imagine that it'll be something I'm interested in.
However, if they can move into the slightly more predictable (and defensible) position of providing unique getaways, then they would be in a better position for when that inevitable crackdown does occur.
what I don't understand is why the hell they moved the most important element in their site down to a secondary place ("the search").
I am loving that explore view and the subsequent single listing pages with the sticky quick book form. Definitely leaps and bounds better over the existing site. I don't know how I feel about that logo though. I love the story behind its creation, I love the versatility of it as a brand mark, but it kind of looks like a vagina/rocket ship. Hate to be crude, but once you see it, there is no unseeing it. Based on Tweets I've seen about it, I am not alone in thinking that.
Another thing that surprised me is the fact the site is only responsive to an extent. If you shrink your browser down small to that of an iPad mini, it kind of breaks. Surprised the site doesn't work at all resolutions considering the great teams they'd have to make it happen.
IMO the design process seems way over the top, but it seems to have produced results.
The second one you mention is also very well designed I'd say, but as you can see, it's a professional web design firm -- so it should look very well -- and as you can see it uses very similar techniques as airbnb.
I think the idea is great, but it's not going to work, maybe in a more relaxed country where they don't care to do any city planning, but not in the United States and other more densely populated cities.
Compared to Kayak which makes it super obvious where to start, and the "Start Your Adventure" equivalent is top cities people travel to. That section should be a supplement not a main feature.
I just saw the event they had, and while extremely awkward and painful to watch, they continually eluded to a broader concept bigger than "renting rooms."
I'm in the middle of redesigning my own website this week and I've seen plenty of this stuff. Too much really.
The site is beautiful, the new logo is simple yet unique and fits their brand well, and I personally cannot wait to use their services next year for my trip through Europe.
I ain't no designer, or any kind of expert, but I keep looking at it and it confounds my eyes. Terribly.