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Airbnb's NYC Marathon email has an interesting take on their logo.

over 5 years ago from , Product Designer at GitHub, previously MongoDB, DigitalOcean - www.colinkeany.com

http://bit.ly/1sGVfcB

This is the header image in the new Airbnb email being sent around promoting their support for the TCS New York City Marathon.

Is this just brilliant marketing that takes advantage of what the general population already thinks the new logo looks like, or is this just another questionable design decision?

20 comments

  • Alyssa Pelletier, over 5 years ago

    Come on. COME ON.

    Can we be done with the "huhuh Airbnb's logo sort of looks like balls because I have the lizard brain of a teenager" posts?

    It's their logo. Get over it.

    14 points
    • Matt CastilloMatt Castillo, over 5 years ago

      I don't think he was necessarily poking fun at the logo, just posing a question about Airbnb's intentions.

      4 points
      • Colin KeanyColin Keany, over 5 years ago

        Yeah, I was more or less interested in everyone else's opinion of how they have carried themselves since releasing their new identity, and the on-going debate about what their logo may or may not look like.

        In my opinion, if they are playing into it, it's brilliant. If not, then I still think what they're doing is great.

        1 point
        • Alyssa Pelletier, over 5 years ago

          You're saying it yourself right here –

          "More or less interested in ... the on-going debate about what their logo may or may not look like."

          Whether you think it's great or not, you're still stirring the pot on a gossipy, middle school topic of conversation that probably doesn't make anyone feel good about their work. Why keep discussing it?

          0 points
          • Colin KeanyColin Keany, over 5 years ago

            What I was trying to say in lesser words (didn't realize you would truncate what I wrote so it could be more convenient to your argument), was that there was an obvious type of reception from the general public on the thoughts surrounding their logo. I haven't said in anything I've written so far that I agree with them or think their logo looks like anything in particular. I've actually, instead, suggested that they may in fact be taking advantage of the response in a smart and positive way. They also may not care at all. I don't know. But I'm still discussing this because I'm curious to find out. I have nothing negative to say about airbnb's design team or company.

            I will admit that I did expect to see some mixed thoughts when posting, but afterall, this is a community built around discussion and opinions.

            4 points
    • Matt LindleyMatt Lindley, over 5 years ago

      I really want to agree with you, but I just can't. They opened themselves up to criticism by drawing so much attention to their new logo and process.

      3 points
      • Alyssa Pelletier, over 5 years ago

        So you're saying that by doing an incredible job of documenting and promoting their process, they deserve to be made fun of at every turn?

        1 point
        • Anna NiessAnna Niess, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

          I'm not sure what your problem is with design criticism. They are not some vulnerable little kid on the playground being 'made fun of...' they are an enormously profitable company that, despite promoting so much of their process, still managed to make a logo that looks like genitals. Whether it is good or bad for their image as a company deserves deserve some criticism and conversation.

          Though I will understand that the topic has been talked about many times before in DN, I don't think the author intended to be immature or out of line in his posting.

          8 points
        • Matt LindleyMatt Lindley, over 5 years ago

          No. I think it is a shit logo that they tried to justify. I think they put too much effort into the process and made themselves blind to the reality of what they created.

          0 points
    • Oscar von HauskeOscar von Hauske, over 5 years ago

      I agree that it's a tired argument, but 2 things, Lizards, reptilians etc ara actually very smart. Second I wouldn't blame people for having the wrong brain because they interpret a symbol one way or another.

      0 points
      • Alyssa Pelletier, over 5 years ago

        Sorry – I guess "lizard brain" isn't a very common phrase. I was meaning neither to offend reptiles nor say that OP has the "wrong brain." I've always understood the term "lizard brain" to describe the crude, sex oriented thoughts of youngsters. A little research shows that that definition isn't terribly far off, but isn't 100% spot on either.

        0 points
        • Luke ChesserLuke Chesser, over 5 years ago

          You're right.

          I think it's a reference to the fact that the brain has multiple distinct layers, the oldest and most primitive of which is the reptillian brain. There's then the old mammalian brain and the new mammalian brain.

          But don't hold me to that cause it's been like 7 years since bio :)

          0 points
          • Oscar von HauskeOscar von Hauske, over 5 years ago

            This is just a theory, also the fact that humans can take a symbol and interpret it to be either a heart or testicles doesn't sound very primitive to me.

            All I'm saying is that telling people they have the wrong brain for interpreting a symbol one way or the other is not a helpful attitude for a designer to have since, there are billions of brains and none of them are "Wrong"

            0 points
    • Tori ZTori Z, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      I didn't realize they look like balls until you point it out... I'm a girl by the way. I thought it looks like a heart up-side down.

      0 points
  • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, over 5 years ago

    It looks like they're using their logo playfully, which definitely seemed part of its mission.

    7 points
    • Colin Keany, over 5 years ago

      Yeah, very true. I'm just curious if it's part of their game plan to play into the whole our-logo-looks-like-something-suggestive thing.

      Either way, they've got people talking about them, which is almost always a good thing.

      1 point
      • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, over 5 years ago

        I don't think they're trying to play to that. More "it's a logo, we're making it do different things"

        3 points
  • Oscar von HauskeOscar von Hauske, over 5 years ago

    "Looks like balls" – "You have the wrong brain"

    2 points
  • Matt MilosavljevicMatt Milosavljevic, over 5 years ago

    I think the "general population" has long since moved on, and if they haven’t, I don’t see how drawing legs and arms helps reinforce the the idea that the logo looks like genitalia.

    I read the headline simply as, "Let’s Run New York", and I would be genuinely surprised if it was intended to be anything more subversive than that.

    2 points
  • Thomas RawcliffeThomas Rawcliffe, over 5 years ago

    Hopefully if they have a sense of humour they will have embraced the fact that the logo indubitably looks like testicles, and play it to their advantage.

    0 points