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Yahoo rolls out its new logo

Heather Kelly, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • After 30 days of teasers, Yahoo has unveiled its new logo
  • The font is different but much of the logo, including exclamation point, are the same
  • The logo is part of a larger rebranding effort by the company

(CNN) -- After an extensive, month-long buildup, Yahoo has finally unveiled its new logo.

Overall the look is cleaner and thinner, and it is a new sans-serif typeface created by Yahoo. The logo is still purple, though a shade darker, and features all the usual uppercase letters in the same order finished off by the signature exclamation point, which dances around in some versions.

Yahoo posted two flavors of the new look to its Tumblr at midnight on Thursday. One is white text on a purple background, the other purple text on white background. Both have a slight beveled effect, though it's more noticeable on the purple text. It has already replaced the logo that appears on the top left corner of Yahoo.com.

"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.," wrote CEO Marissa Mayer in a blog post on Tumblr, which Yahoo bought earlier this year.

"We didn't want to have any straight lines in the logo. Straight lines don't exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature, so the human touch in the logo is that all the lines and forms all have at least a slight curve," Mayer added in her post, which goes into exhaustive detail about the thinking behind the logo.

In a recent internal poll of Yahoo employees, 87% wanted the logo changed, Mayer said.

Yahoo unveiled its simple new logo on Thursday September 5, after 30 days of showing runner-up logos that didn't make the cut. The overall the look is cleaner and thinner, and it is a new sans-serif typeface. The logo is still purple, though a shade darker, and features all the usual uppercase letters in the same order finished off by the signature exclamation point. Yahoo unveiled its simple new logo on Thursday September 5, after 30 days of showing runner-up logos that didn't make the cut. The overall the look is cleaner and thinner, and it is a new sans-serif typeface. The logo is still purple, though a shade darker, and features all the usual uppercase letters in the same order finished off by the signature exclamation point.
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Yahoo managed to turn a simple rebranding into an impressive marketing push by dragging it out for 30 days. For the past month, the company has rotated out the logo on its homepage daily with one of the runnersup. Some of the 29 logos were a lot more unusual than the final choice, perhaps to make fans appreciate the reserved simplicity of the final look.

"Sharing these logo variations prepares people for change, so there's less risk of what happened to Gap," said David Airey, a graphic designer specializing in brand identity.

When Gap tried changing its logo in 2010, there was an outcry among Gap loyalists and logo enthusiasts. The clothing company eventually caved and switched back to its old logo.

Yahoo's logo redesign was headed up by an in-house branding group and product designers, according to AdAge. It is likely just one of the more noticeable elements of a larger rebranding effort for the struggling company, which Mayer has re-energized since becoming CEO last year.

"The logo is only part of a brand new branding and image campaign. It signals to consumers, investors and employees that change is coming," said Columbia business school professor Bernd Schmitt.

The new logo is probably not different enough to raise much ire (or eyebrows) among Yahoo users, although some Internet critics were unimpressed.

On Twitter, the reaction to the logo was less than enthusiastic. "The new Yahoo logo looks like it got run through Alien Skin Eye Candy on Photoshop 4.0.," said Justin Williams.

"A bad logo is all it took for Yahoo! to make everyone talk about it," tweeted Preshit Deorukhkar, editor of design publication Beautiful Pixels.

Yahoo hasn't updated its logo since 2009, and it has been mostly the same since 1995. The move to change it now is logical given its Mayer's recent attempts to breathe new life into the brand.

"More often than not, when a company's identity looks a little tired (or more likely when new leadership wants to put their own stamp on things), what's already in place won't need to be thrown out. It'll just need to be freshened up," said Airey.

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