ate last night, Yahoo formally unveiled a new logo after about a month of teasing out a redesign. The "30 days of change campaign," said chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt, was Yahoo's way of "having some fun while honoring the legacy of our present logo."
It's the first logo redesign in 18 years for the purple-clad web giant. "We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo — whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history," Mayer wrote on her shiny new billion-dollar Tumblr. "Having a human touch, personal. Proud."
Mayer went on to note that Yahoo's designers didn't want any straight lines in the logo, since straight lines "don't exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature." The team also considered using all lowercase letters, but in the end decided that uppercase was more easily readable, especially from a mobile device.
"The end result eschews many of the design trends to come out of Silicon Valley in recent years," writes John Brownlee at Fast Co. Design. "Where the zeitgeist is to go flat, Yahoo has gone beveled, almost three-dimensional."
Initial reaction has, at least so far, been less than kind:
OMG Yahoo that’s not good.— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) September 5, 2013
remember when people talked about marissa mayer's sense of taste— matt (@mattbuchanan) September 5, 2013
OMG, Yahoo's new logo the Clinique logo, someone just pointed out. Compare: pic.twitter.com/2BeeELXcdC— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) September 5, 2013
Wait, people don't like the new Yahoo logo? It's SO much better than than old one. Soooooo much better.— MG Siegler (@parislemon) September 5, 2013
I don't think it's that bad, especially with the white-on-purple background. It's certainly not a GAP-level atrocity, and probably a level or two below say, Aol's latest refresh. Is it functional? Sure. Brilliant? Meh. Still distinctively Yahoo, weird exclamation point and all? Surely.
And hey! Tech logos aren't exactly the kinds of things designers daydream about when they're reclining in a cushy Eames lounger; 98 percent of the logos out there are atrocities that we've quickly grown accustomed to, anyway. (Google, eBay, and Facebook's obsession with blue immediately come to mind. Sony's fat, austere lettering still wins as my all-time personal fave.)
TIME's Harry McCracken hits the Yahoo logo redesign on the nose here:
I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a new logo that’s better than the one it replaces.— Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) September 5, 2013
So let's all take a deep breath. Marissa Mayer's Yahoo is still one of the two biggest sites on the internet. And it's still really, really purple.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- The Warren Buffett formula: How you can get smarter
- 7 ways to quickly become a master at anything
- Today in history: The birth of the federal income tax
- The contentious policy at the heart of Cliven Bundy's armed standoff with the government
Subscribe to the Week