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Yahoo Logo News

Yahoo unveils its new logo: reaction from Goosebumps, Taxi Studio, BrandOpus, Elmwood, 999 Design, Radley Yeldar, Aesop


By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

September 5, 2013 | 7 min read

Yahoo has today unveiled its first logo update in 18 years, after teasing users with 30 days of new logos. The Drum asked agencies such as BrandOpus, Aesop and Goosebumps what they thought of the update.

Spencer Buck, creative director and founder, Taxi Studio

There are a few words I could muster to articulate my thoughts as to Yahoo's new logo:Yippee, Hooray, Hurrah, Hallelujah, Bravo, Hot Dog, Whoopee, Yay, Yee-haw and Bravo... are not any of them. The very word Yahoo, sets a raison d'être for the brand's being. And as far as exclamations go... it's a cracker.The new logo is a step back... a 'before', not the 'after'. And I for one am getting fed up with brands that are jumping on the anti-brand brandwagon... is it me, or is the world of big corporate branding going every so slightly mad?

Martin Grimer, executive creative director, Aesop Agency

The Yahoo of old burst onto the scene with an onomatopoeic ‘oooh!’ Its perky comic slab serif was the Hawaiian shirt of logos, cowboy hat at the ready. But this affable slacker has been replaced by a stiff Optima-esque corporate suit, losing its character in the process.The jaunty charm is gone; the rich purple dulled and the new bevel fails to act as digital flourish.Yes, it’s good to see that they recognise the need for change, but this new face of Yahoo fails to present the brand with an inspired visual language. More than anything, this was a missed opportunity to really pack a punch and challenge the ever-playful Google.

Simon Cotterrell, strategic partner, Goosebumps

As a piece of design it’s nice enough. Unlike their Silicon Valley neighbours eBay, Yahoo have managed to balance looking a bit more grown up without losing their playful personality. But, for a brand that has increasingly fallen by the wayside in recent years, it feels like a missed opportunity to remind people of what makes them special.To do this, of course, the design would have required some kind of strategic idea behind it. As it is, the only strategic explanation given somewhat perpetuates the stereotype that brand design is simply about tinkering around with logo until you get something that makes you feel suitably warm and fuzzy. Transformational it ain’t.

Ian Lanksbury, design director, Radley Yeldar

As a crafted piece of typography it works well, but perhaps that's the geek in me (insert angled exclamation mark). But is that really enough in today's market? The previous mark had bags of whimsy, making it distinctive and memorable - this new incarnation has lost every bit of that and seems to say, "We're a serious grown up business, but don't forget we used to have a personality". Yahoo! is a great name, this logo doesn't do it justice. As for the 3D render…enough said!

John Ramskill, creative director London, BrandOpus

By making the creative development process a public affair, Yahoo have started out on the wrong foot. Everyone is bound to have an opinion, and a favourite from the raft of options that they have shared over the course of the last month. Personally, I prefer days 2, 10 and 11 to the chosen option. But from a technical design analysis, I would suggest that despite the rationalisation in the accompanying launch video, the final identity feels like a typeface rather than an own-able logo. The beveling and the 'bow-tie' style thick-thin typeface looks dated rather than achieving the modernity, as Marissa Mayer suggests. The rationalisation of adding the exclamation mark to add whimsy is questionable. It is out of proportion with the rest of the word mark: rather than drawing attention to the exclamation mark, it seems to fade into insignificance due to its recessive size. And in terms of a seamless brand identity launch, Yahoo hadn't even managed to update all the brand icons on their own homepage at time of press.

John Speight, creative director, 999 Design

So when I was asked to comment on the new Yahoo logo, I Googled “New Yahoo logo” which says it all really. I don’t really get Yahoo – who uses it? With a share price currently running at $28 it’s a silly statement I realise but it’s a bit like the PC equivalent of a search engine – it’s just not in my world. I don’t know enough about the bigger picture to comment on the logo with any sort of valued meaning. I could say I prefer the old wonky one but that’s only because I don’t particularly warm to this one. It looks pretty sorry for itself on the home page (lost in a page that looks like it was designed by someone that designed a PC interface in 2009). But whatever I say now, I’ll probably be saying something different in a couple of months. I’ve warmed to the new eBay logo now after turning the air blue on it’s unveiling. Nobody likes change.

Damian Nowell, creative director, Radley Yeldar

So after a month in the making we are finally greeted with the presence of Yahoo’s new logo. Yahoo!I’m neither impressed or excited. This was a real opportunity to be brave and create a distinctive identity, expressing Yahoo as an exciting brand.Disappointingly, none of this is the case.It feels old fashioned and looks like it might even have been inspired by the Yves Saint Laurent logo from the 1960’s. I’m actually more impressed by the animation sequence of logos created over the 30 days leading up to the launch.Obviously a brand is not represented solely by its logo and so it will be interesting to see how Yahoo! expands on this as an idea.Otherwise it will be a lot of yahoo-ha about nothing!

Jon Stubley, managing partner, Elmwood

We’ve all been on the receiving end of some sort of backlash at one point in our careers so I always think it’s best to try and be fairly magnanimous about others big reveals. All those hours of development, heartache, last minute changes and feedback from everybody and their uncle deserve a bit more sensitivity.Well, it’s not what I was expecting, though I am not sure what that was. It certainly feels more grown up and established, so as an exercise in creating a mark that’s unlikely to upset anyone too much and will be absorbed into its users psyche fairly quickly I’d say it‘s a success.How can I argue with ‘the exclamation point being tilted nine degrees for ‘whimsy’ - love it. More power to your elbow Marissa Mayer.

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