Yahoo's logo has got a fashion makeover for the first time since shortly after the Internet company's founding 18 years ago. The new look unveiled late Wednesday is part of a makeover that the company has been undergoing since it hired Google executive Marissa Mayer to become Yahoo's CEO 14 months ago.
The redesigned logo retains some of the elements of the old one. The Internet Industry Leader Yahoo's familiar exclamation point (!) stays there too, but with a twist: When visitors come to Yahoo's front page or an app, the exclamation point dances across some of the lettering before settling at the end of the company's name at a slight tilt of nine degrees. The purple also stays.
CEO Marissa Mayer describes the process in a post on Yahoo's recently acquired Tumblr site titled "Geeking Out on the Logo," Mayer On a personal level, I love brands, logos, color, design, and, most of all, Adobe Illustrator. I think it's one of the most incredible software packages ever made. I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous
So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team: Bob Stohrer, Marc DeBartolomeis, Russ Khaydarov, and our intern Max Ma. We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail.
We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo - whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.
In an attempt to drum up more interest in the changeover, Yahoo teased users with different company logos running daily in advance of the makeover. The company had already come up with a new logo design and wasn't seeking user input to the design of the logo but rather wanted to see what kind of feedback it was getting externally as well as internally. Yahoo got the input of over 1,000 employees in the process.
Mayer's overhaul of Yahoo has attracted a lot of attention. During the past few months, Yahoo redesigned its Flickr, Weather, Sports, Mail, News and Search services. Mayer has also been on an acquisition spree of more than 20 companies.
However this hasn't provided a significant lift to the company's revenue. Yahoo relys on Internet advertising to make most of its profits, an area where the company's growth has been tardy while more marketing dollars flow to rivals such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. Mayer has been a vocal advocate of a Yahoo strategy to boost its services for users.
"A brand logo can signal the direction for the company, but they also have to deliver on it," says Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates. "The risk is that they are adjusting something cosmetically when they have a long list of strategic changes to make."
"People are hard to please. Half of the market usually either likes the old logo better or half feels the wrong winner was picked, he says. "It's a hard game to win. A lot of people will criticize them for what they do."
Yahoo's stock has surged by nearly 80 percent, but most of that gain has been driven by the company's 24 percent stake in China's Alibaba Holdings Group. Investors prize Alibaba because it has emerged as one of the fastest growing companies on the Internet.