The company that would eventually transition into Lyft – Zimride – was founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in 2007. At first, Zimride focused on ride-sharing for long distance trips. In 2012, though, Zimmer and Green introduced Lyft as a service of Zimride that offered ridesharing for much shorter trips. By 2013, the company name was changed to Lyft and the focus shifted almost entirely to short-distance ride-sharing.
The model for Lyft involved hiring drivers to use their own vehicles to transport passengers. After the ride, the passengers would automatically have their Lyft account debited for the cost of the ride. 80% of the money would go to the driver, and Lyft kept the remaining 20%.
As part of their marketing, Lyft had drivers outfit the front of their vehicles with a fuzzy pink mustache. Passengers were also encouraged to sit in the front seat of the vehicle and fist-bump the driver when they got in. Later, Lyft would introduce a color-changing dashboard indicator and a mustache shaped light that drivers put on the front of their vehicle in place of the fuzzy pink mustache. All of these things created an experience different from the typical taxi experience and helped set Lyft apart from the competition.
By January 2017, Lyft announced that it would add 100 US cities to its list of cities served, bringing the total 300 US cities. While Lyft has faced some regulatory challenges, they have managed to overcome these to become a company currently valued at $7.5 billion.
Throughout Lyft’s short but success-filled history, clever marketing and a unique approach to ridesharing have been instrumental in growing the Lyft brand, and to that end, the company’s recognizable logo has played a major role in their success.
History of the Lyft Logo
The original Lyft logo was actually born out of a partnership between a friend of the company’s founders named Ethan Eyler. At the time, Eyler was running a company that sold large, fuzzy pink mustaches that attached to the front of a vehicle. Zimmer and Green started out giving away the mustache ornaments at Lyft events, and soon the fuzzy pink mustaches became an inseparable part of the Lyft brand. Shortly thereafter, the Lyft logo featured the recognizable mustache design.
“There was something that was really uplifting about seeing this thing on a car,” Zimmer said about the mustaches in an interview with Inc., “It brought smiles to peoples’ faces.”
“It’s part of the fun; it’s part of the whimsy. It’s trying to get people to smile. Even if a driver won’t put it on his car, he’s probably smiling about it and talking about it,” Zimmer continued, “The mustache is actually a symbol of trying to connect and to have fun.”
Eventually, the Lyft logo would drop the mustache, though they can still be found adorning many Lyft vehicles, and the Lyft logo still features its iconic bright pink color and bubble letter font.
Design Elements of the Lyft Logo
Lyft wanted to brand themselves as a fun, hip alternative to taxis, and part of doing this was designing a logo that was bright, fun, and comical.
The color pink is also significant for Lyft as they try to convey that they are very friendly towards female drivers and passengers alike. Lyft wanted to shift away from the masculine designs typically used in the transportation industry, and a pink logo with bubble letters was the perfect way to do this.