Established in 2014 but launched this month in London, Karhoo is a cab comparison app that works with established operators of licensed black cabs, minicabs, and executive cars to provide users with options of what’s the best car to order, based on price, proximity, and vehicle style. The kicker: Uber is not allowed. So far, Karhoo has signed up a network totaling 400,000 local taxis, minicabs, and executive cars in London, where it is first launching, and in Los Angeles, New York, and Singapore, where it aims to expand by 2017. The identity for Karhoo has been designed by London-based SomeOne.
The brief to was to build a brand that supports Karhoo’s mission to use positive disruption to help established operators of licensed black cabs, minicabs and executive cars level the playing field and be part of the e-hailing revolution, while giving consumers more choice with every cab booking.
A beautifully simple world of graphic ‘wheels’ in all of their sizes, behaviours and colours that scream ‘choice’. There’s something in there for everyone.
This brand will predominantly live on screens, so we capitalised on the opportunity to make it feel bright and alive, and created a ‘pingy’ and positive standout palette that could grow over time as Karhoo’s network of cab companies grow.
The previous logo was a good start with a nice customized wordmark that conveyed a sense of streets. It even held up if you zoom out, maintaining a thin inline effect. The new logo takes the same letterforms, fills them up, and replaces the “o”s with two perfect circles that help cement gradients as the comeback trend of the year. As a logo I find the transparency and interlocking effect of the old one more interesting but the new one is somehow more confident as if it doesn’t need visual hooks to carry on with business.
The identity relies on super bright RGB colors to establish a family of gradients applied to a world of “O”s. Maybe I’m a born-again sucker for this trend but I’m digging the gradients, both on their own and in application.
In application, it’s all about the gradient “O”s and they demand attention not just because of the bright colors, but their sizing and cropping in the different layouts that create a lot of tension and make good use of white space. The very best thing about the project is the spot directly above. It’s like Tron in daylight and if it had had sex with Life Savers (or Polo fruits). Watch it in 1080p. It’s visually great. Overall, this works well within the boundaries of app-based start-ups disrupting this or that but has an extra boost in execution from the high-contrast gradients and doubling-down on the “OO” in the name to populate the world with bright “O”s throughout.