Design

Yahoo Wades Into Perilous Waters With a Logo Redesign


Yahoo Wades Into Perilous Waters With a Logo Redesign

Photograph by Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

We are one month away from a new Yahoo logo. Start your preparations now.

Or, I should really say, we are 30 days away from a new Yahoo! logo. Even though the typeface may change, Yahoo’s chief marketing officer, Kathy Savitt, has promised that the exclamation point is here to stay. Over the next 30 days, tweaked versions of the Yahoo (YHOO) logo will be rolled out on a daily basis, culminating in a revealing of the new logo on Sept. 4. Savitt has also confirmed in a blog post that the logo will remain purple, either as way to maintain brand consistency or, possibly, out of respect to Prince. (I’m hoping it’s the latter.)

Logo changes are a tricky business. Just ask the Gap (GPS), J.C. Penney (JCP), and Tropicana (PEP), which had to backtrack after customers recoiled at their new, updated looks. Then there’s the problem of perception. Sure, unveiling a new logo brings a certain amount of media attention (like this post here), but saying you’re changing your look can also smack of a certain amount of institutional insecurity. As famous philosopher (and former power forward for the New York Knicks), Charles Oakley, once said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.”

Still, Yahoo’s current logo does look a little … hokey? And Yahoo’s had some issues with its corporate graphics lately. The company’s updated weather app was well received, but people hated the icon. Yahoo changed it, and people hated that, too, so now it’s back to the original version. At least until the company’s logo changes, and, presumably, the weather icon changes for a third time.

But perhaps Yahoo will luck out and land a logo that’s actually better than the one that preceded it. After all, it worked for Apple.

Grobart is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and the managing editor of Bloomberg Digital Video. Follow him on Twitter @samgrobart.

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  • YHOO
    (Yahoo! Inc)
    • $50.88 USD
    • -0.03
    • -0.06%
  • GPS
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