Tech companies take their logo changes very seriously.
Mission is important for companies like Google, Twitter, and Airbnb, and branding is a place for them to flex their world-changing muscles. But more often than not, logo announcements are often filled to the brim with the most delicious kind hyperbole and bluster.
In the wake of Uber’s massive rebranding earlier this month, let’s revisit some of the most notorious logo changes in the tech world — and the hilarious press releases that came with them:
'Belonging has always been a fundamental driver of humankind. So to represent that feeling, we've created a symbol for us as a community. It's an iconic mark for our windows, our doors, and our shared values. It's a symbol that, like us, can belong wherever it happens to be.'
'It's a symbol for people who want to try a new tea they have never heard of from a village they couldn't find on the map. It's a symbol for going where the locals go -- the cafe that doesn't bother with a menu, the dance club hidden down a long alleyway, the art galleries that don't show up in the guidebooks. It's a symbol for people who want to welcome into their home new experiences, new cultures, and new conversations.'
Uber (2016): 'The old Uber was black and white, somewhat distant and cold. This belied what Uber actually is -- a transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move.'
CEO Travis Kalanick: 'The old Uber was black and white, somewhat distant and cold. This belied what Uber actually is -- a transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move. To bring out this human side -- the atoms -- we've added colour and patterns. The team has spent months researching architecture, textiles, scenery, art, fashion, people and more to come up with authentic identities for the countries where Uber operates.'
'Uber started out as everyone's private driver. Today we aspire to make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere and for everyone. Our new brand reflects that reality by working to celebrate the cities that Uber serves.'
Twitter (2012): 'Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope, and limitless possibility.'
'Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles -- similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends.'
'Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.'
Verizon (2015): 'At its most basic level, the new logo is a visual statement that honours our history and reflects an identity that stands for simplicity, honesty and joy in a category rife with confusion, disclaimers and frustration.'
'After 15 years, the new visual identity marks the beginning of the next chapter to distinguish Verizon in the minds of consumers and signals our revitalized purpose of delivering the promise of the digital world -- simply, reliably and in a way that consumers want.'
'The new brand identity takes the best elements of Verizon's heritage, represented by its colours and the Verizon 'checkmark,' and transforms them for a new era. At its most basic level, the new logo is a visual statement that honours our history and reflects an identity that stands for simplicity, honesty and joy in a category rife with confusion, disclaimers and frustration. It's a cleaner, more human design and the checkmark, the universal symbol for getting things done, uniquely expresses the reliability of Verizon.'
Foursquare (2014): 'We've always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision.'
'Our logo is changing from the check-in checkmark to something representing the new Foursquare. We designed it to be a mix of map pin and superhero emblem. We've always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision. It's coming soon to a homescreen near you.'
Yahoo (2013): 'We didn't want to have any straight lines in the logo. Straight lines don't exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature, so the human touch in the logo is that all the lines and forms all have at least a slight curve.'
Google (2015): 'We think we've taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colourful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.'
'This isn't the first time we've changed our look and it probably won't be the last, but we think today's update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we've taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colourful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.'
'The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names. We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important 'brand impressions.' That's why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colours.'
'The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications. The symbol is important in a world of digital motion (as demonstrated in the video above.) The symbol's squares of colour are intended to express the company's diverse portfolio of products.'
Bing (2013): 'The symbol, a stylised 'b', evokes a sense of movement, direction and energy. The colour loosely pays tribute to the orange dot from the previous Bing logo while also fully embracing the Microsoft colour palette...'
'With principles and frameworks in hand, we looked at the art. We revisited the current logo and diagnosed what wasn't working. We looked at the new Microsoft identity and we did hundreds of studies to look at motion, font, colour, size and form. We built out mock ads, localised product examples for China and fictitious billboards to see what was working. From simple evolutions to ridiculous explorations, we learned something in each one.'
'In the end, our new logo was created to be simple, real and direct.'
AOL (2009): 'The new AOL brand identity is a simple, confident logotype, revealed by ever changing images. It's one consistent logo with countless ways to reveal.'
'Historically brand identity has been monolithic and controlling, little more than stamping a company name on a product. AOL is a 21st century media company, with an ambitious vision for the future and new focus on creativity and expression, this required the new brand identity to be open and generous, to invite conversation and collaboration, and to feel credible, but also aspirational. We're delighted to have worked so closely with the AOL leadership team to create something bold and exciting that sets AOL apart,' said Karl Heiselman, CEO of Wolff Olins.