Yahoo's new logo (still) looks like it should be yodeled

Redesign from Pentagram arrives amid new products from former search leader

Published On
Sep 23, 2019

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Yahoo unveiled its new logo Monday, its third since launching the brand more than 24 years ago. 

“As with the original logo, the new identity captures the voice of a brand named after an exclamation of joy and discovery, and still looks like it should be shouted or yodeled — ‘yahoOOOOoooo!’” says Pentagram, which designed the logo. The redesign also “signals a strategic change for the company as it prepares to introduce other products and services over the coming year.”

Pentagram—which has performed similar work for brands such as Slack, Expedia and Rolls Royce—says the new logo coincides (mostly) with the launch of Yahoo’s new Mail app. The agency started working on the logo last March alongside Yahoo’s creative team. “It probably took two months to get something that looked like the final logo,” Michael Bierut, partner and owner at Pentagram, tells Ad Age. "We then spent the summer refining it and making sure it performed across the company’s platforms.”

The previous Sans Serif font has been ditched for Centra No. 2 Extra Bold and the letters, now all lower case, have been modified to be more geometric and compact, Pentagram says. Similar to other logo redesigns, Yahoo’s new logo is meant to work across various products—both digital and physical (see socks below). The redesign will also streamline the company’s many brands—Finance, Sports, Weather—using the monogram of “y!”

“Yahoo is trying to refresh to face the reality that it’s 2020 now and competitors not only aren’t going away, their platforms are growing larger and deeper," says Patrick Hanlon, author of “Primal Branding” and CEO of brand consultancy Thinktopia. "Yahoo is facing an existential moment—and its response is to plant a new flag.”

Yahoo was once the dominant player in search, but today it’s the third largest player in the space. The company holds about a 3 percent market share, which is behind No. 2 Bing (5 percent) and Google (88 percent), according to Amazon-owned Statista. “Yahoo has been trying to find its place since it was displaced by Google in the last century," Hanlon adds. We suppose that yet another Logo change signals actual changes."

The new logo is the first significant change since 2013, or shortly after then CEO Marissa Mayer took the helm of the company. Back then, Mayer debuted “30 Logos in 30 Days,” where Yahoo featured a different logo on its website for an entire month, a move which served the company with both marketing and (likely) A/B testing. 


Sep 23, 2019
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