1. 3 Reasons AirBnb’s Bélo Accomplished Its Mission

    Perhaps they could have done a better job launching their potentially “suggestive” logo without the flesh-like color, but that’s about all I have to complain about.

    Looking beyond the obvious attempts to make the logo look like a pair of balls or a vagina, I think the design of AirBnb’s new logo is a good representation and ambassador to the brand. It certainly brings more character and thought to a growing brand than a special font type with some extra treatment.

    A side-by-side comparison of AirBnb’s new and old brand mark.

    Their new brand mark tells a wonderful story and presents aspirations for their growing company (however “self-important” people might think that is). Bélo, as their new logo is so aptly named*, ties all of their core beliefs together and makes a considerable attempt to create a recognizable symbol to all their users around the world. It is effortlessly inclusive and wonderfully delightful.

    There are careful considerations that DesignStudio made in collaboration with AirBnb that many of us (even trained brand designers) may never fully know. However, and in my humble opinion, I do think that it accomplishes three main goals that it (and any global brand should) set out for.

    Bélo accomplishes a few critical components:

    1 . Distinctive

    The mark is incredibly distinctive. Whether you think it’s genitalia (everyone has their interpretation of which, take your pick), another company’s logo, or an assortment of cartoon characters (from Peter Griffin’s butt-chin to ET’s head), it stands out.

    With time, the logo will hold significance to AirBnb and become synonymous to their amazing service.

    2 . Reproducible

    Just look at it. It’s a single stroke with a simple loop. As a matter of fact, the Tumblr account “AirBnb Logos” is a testament to how easily reproducible this mark is.

    Make it whatever you want, I still see it. I know what it is and if I can draw it that easily, it makes it that much simpler to spread. If the goal is to take their brand down a notch by repurposing it as a pair of balls, you’re doing the opposite. You’re building more brand recognition every time you draw it.

    3 . Approachable, Inclusive, Whimsical

    Since it’s inception, I think AirBnb embraced whimsy, fun, creativity, and acceptance. An article from Fast Company not too long ago described the whimsical nature of their new facilities in San Francisco. Having been there, I can attest to that.

    A look inside AirBnb’s SF facilities. 115 drawings line the wall, representing experiences had by Airbnb employees.

    But the whimsy is not misplaced or over the top — it represents their brand. When you travel, you want to immerse yourself in a culture and have fun. That’s the kind of characteristic AirBnb’s office, mission, and Bélo possess.

    AirBnb has nothing to prove to you with their logo. It has to represent what they believe their company represents — and I think it does just that. AirBnb is still the best and friendliest service I’ve used to travel, stay, and intimately learn about a foreign culture. Let’s spend less time criticizing their new mark and cheering on their amazing service.

    Bravo Bélo!

    <iframe width=”560” height=”315” src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/nMITXMrrVQU” frameborder=”0” allowfullscreen></iframe>


    P.S. I’ve always been a fan of Brand New: Under Consideration for critique on new brand designs. Bélo fairs quite nicely: “All Your Bed Are Belong To Us.

    *As a side and perhaps coincidental note, Bélo certainly pays homage to AirBnb’s original logo. The old logo, made with a single font type, is named Bello. Intentional? Perhaps. Cool? Yes!

     

  2. Why Your “Team” Page Should Actually Be About Your Team

    matthewgoldman:

    image

    Most company websites have an “About Us” section describing the company. Most of those sections include a “Team” page, but it seems only a few actually tell you about the team. I think this is one of the most important pages on a site, especially for a startup, and it should be about your team, not about marketing text.

    Read More

     

  3. What an incredible story. It’s tremendous that WhatsApp continues to stand for the same principles that have helped them start, grow, and succeed.

    sequoiacapital:

    image

    WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton

    Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion. It’s a spectacular milestone for the company’s co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and their remarkable team.

