The Genitalia-Like New Airbnb Logo Has Everybody Stumped — PHOTOS
Is it a butt? A pair of testicles? On Wednesday, without a trace of irony, Airbnb unveiled its new, distinctly genitalia-like logo, prompting the Web to dub it "the sexual Rorschach test of our time" and, well, "obscene." According to the blog post on Airbnb's website, the redesign combines symbols like an upside-down heart, the letter "A," and a "drop pin" shape — proving once and for all that, sometimes, you can have too many ideas at once.
Airbnb calls the logo the "Bélo," otherwise known as "the universal sense of belonging." (Seriously — that's a direct quote.) Unclear on whether the world was subject to a gigantic practical joke, Seattle interface designer Joe Shoop tweeted at Airbnb: "The new @Airbnb logo looks like a weird butt." Without missing a beat, Airbnb Tweeted back: "We prefer well-rounded. #BelongAnywhere."
On its blog, Airbnb tried to explain. Or something.
It’s a symbol for people who want to try a new tea they’ve 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.
Riiight. Along with the logo, the company rolled out a couple of full-color ads in its blog post. Once you've seen the genitalia in the logo (and, let's face it, how could you miss the genitalia in the logo?) you can't un-see it, which is unfortunate. But don't take our word for it!
Airbnb has faced a spat of legal issues of late, and both New York and San Francisco are mulling over whether it's actually legal. If they were looking for something to distract everybody, this is it.