Rebranding Faux Pas: 3 Tips For Effective Logo Design

Airbnb's redesign serves as example of what not to do when rebranding

airbnb new logo

Airbnb's new logo is meant to be inclusive and used anywhere, but many people are saying it's suggestive. (Image credit: Airbnb)

Recently, home-sharing startup Airbnb unveiled its new logo, dubbed Bélo, as part of a site-wide rebranding that lends an air of credibility and maturity to its service. Of course, Airbnb isn’t a small startup. The company closed its Series D round of funding in April, bumping its total funding to $776 million.

There is just one problem with the logo. Or, multiple problems, depending on who you ask.

First of all, the logo isn’t original. Secondly, it’s been unanimously ridiculed. And finally, it looks like any number of private body parts.

Twitter hasn’t been kind to the new revamp, and for good reason. Airbnb’s logo violates some major rules when it comes to rebranding. Luckily, you can avoid the same mistakes and stay professional while introducing a new face to your audience.

Make sure it’s unique

Airbnb’s new logo is certainly different from its old one. It isn’t, however, unique. In fact, it looks to be a copy of another logo from computer automation company Automation Anywhere.

Designers quickly took the company to task for ripping another company’s logo. Airbnb and Automation Anywhere released a joint statement to Venturebeat, saying, “Airbnb and Automation Anywhere are working cooperatively to address this issue, and Automation Anywhere is in the process of transitioning to a new logo design that is not similar to the Airbnb logo.”

Keep the innuendos to a minimum

The pair of rounded ends and looped inside seems innocent enough, but many people are claiming it has certain sexual connotations.

Don’t listen to the haters

Not everyone will love your new logo. Some people will adore it, some will use it in Photoshop pranks, and others will write you strongly worded emails telling you how awful it is. But criticism shouldn’t put you off of trying a redesign, especially if you want to look more professional.

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