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New look eBay

Graphic Design

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 13 September 2012, 17:00    Permalink    Comments (26)

After 17 years, eBay has ditched its quirky, overlaying logotype in favour of a more sedate identity reflecting its transformation from start-up auction site to multi-billion dollar operation...

UPDATE: As eBay becomes the latest tech company to shift to a blander, more 'professional' logo, we ask if designers are sucking all the fun out of the sector? Read the post here

The haphazardly stacked lettering of the 1997 logo has handed over its colour way to the new version, but little else.

And the new look, by Lippincott (see Design Week's story here), certainly plays it safe and straight – for one, the letters have finally all settled on the same baseline.

But in using Univers Extended, spaced tightly together, the wordmark also has a hint of Ken Garland's playful GALT TOYS identity, which used Folio Medium Extended.

The previous eBay logo was designed by Elissa Davis and was her first job as a designer for CKS Partners in California, under the design direction of Bill Cleary.

In a comment added to a post on dinesh.com about the history of the company's logo, Davis writes of her (frequently overlooked) involvement in its creation.

"I loved the colours of the Apple logo and the fun movement of the Twister game and somehow that gave me the idea of eBay," she says. "[T]he overlapping colours were designed to convey the sense of community on eBay."

That sense of community is perhaps another element that has changed in the way eBay is used today.

As company president Devin Wenig mentions in his post about the new logo, the majority of goods for sale on the site are now listed as fixed price 'Buy It Now' items, so the auctions side of the site – and the kind of interactions that initially fostered any sense of an eBay 'community' – no longer seem to have as a big a role to play.

In 2012, eBay has become a giant online "marketplace", whereas in the mid-1990s it was a burgeoning auction site with a broken laser pen as its first winning bid. If anything, the change from one logo to the other simply reflects that.

According to the company, the new logo will go live on the site and appear in advertising and marketing campaigns in mid-October. eBay's annoucement on the new design is here.

 

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26 Comments

Am I right in thinking this is a positive review? Please tell me I'm wrong. Please.
Martin
2012-09-13 19:29:41


My reaction:
Heebyjeebies.

The b looks like it's about to fall apart where it the bowl meets the stem, the y looks too thick, the touchpoints of the type look... strange at best. I don't know. Looks sort of awful to me.
Kári Emil
2012-09-13 21:53:40


A missed opportunity, but probably more in lie with their business motives, more of my thoughts: http://www.helloimdavid.com/blog/2012/09/ebay-gets-a-new-logo-missed-opportunity/
David
2012-09-13 22:11:46


All logos are "updating" exactly the same way. Snore.
A
2012-09-14 00:41:12


Looks more up to date. I would say the kerning needs to be adjusted a bit. But then it wouldn't make sense to how their previous logo looked.
Josten Dooley
2012-09-14 05:30:13


Yet another rebranding that will create controversy in the design community! I do agree with David they have missed an opportunity in preserving the character of old identity, and that seems to be the opinion of the majority, but the new version does appeals to my strong taste for minimalism. It also reminds me of the work of Mehmet Gozetlik about brand reductionism. http://ow.ly/dHP9X
Ray Vellest
2012-09-14 08:49:40


Odd that they capitalise the B of eBay throughout their site, but not in their logo.
Alistair Hall
2012-09-14 10:06:06


Still prefer the old logo.
Grace Hsu
2012-09-14 10:45:21


It's not the logo that needs updating, it's their website that needs the redesign.
Mark
2012-09-14 13:18:13


When in doubt, bore?
Mark Ingham
2012-09-14 13:51:09


not a bad move on, considering where they were - but I do agree there is a bit of a trend to extracting the 'fun' from many logos. I do think this is a decent shot at bringing them up to date a little - the old one did well to last 17 years (really been going that long..?!).
dan
2012-09-14 17:15:59


With the amount of money ebay has I would have thought they would invest more in the design of the logo. I know that they don't want to stray away to far from the original but its almost exactly the same.
Cornwall wedding
2012-09-14 17:51:17


Both M$ and eBay debuting rather innocuous logos recently.

This gets my vote for the new #eBay logo. Happy, rooted, clean: t.co/AozJoy8u
Matthew
2012-09-14 18:07:43


Bit early/late for an April fools isn't it?
Phil
2012-09-14 20:00:05


My head hurts twice now – first from seeing this new logo and second from banging it on the floor after I'd fallen asleep in my chair...
Andi Rusyn
2012-09-17 18:36:56


Underwhelmed doesn't even come close.
Trent
2012-09-18 14:02:23


I agree that it's less fun than the original but that's probably inevitable given the size of the company.

I don't agree that designers are to blame for removing the joy from corporate ID, the new logo will be the result of a tightly formed brief given to Lippincott which I imagine stipulates the need for a more 'grown-up' image.

I'd also echo Alistair Hall's question about ebay/eBay, why the difference in name & logo?
Rhys
2012-09-18 14:25:06


Its the colours and the typeface used that make those strange visual things happen, a few have mentioned.

You are left with a boring logo. A logo which most likely required zero/Nil effort by the designers.

Seriously.

They should have reworked the original. Awful as it is.

It is ebay and not a "proper" (if that is the word) shop. Which is what ebay are trying to convey in this redesign ebay wants to be seen as a credible alternative/competitor to amazon...
please do keep up at the back ;-).

However fakes and stolen goods will always drag the ebay brand down.
ebay is better today than it has ever been in the past but still those fakes creep in.
Cheesy
2012-09-18 14:29:22


I'm thinking of Lippincotts great, great rational for producing an identity that is, well, boring and mundane. I'm positive Lippincotts team looked very hip, sounded smart, super cool eyewear and sporting the latest threads, too. The team was armed with plenty of user testing, beautifully written briefs of why mundane is cool, exciting, playful and positions the company, ebay for the next thousand years.
Sorry ebay, but, you've been chumped.
Rick
2012-09-18 16:52:38


I hope no-one got paid for this - so bad.....
Looks more like someone decided to find something to do to keep their job...they shouldn't.
I wonder if that same person is the one responsible for hiking seller fees to a point that the future of eBay growth is now in doubt?...probably.
paul
2012-10-12 09:59:03


It makes bland look positively exciting.
Curator
2012-10-12 10:41:19


Bring back the old one, the new one is lifeless , they should have just done it black and be done with it. Reminds me of the flop of a GAP logo redesign.
Alessio
2012-10-12 13:48:47


Unbelievably boring and unaesthetical. It just doesn't fit the colourful 'madness' that is eBay. Let the letters overlap or don't, but this half-hearted somewhere-in-the-middle design is neither fish nor meat. It probably is symbolic, namely for the lack of a concept by management.
Marinus Vesseur
2012-10-14 18:16:22


This logo is just wrong, and does not say anything to me. Kerning as someone said, it needs to adjust and the letters are too slim and wide in my opinion. Old logo should be updated not changed that way.
Rene
2012-10-16 12:00:08


The instant reaction when i opened http://www.ebay.com website. 'How come ive landed on a fake website'! then i regretted looking at the logo. Why would they do this to their identity! Just refurbish the old logo, thats it!
faraz
2012-10-16 12:36:42


From very original to totally generic, well done...
Mr Love
2012-10-17 05:55:22


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