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eBay Gets a New Look; Looks to Pinterest for Social “Inspiration”

If there’s a constant on the Internet, it’s that things are always changing. One only has to look back at how drastically different our online world was just ten years ago to know this.

But in the midst of the swirling, dizzying stream of constantly-evolving information, there has been one thing that quite literally remained constant for nearly two decades.

eBay’s logo.

That is, until now.

This month, eBay unveiled only the second logo in its 17-year history — impressive when you consider that Twitter has existed for just 1/3 of that time and is already on its third logo.

Take a look for yourself! Here’s eBay’s old logo, at top, and then the new:

You know, it’s fascinating what a logo can tell you about a brand’s personality. eBay started off as an online auctioneer; a purveyor of antiques, coins and stamps, sports memorabilia, toys and Beanie Babies, movies and books — basically, the virtual equivalent of a giant flea market. The old eBay logo embodied this sensibility as a quirky jumble of primary-colored upper and lowercase letters overlapping each other. The old logo was, essentially, your wacky uncle whose hobbies include ham radio and watching Antiques Roadshow.

Comparatively speaking, at first glance the new logo looks — dare I say it? Boring. It’s certainly a lot more tame. But the more time you spend with it, the more you realize the subtle ways it echos the old. The way the letters slightly taper, for instance, and how they are all just touching each other — an odd thing to do in typography, but an obvious nod to the way the letters overlapped in the past. The colors are the same, too, except for the “b,” which is lighter tint of blue now, making the color scheme feel more pastel.

With its clean lines and sharp, contemporary looks, I’d have to say eBay’s new brand personality is more akin to your hip younger cousin who lives in a loft in New York City and runs a popular fashion blog.

Looking forward

The logo is one small but important part of a sitewide overhaul, both aesthetically and functionally. Earlier this month, company president Devin Wenig wrote that eBay will soon be rolling out “…a more intuitive, convenient way to browse, decide and buy – both globally and locally; and a new personal way to curate your own shopping experience and discover items perfect for you.”

A key part of the changes, it seems, is the new eBay feed, which is a personalized homepage of items culled from “interests” — terms such as “slouch sweater” or “toy truck” — you’ve chosen to follow. The whole thing is remarkably Pinterest-like, I have to say, and speaks volumes about how eBay is laying the cornerstone of their future at the intersection of inspiration and e-commerce.

Above, you can see an example of the new eBay Feed, and below is a screenshot of eBay’s revamped home page:

What do you think of the new logo? Of the new site overall? Do you think the feed will be as popular as eBay is hoping it will be?


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