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The New Yahoo! Logo: A Case of Stolen Identity

  • keyweb
  • Sep 05, 2013

After a month of teasing, a healthy dose of optimistic hope and a whole host of crowd-sourced design concepts, Yahoo! finally revealed its new logo today.

Yahoo new logo design

New Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has been on an impressive run of updates and acquisitions since coming on board in 2012, and the implementation of a new logo represents a much-needed update to a brand that’s stood behind its whimsical, if not immature, logo design for nearly two decades.

Outdated Yahoo logo design

The marketing and design teams at Yahoo! collaborated to create a 30-day countdown of logo designs that didn’t make the cut, but also hinted at the direction the company may take with its new brand identity. The seemingly hastily thrown-together concepts ranged from minimalist to gaudy futurism, but what they lacked in polish they made up for with the one thing the designers left out when creating the new official company logo: Fun.

If there’s one thing I’ve associated with Yahoo! since their inception, it’s been an emphasis on enjoyment. Their brand has always instilled a sense of action and excitement, punctuated perfectly by that now-famous exclamation point. While the mark remains intact on the new logo (in all its beveled glory), it has lost a lot of its impact, more akin to a thumbs-up from a conservative 40-something at a board meeting than a high-five between two teenagers who have just landed some sick tricks on their skateboards.

Maybe it’s a sign that Yahoo! has grown up, but to me the new logo suggests that the company has left behind the most endearing trait of its childhood, eschewing fun for fastidiousness. Hundreds of amateur and professional designers jumped at the opportunity to create their own logos, including our own graphic designer, Anthony. Judging by the negative feedback the official logo has generated so far, it seems Yahoo! would have done well to look through the crowd-sourced logos to identify what was missing from their own design.

Mayer and the rest of her Yahoo! team have a lot of work to do to convince the masses that Yahoo’s new brand hasn’t completely abandoned the whimsy which defined their success in the early days of the Internet. If there’s one thing Yahoo! has undeniably done well in all of this, though, it’s to get people talking about them again. As it has so often been said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Regardless of whether this new logo withstands the next 20 years of digital advancement, it’s safe to say Yahoo! has firmly planted itself in the forefront of our collective online consciousness, which is an accomplishment in and of itself considering the company’s stature just a short time ago.

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