Designing a world where anyone can belong anywhere
Many businesses claim to be unique. Airbnb is one of the rare few that actually are. Since 2016 we’ve worked with the founders Brian and Joe and the wider Airbnb team to design a brand that can keep on evolving to meet the changing needs of the 21st century. With a number of the Koto team playing a core role in the 2014 rebrand, this long-running partnership thrives on a shared commitment to design and our instinctive understanding of what’s become the most important travel brand of the past decade.
A brand built over time
Airbnb never stands still. Over the years we’ve been there as its design partner transforming whiteboard concepts into fully realised executions. Working with a one team mindset, we’ve conducted many design sprints together, globally and at the Airbnb campus in San Francisco. After five years and more of collaboration, there’s not many parts of this business we haven’t touched.
Going beyond the home
Launched as trips, now known as experiences, the introduction of hosted activities outside of the home was a significant milestone for Airbnb. For the launch, we developed a design system influenced by movie posters, then applied it to more than a thousand cover pieces that celebrate each trip and the host behind it. By bringing together people, places and experiences, the work reflects Airbnb’s signature style of human-centred branding. It also promotes the company’s founding mission by creating new opportunities for people to belong anywhere.
Beautiful homes. Exceptional hosts. Verified for quality.
Over 300 million home stays later we helped launch Airbnb Plus: a new tier of homes that have been personally verified for quality and comfort. Not only does this broaden Airbnb’s appeal to even more guests, but it also allows the business to recognise those hosts who go above and beyond in their outstanding hospitality.
The small human touches
Hand-drawn design elements convey the hosts’ personal touches and the human care that goes into each home, while providing Airbnb with a distinctive graphic approach to listing curated amenities. while hand-authored amenities icons by the illustrator Yu Nagaba add to the warm welcome.
Open is Airbnb’s festival of travel. For the launch of Trips, a gathering of 2000 hosts, guests and and community happened in Downtown Los Angeles. Revolving around the golden hour and the faded magic of LA. The home of the world’s first neon sign, a global symbol of openness and hosting, this symbol seemed apt to create an identity from, drawing the secondary elements from the streets and theatres the event was hosted in.
Thank you, but not goodbye
Over the last five years we have worked with so many of the Airbnb team it’s hard to thank them all. The spirit of a one team mentality has allowed the collaboration to flourish and we will continue to play our small part in building the brand.