Yahoo isn’t just a search engine. It is an innovative web portal that brings together news, video sharing, email, and social media. What started as a simple directory of sites now helps millions of users worldwide follow the latest developments, communicate, and find the information they need on the Internet.
Meaning and History
The company frequently updates its identity to keep up with the latest trends on the World Wide Web. But the rethinking of the design does not concern the content of the logo: since 1996, it consists only of the words “Yahoo!”. This word cannot be considered an interjection because it is formed by the first letters from the phrase “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” According to another version, the service is named after the book’s unpleasant humanoid creatures Gulliver’s Travels.
1994 – 1995
When Jerry Yang and David Robert Filo created a website directory platform, they didn’t care about brand identity. Therefore, the first Yahoo logo looked like standard black lettering in the popular Times New Roman font.
In 1995, the company added an exclamation mark to the end of the name to make it somewhat different from Yahoo’s sauce maker. The wordmark received a new design: the letters became red-yellow, uneven, and jumpy. Shadows have been added around the edges, and a “!” This version has been in use for five months.
1995 – 1996
In the second half of 1995, a logo appeared known as Jumping Y Guy. It was invented by David Shen, the seventeenth employee of Yahoo. The curved yellow “Y” symbolized the little man jumping for joy because Yahoo helped him find what he needed. The blue circle in the background represented our planet.
That same year, the company turned to an organic advertising agency to revise the logo. The idea was to make the image not vertical but horizontal. For this purpose, the inscription “Yahoo!” has been added to the circle’s bottom. Chief designer Kevin Farnham chose the Able font and lifted the last letters. The word going up was supposed to be the embodiment of energy.
1996 – 2009
In the second half of the 1990s, a redesigned logo was introduced. The designers removed Jumping Y Guy and left only the inscription. The wordmark turned red, with a faint light gray shadow.
2009 – 2013
The Yahoo platform has once again repainted its name in an epic campaign. The palette was based on purple. Otherwise, this is the same version of the 1995 emblem, but without the shadows and outlines.
2013 – 2019
In 2013, the CEO of Marissa Mayer wanted to change the logo herself without going to professional studios. She had a little background in Adobe Illustrator, a team of in-house designers at Yahoo, and a couple of days off Saturday and Sunday.
This is a case of a redesign for redesign’s sake because essentially nothing has changed. The developers kept the purple color scheme by choosing the shade of Pantone Violet C. The subtle gradient made the letters three-dimensional. Also, the emblem creators used a sans serif font and kept the inclination of the exclamation mark at 9 degrees.
Marissa Mayer strictly controlled every little thing, and it reached the point of absurdity. When the team was picking a new color for Yahoo Mail, an obsessive CEO left the manager (he left for Disney) and the lead designer (he found a place at Google) because of the obsessive CEO. And when Mayer worked at Google, several people in senior positions fled from her. Therefore, we can confidently say that she came up with the new logo from start to finish.
2019 – present
In late 2019, the company turned to design agency Pentagram to simplify branding. The specialists insisted on bold lowercase letters and chose a modified Centra No. 2. The exclamation point at the end expresses the idea of amplification.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The current emblem is reminiscent of the old Looney Toons style of 1996. But it is more versatile because the designers have tried to make it suitable for both the Internet and physical media. In some cases, the full text is abbreviated to “y!” To denote the Yahoo sub-brands.
The logo designers took the Centra No. 2 Extrabold and slightly changed the shape of the symbols. The exclamation point got a slope of 22.5 degrees. The letters look more compact and more geometric than the original.
Since 2003, the brand name has been spelled in different shades of purple. According to legend, David Robert Filo bought much lavender paint for Yahoo’s offices, so the company was forced to make this color corporate.