Graphic Designers on New Airbnb Logo
Today, hotel alternative Airbnb unveiled a new logo that’s so much more than a logo—it is, as Airbnb founder Brian Chesky wrote on the company’s blog, “a universal symbol of belonging,” called the Bélo. “Belonging has always been a fundamental driver of humankind,” Chesky explained. “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.” In other words, it’s exactly what the Hobo Code would have been if Don Draper had grown up in the Mission circa 2014.
Many, many observers saw a different kind of universal symbol in the Bélo. “Airbnb’s new logo is a vagina,” Valleywag’s Nitasha Tiku declared. “In a rare display of design virtuosity,” Tiku added, “it also kind of looks like a butt.” Chicago typeface design studio Okay Type tweeted, “It looks like testicles.” Lots and lots of people on Twitter and in comment sections and in the offices of Slate invoked the term “boobs.”
Jessica Winter is executive editor of newyorker.com and a former editor at Slate and Time. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives with her family in Flatbush, Brooklyn.