Airbnb logo

“To understand the full scale of this global community, four DesignStudio team members set out to visit 13 cities, staying with 18 hosts, across four continents. All of them equipped with a $100 video camera and the mission to look for local inspiration and insight to drive us to build a better brand.”

Quoted from DesignStudio’s process insight.

Airbnb icons

Airbnb website

Airbnb brand colors

Airbnb custom Bélo

Airbnb's old logoAirbnb’s old logo (above)

Images and thoughts from the designers here, with commentary from Rachael Steven on the CR blog.

Airbnb logo

Catch @_DesignStudio_ on Twitter.


I love it! The message is the core though… it has 99% of the value. But the identity is really nice, I especilly like the more ‘looser’ elements such as the patterns.

The message, vision they communicate is great but the new brand identity does not efficiently translate the brand’s positioning.

They spent years, money and energy building a strong, positive and unique brand image and awareness, which they actually did great, to come up a few years later with the big idea to erase everything and start again from scratch?

A great investment in communication would have been much worthier to strengthen their image.

Now, they will have to re-educate consumers and spend tons of money communicating the new brand.

Finally, the mix of that pink color, heart symbol, light typography and small-letters do not fit with their BIG AMBITIONS. It seems like a mix of “Habitat” and “Claire’s” identities.

This is my opinion, but I would be glad to read yours…

Hi Charlotte, here’s a quote from Airbnb’s Andrew Schapiro:

“DesignStudio were inspired by our culture as much as we were inspired by their process. The team is incredibly collaborative and flexible. They opened up their creative process and let us in, and ultimately the close partnership led to the best possible solution for the Airbnb brand and community.”

It’s not easy to inspire or delight our clients. That’s worth a lot in my book. I’m sure given the brief I would’ve come up with a different mark, but then most designers would likely come up with something else, and I don’t have the talent of everyone at DesignStudio.

“It’s not easy to inspire or delight our clients”. Well said. It’s not easy to inspire or delight our peers (or the world for that matter) either. If enough people embrace the new look, the rest will follow. I like it.

Hi David,

Thanks for your answer. In fact, I believe it’s very easy to criticize the work of others, and I am sure it answer the brief.
I am just wondering if it was necessary to make such a radical change instead of strengthening what thy already had.
It’s a young brand and I don’t understand what made them feel like they ha to change everything!

Very true about our peers, Kevin, as seen by the polarising reaction to this one across on various sites. Our peers aren’t usually our clients’ customers, which can help abate negative reactions. And polarising design can be great, too — it tends to be more memorable.

You’re very welcome, Charlotte.

Rebranding is a delicate event in a brand’s life. It should be done with careful consideration for how a brand is doing currently and repercussions of after rebranding. I feel Airbnb has done this rashly, and hurt itself, if nothing else.

While I love the message and philosophy behind it, I must say the visual identity has gone really wrong. Considering Design Studio’s experience, I would have expected them to cover all bases including design, connotation, and quality control before presenting this to their client.

This is definitely a case of logo gone wrong.

A drastic change from what they already had, but we can all agree that the original needed lots of work. I like it.

I really like the symbol. The symmetry and balance of the icon combined with the multitude of visuals leaving it open to interpretation, yes I’ve seen the jokes… It also works as a literal representation of the letter “A”. Well done. Although I do think the typeface for the wordmark could be improved.

Let me translate.

“Airbnb came to us and we realize that we could make a crapload of money by keeping a team of people busy for a year, developing more documentation and chit chat and philosphies about nuttin’ than we’d like to admit. We ate really cool food and stayed in some really cool places. All paid.

“Thanks Airbnb. We should have mentioned that you really needed better marketing more than a new logo. Especially one that would better fit an organic lotion bottle. In the end, and after we paid crowdspring, we actually came out pretty far ahead.”

Just sayin…

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” – Sydney J. Harris

This logo was lifted directly from Logo Modernism, Jens Müller. Page 254 “Azuma Drive-In, 1975. The ‘inspiration’ here is BS.

Share a thought