Meetup is an American internet platform designed to create online interest groups that host real or virtual events. It has an international level and is available in thirteen languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, Korean, Dutch, Japanese, Thai. The service was created in the spring of 2002 by businessman Scott Heiferman and four other co-founders. It is now owned by AlleyCorp, a venture capital fund, and is headquartered in New York, USA.
Meaning and History
The online platform’s formation was triggered by the sad events of September 11, 2001, when the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers was carried out. Six months after the incident, influenced by Robert D. Putnam’s “Bowling Alone,” an Internet entrepreneur decided to create a unique service. Its purpose is to unite people with similar interests and to organize joint meetings to solve thematic issues. Meetings can be held in person or virtually.
Now it is a branched service with over thirty categories and a recognizable logo. The most sought-after destinations are adventure and outdoor activities, career and business, parents and family. Particular growth in the site’s popularity was observed in 2004 when the US presidential candidate Howard Dean used it for his election tasks. He repeatedly used it and advertised it on his website, so the logo became recognizable everywhere.
After gaining sufficient prominence, the online service was monetized: in 2005, it began to charge fees from interest groups’ organizers. And in 2009, the Internet platform used Hackathon for the first time to introduce new features, subject to the unanimous support of colleagues. In 2013, Meetup expanded with Dispatch’s acquisition, and in 2014 it underwent a massive DDoS attack sponsored by competitors.
In 2017, the service and its logo became part of WeWork, which resold the AlleyCorp venture fund project in early 2020. Having passed to a new owner, the service has not lost its identity and main function, remaining a platform for virtual or personal events under an authentic logo. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, its popularity increased even more: from March to October 2020 alone, it hosted over one million online meetings and discussions.
2002 – 2016
The debut logo consisted of the “meetup” lettering, despite the same size, in mixed case: the first letter in the upper, the rest in the lower. The symbols were uneven as if drawn by hand: the sides of the same sign’s height varied greatly. For example, “M” had the right side longer and taller than the left. Also, the “t” had the shape of an extended plus (+), and the “u” lacked a tail, which made it resemble “v.” The name of the service was written in black letters on a white background.
2016 – today
After the 2016 redesign, the logo of the online platform has become much friendlier. To emphasize customer focus, the service started using a pastel pink logo. Not only the color has changed, but also the style of the text. Now all letters are in lowercase, and “meetup” looks like a sloppy handwritten word. In this way, the emblem emphasizes the general availability of the service for professional purposes and just for hobbies. The characters are still chaotic, as if in fast or hesitant handwriting. Moreover, each of them has a different slope: “m” is shifted to the right, “p” is only slightly tilted, “t” and “u” are located exactly, and two “e” are directed to the left.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The first letter from the “meetup” caption also forms an individual icon in which all colors are reversed: instead of pink, white is used, and vice versa. The icon looks exactly like the main logo, only in a single format. The lowercase “m” legs’ thickness is not the same, and the end of the latter goes much lower than the main border. The letter’s background is a spot in the form of a cloud with semicircular protrusions along the edges, surrounded by many points of different diameters.
For the emblem of the commercial service, the owners chose a custom font. The first version resembles brush strokes; in the second – an imitation of handwritten text. In both cases, the letters have a unique style. This is especially true for “m” (it has different leg thicknesses and tilt to the right), “ee” (they are not identical and directed to the left), “t” (resembles a plus sign or a cross with a low crossbar), “u” (looks like a Roman figure “v”).
The corporate palette consists of black (used for the debut logo) and pastel pink # f63e60 (used for the icon and the current emblem).