The History of Uber’s Changing Brand Identity

In December 2008, a group of friends were making their way around town in a rented car to celebrate the New Year. The ride costed Garrett Camp a whopping $800 and Camp wasn’t too happy about it. As soon as the holidays were over, Camp got working on his ‘problem’. It was his idea for a car pooling service that would allow cab rent to be divided among passengers.
Thus Uber was born as UberCab in March 2009 where Garrett Camp partnered with Travis Kalanick to initiate the carpooling company. The first driver joined the company in 2010 who later on became the company CEO.
In the early days of the company, when the name was UberCab, the logo was a simple UC with the company name at the top, as shown below:

The logo transitioned just a little when the name of the UberCan service was changed to simply Uber. This is when the logo lost its C and Cab at the same time. So the logo became what we see below:

What needs to be focused is that the service was keep on projecting itself as a differentiated service hence the use of contrasted colors was done being black and deep red. With the name changed to Uber only, the logo remained in the same layout and color only shortened a bit. Therefore it wasn’t a major overhaul or a shift of design for the logo itself.
It wasn’t until the year 2012 that the logo got its first major revisit. This time the logo changed in layout to a more sophisticated flatter design and a rather classy font style. In terms of color the major color was now black and silver. The new logo was termed the best logo (and is still referred to as the best one for the company). The idea behind this logo design change was to give Uber the outlook of being modern and luxurious. This was something that was being portrayed by Uber actively in their marketing campaigns.

The emblem was a simple metallic “U” at the center of a shaped icon together with the company name at the bottom. These design changes were constant on both application types that is, for both driver and passenger.
Three years and the service used the same luxury depicting logo however as time passed, the services offered by Uber grew. From carpooling, the service was now delivery products and intended to add much more. It was time for yet another change. The new logo(s) were done for both the passenger and driver interfaces.
The new logo designs were focused on locations and technology components. Each logo (for the user type) was shaded differently. The end user app had a darker theme with Navy, blue and white incorporation. While the driver side app had maroon, red and white colors.

The color themes were still depicting luxury, while the patterns were a means to illustrate technological advancements. Uber itself aptly put the change as “The Uber you know isn’t changing, our brand is just catching up to who we already were.”
The company expanded into new territories over a span of 4 years expanding their service reach to new horizons. The company faced with the challenges of the modern world not only had to demonstrate that it was modern and luxurious. It was also faced with the challenge of portraying itself as a safe and secure company.

Therefore playing along the lines of going minimal with the logo design and opting for clear yet concise design methods, the company has recently redesigned its logo to a simple Uber text on a plain black background. The first feel of the logo is welcoming, fresh and approachable. The logo is kept the same for both types of users (passenger and driver).
So there you have it, the company has been actively monitoring the trends and development of their industry to update their logo time and again. Only time will show when they will next update their logo, may be in the next 3 to 4 years. However, one thing is for sure that whenever they decide to update their logo, they will have solid grounds to justify their change both in terms of design and strategy.

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