I've worked on brand campaigns for more than 30 years, including the redesign of GE's iconic monogram logo in the early 80s—the only time in my life I can remember anyone ever saying, "you're murdering the meatball."
If that sounds like fun, you're right—to a point. Because creating captivating identities for organizations is a blast. But getting them approved is agonizing. That's because everyone has an opinion about logo designs, and that's where the pain begins.
In fact, one of the best identity projects I ever worked on was kiboshed by a mid-level employee who said the logo looked like the devil and a well-known consultant who told the CEO to never include a negative word in a tagline (a word like "never," for instance).
That's why I'm glad that Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky knows better, because I'm certain that someone in the design process of his company's new logo said what everyone on the Internet can't shut up about—that Airbnb's logo looks like (insert Beavis & Butthead giggles) balls, boobs, a vagina, and even an ass.
There's even a song about it.
The truth is this is one of the most thoughtful and striking new identity programs I've seen in some time, starting with Airbnb's insightful brand message of "belonging." (Click on the short video above and see what I mean.)
I hope Chesky and his team find a way to wear earplugs for long enough for the rest of the world to catch up with what (I hope) they already know: Being ballsy is brilliant.