Established in 1998, OpenTable is the leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 16 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 32,000 restaurants — a total of more than 760 million diners in 17 years. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, it has offices and is available in Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the UK. (Also Canada, sans local office). In 2014, the company was acquired by The Priceline Group, they of William Shatner-fame. I remember when OpenTable came out and it was kind of a shady proposition to book a reservation through them instead of directly through the restaurant but now by default I make reservations there instead of calling the restaurant or on their website. This week, OpenTable introduced a new logo with an icon designed by Berkeley, CA Tomorrow Partners that was part of a larger initial collaboration, while the rest of the identity was developed in-house.
For the brand positioning, we looked at how OpenTable could create a more personalized connection between diner and restaurant, by shifting focus from transactions to experiences. With its bright color palette and minimalist shapes, the new icon we designed embodies this transformation.
Tomorrow Partners provided text
With just a few shapes, our new logo says a lot. It symbolizes the connection we forge between restaurants and diners, the way we help diners find the perfect fit, and the fact that our customers are always our focus.
The old logo has always rubbed me the wrong way although there is nothing inherently wrong with it. There are circles that look like table tops and one of them is red, meaning it’s open and available to you. The typography had a strong late 1990s dot com vibe and it’s kind of amazing it’s stayed the same since launch. But there was something overly literal about the whole thing that didn’t sit well. The new logo takes the round table approach to a new minimal concept that is less literal. I like that it’s a really thick “O” for OpenTable and I get the concept of the outer dot being the diner and the circle being the table waiting for said diner. You could argue that the visual represents a lonely diner but you could also argue back that it’s usually one person that makes a reservation for a group of people who then join the lonesome reservationist — as shown in the animation higher up the page. It’s a nice, simple icon and it works well on its own. The wordmark is personable and works as a proper complement to the chunky icon. And, hey, it’s not Lineto’s Circular which it very well could be.
Our brand color palette conveys our passion for delightful dining experiences. The OpenTable color palette is refined and focused to provide consistency for both the diner and restaurant sides of the business.
Early girl [red] is our star for experiences targeting our diners: the primary color in our corporate identity. Early girl conveys the energy and passion we invest in connecting our diners to new experiences and the warmth of great hospitality.
There are no applications to see but you can get a taste of how OpenTable is presenting and talking about itself in this brand microsite that focuses on all the warm and fuzzy associations of dining out with friends and/or family and capitalizes on cool restaurant imagery and happy people, which is a clever way to humanize what is basically an online tool for a company that neither cooks food nor runs restaurants. Overall, this is a solid update for a service many people have to come to rely on and it now looks and feels like a modern-day online company.
Thanks to Brooks Hassig for the tip.