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New Uber rider app icon. (Uber)
New Uber rider app icon. (Uber)

Forget backseat drivers, since unveiling its rebranded look this week, Uber is hearing it from backseat designers who think the company missed the mark big time with its new app icon and more.

Everyone has an opinion about the best way to get from point A to point B, and Uber’s decision to keep its redesign work in house rather than rely on an outside firm is what’s driving at least part of the discussion.

DesignCrowd, one of the world’s largest creative design marketplaces, is even running a contest asking its community of 500,000 graphic designers to reimagine what Uber and CEO Travis Kalanick came up with on their own.

“We’re challenging you to use your design skills to come up with an alternative logo for Uber,” a brief on the contest reads. “You can choose to evolve their old logo, redo their new logo, or come up with a whole new concept.”

https://twitter.com/Uber/status/694603879372066816

DesignCrowd CEO and co-founder Alec Lynch said in a news release that rebranding is not an easy thing to get right for a lot of companies and that a dramatic change can be risky. He said Uber “got it wrong” and that’s a shame for what he calls an amazing brand and company.

“While Uber’s new logo, app icons and rebrand might have meaning internally, externally the change hasn’t been received well,” Lynch said, adding that “there would be millions of designers around the world that would have loved to have worked on such an iconic brand.”

DesignCrowd Uber logos
A sampling of offerings from designers at DesignCrowd.com who think they have a better idea for the Uber logo. (DesignCrowd.com)

To test that theory, DesignCrowd’s contest is offering more than $700 to someone who comes up with a better version of the Uber logo. As of Friday, there were 229 entries submitted and Lynch said “at least a dozen” were better than what Uber’s new logo and icons.

Uber's logo and typeface before the change.
Uber’s logo and typeface before the change.

Furthermore, Lynch said DesignCrowd would be happy to donate a new logo to Uber if they want.

Even those in the front seat were backseat designers this week, as one Uber driver, who said he was a former designer, told GeekWire that Uber missed on its new logo. The driver liked the “strong U” that easily identified the app.

Lynch reiterated that sentiment in DesignCrowd’s release by saying that he will continue to use Uber, but that he won’t update the app so that he can continue to see the old icon.

The deadline for DesignCrowd’s contest is Feb. 8.

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