Established in 2008, TaskRabbit is an online service that connects people (TaskPosters) who need something done and either don’t have the time to do it, the desire to do it, or the expertise to do it with people (TaskRabbits) that have the time, desire, and expertise to do it — perhaps, too, the need (or want) for some extra cash. The premise is simple: say you have a wall that needs to be painted and you post it as a task and establish a fee you are willing to pay, then TaskRabbits bid to do the task by submitting their own fee and expertise, you choose and the person comes in and does the job. TaskRabbit is available in few cities at the moment, like New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Chicago and there are over 4,000 vetted TaskRabbits running around doing errands and jobs. This month, TaskRabbit introduced a new logo designed in-house.
“We wanted to simplify. Not only has our B2B product, TaskRabbit for Business, experienced rapid growth, but we’ve also seen an increase in users accessing our product via mobile devices. We tried modifying the earlier rabbit logo mark with some success, but realized that we needed a heftier shift in identity expression. The old rabbit posed some technical barriers, including readability at small sizes. Since changing the rabbit is a pretty significant design decision, we decided to take the opportunity to take a critical look at our visual expression and reevaluate the design as a whole.”
— TaskRabbit blog post
“Part of the reasoning behind redesigning the rabbit came from customer feedback about how TaskPosters and TaskRabbits perceived the brand. We did some research to gather these learnings and determined it was time to redefine the principle meaning behind TaskRabbit to evoke impressions of professionalism while sustaining a friendly and familiar demeanor.”
— TaskRabbit blog post
As poorly drawn as the old rabbit was — weird changes in line thicknesses, a bag without straps, strange feet — it had a clear message: running around doing stuff, quickly. And the all lowercase, italic wordmark was anything but pretty. The new logo is an aesthetic improvement but takes away the instant message of the original. Now, the rabbit is sitting, static. It could be argued that it — the blog post hints the rabbit is a she and is internally called “Hazel” — is waiting patiently for her next task. But it’s really not. It’s just a rabbit now. A rabbit that lost her messenger bag, that differentiated it from other rabbits. It’s better drawn in some respects: the line-work is better, but the hind leg becomes some kind of fox tail that seems to wrap under the body, while the puffy tail sits at top. Not sure what happened there. The rabbit also mostly just works against a green background where the circle that appears in the white background version is not visible, which looks kind of strange. The typography at first glance also looks like an improvement but the design team got a little carried away with customizing whatever that font used to be. They have swashed the “k” and “R”, rounded one corner of the characters, chopped of the “t” on both sides, etc. Also, in application, they list Omnes and Source Sans Pro as primary typefaces with ITC Avant Garde Gothic as a secondary typeface… um, no. Unless you are being graphically ironic, you do not mix three sans serif fonts like that. I’m thinking I’ll apply as a TaskRabbit and run the errand of selecting some typefaces for them.