The Brand Evolution of Yahoo, a Search History

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Welcome to the ‘new’ Yahoo.

The internet icon Yahoo has changed its distinctive logo for the first time in nearly two decades. Yahoo experimented early on with the look of its logo shortly after the company was founded back in 1995, but it has largely remained the same for years. In changing its iconic logo, Yahoo joins a large number of similar companies who have followed the same trend including Twitter, Microsoft, and eBay.

Although in recent years Yahoo’s brand has been overall consistent, there have been quite a few brand overhauls throughout the evolution of the company. The first logo was designed in 1995 and featured a very bold red, with a traditional serif typeface. The original logo was designed with a customized typeface called Yahoo, created by GautFonts to imitate the lettering. The logo was then finished with the accent of a drop shadow and black outline, which by today’s standards, shows how dated that logo style is.

1996

In 2009 they went through another makeover. Only this time it was not a very far deviation from where it began. The red color was thrown out and the company opted for a lighter purple. Along with this they also decided to finally go without the heavy drop shadow and outline. The next major reincarnation of the logo would not come until 2013 but in the meantime Yahoo’s icon “Y” and trademarked “!” went through a few changes of their own.

2009
1995-2008

In September of 2013, the new logo for Yahoo was unveiled and what remained the same was the iconic exclamation mark and the purple color. It is in this variation where they decided to finally remove the serifs in hopes of adopting a more modern look. However, it is the addition of a bevel that truly shows it’s age.

2013

And finally we come to the new Yahoo or at least yet another take on reinventing the brand image. The new logo keeps the purple and the exclamation point, but it ditches any remnants of the company’s many previous marks and mistakes. Instead, the new identity follows a trend of keeping things crisp and friendly. With bold san serif letterforms and no additional text effects, Yahoo’s logo is finally where it needs to be. Overall the main surprise is its exclamation point, which is slanted like an italic.

today

Aside from remaking the old logo, Yahoo has also developed a broader rebranding strategy, which has previously been down hundreds of millions of dollars a year in advertising revenue. It is no surprise that the company has fallen on hard times due to the fact that most people are no longer use many of its services and some may see this to have been a bad acquisition on Verizon’s part.

Regardless of what the future hold for Yahoo, the most recent brand refresh is a step in the right direction. Say what you will about Yahoo today, but there are few brands that evoke the wild west of the old internet like Yahoo. The early portal and novelty of news, weather, sports, and everything else had an unmistakable brand in the late 1990s and it conveyed the optimistic promise of those early days of the web and what was yet to come. Yahoo is one of those early brands that help shaped the way we see the internet today.

Hopefully we will get to see them change shape yet again.

Sources
  1. Yahoo redesigns its logo to remind you that Yahoo exists
  2. Evolution of Logo – Yahoo

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