    From the moment they opened the doors of WhatsApp,…

     

  4. I thought Jelly looked a lot like Aardvark from years ago. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought that. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences and similarities that I’ve noticed in the last few hours of use:

    http://www.quora.com/Jelly-company/In-what-ways-is-Jelly-different-from-Aardvark/answer/George-Dy

    mrbizstone:

    Humanity is connected like never before. In fact, recent white papers have concluded that the proverbial “six degrees of separation” is now down to four because of social networking and mobile phones. It’s not hard to imagine that the true promise of a connected…

     

  5. This is definitely the kind of insight most companies need to put into the products they build. Well done MetaLab team!

    metalabdesign:

    One thing I’ve noticed since we moved into our office is that I’m less productive than I used to be when I worked from home. It took me a while to put my finger on why, but I finally figured it out: Shoulder taps. When I worked from home, I’d choose when to check my email or take a call. At the…

     

  6. brianbalfour:


    To read about how other professionals became experts in their craft sign up for Startup Edition #23.

    If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

    I started my career out as a “product guy.” But about 4 years ago I realized that product was a small piece of the startup puzzle. I became fascinated with…

    (Source: brianbalfour)

     
  7. Infographics make everything better. Looking forward to the double header GSW vs. LAL in China.

    officialwarriors:

    Warriors & lakers will travel a combined 30,088 miles on trip to China, with games in Beijing (10/15) & Shanghai (10/18).

     
  8. 53 and Moleskin have done an incredible job here. And with more companies jumping onto this trend of mobile print, there’s no doubt a little custom Moleskin will find itself in many homes. Nicely done…though the video could be a little less “Blair Witch Project.”

    fiftythreenyc:

    BOOK. BRING IDEAS TO LIFE.

    Today we’re announcing a new product with a whole new way to share your ideas. Bring your ideas to life with a beautiful, custom-printed Book, created right from within Paper. FiftyThree and Moleskine, maker of the legendary notebook, bring you a new format designed uniquely for Paper. Book is a 15-page foldout of your sketches on sustainable matte paper, with the choice of your own custom cover or a classic hardcover. Book is the simplest and most beautiful way to share your ideas with others.

    We believe we’ve built the easiest print-on-demand publishing with the same dedication to simplicity we put in Paper. Book is a new format, created by Moleskine exclusively for Paper, with pages designed to match the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio. There is no need to resize pages, and your journal’s cover art becomes the cover of the book. Place an order and you’re just a couple of weeks away from having a custom-printed Book in your hands.

    On top of that, Book is amazingly beautiful. Every Book is assembled by hand. Paper creators can choose 15 pages to print on FSC-certified sustainable matte paper. Both the customized cover and the hardcover Moleskine versions are available for $40 (USD), and can be purchased and shipped internationally.

    We hope you’ll try making a Book. They’re perfect for sharing conference notes, design sketches, trips abroad, storyboards, inspiration—and the first person who uses one in a marriage proposal will get a special present from us (and a special place in our hearts).

    The best part of building a tool is seeing what amazing ideas it inspires. So, you know, surprise us.

    Download Update

     
     

  9. Sharing prototypes is something every designer has to work through. It happens on both internal and external (client-facing) products.

    And the technology has been getting better and more fluid, but I haven’t seen anything like StandIn yet.

    Up until now, I’ve been using a combination of:

    LiveViewScreencaster for in-the-moment prototyping with developers.

    Keynote for presentation to clients with clickable prototypes. And sometimes Pop for the simpler iPhone applications that I can send and get feedback.

    More notably, I’ve come across Flinto, for a more GUI-focused experience not too far from XCode storyboarding. It’s great, but seems to take a bit of extra time.

    Sketch Mirror is also a new entrant and something I’m excited to use. With direct integration with the base design application, I’m sure they can take this even further.

    Excited to put StandIn to use and see how it really can improve my workflow and interaction with my clients.

     

  10. Great breakdown of achieving minimum viable monetization.

    idonethis:

    When we launched a paid version of iDoneThis, we held our breath — we didn’t know if a single person would sign up.

    The waiting, the sweat, the nerves.

    Finally, the whoosh of a collective sigh of relief. One trailblazer of a person signed up for iDoneThis and put their credit card down.

    Amidst…

    (Source: idonethis)