Have you ever finished rebranding your company and thought: “That was so much fun, I wish I could do it 30 times!” That’s what Yahoo did last fall, when they released a new logo every day for a month. They finally landed on one of the most underwhelming redesigns of 2013:
Apparently, this was the result of a lot of sciencey planning, but most of us just thought “Inner bevel? Seriously?” In Yahoo’s defense, the new design was based on important considerations, like this one:
Our last move was to tilt the exclamation point by 9 degrees, just to add a bit of whimsy.
I think we can all agree that nothing says “let the good times roll” like a 9° tilt. Like many people, I’ve spent months thinking I could do better. Unlike most people, I don’t have the good sense to ignore that impulse. So, let’s get to work…
Yahoo’s Brand Message
First, I think we have to distill Yahoo’s brand message. If Yahoo could only shout one thing from the rooftop, and if they had just been injected with some kind of truth serum before they climbed up to that roof, I think that message would be:
Guys, we’re still relevant! Guys?
Sorry, Yahoo, but it’s time for some tough love – we’ve kind of forgotten about you. I mean, we know you still exist, but when someone asks “Do you Yahoo?”, that person has mostly likely just stepped out of a DeLorean with Doc Brown.
Version 1 – The Question
So, why not own it? Sure, Yahoo’s had a few rough years, but you know what we loved about them – they knew how to have fun. It’s time to bring the fun back, and the irreverence. Here’s my first attempt:
Ya-Who, exactly? You’re too serious, Yahoo. Remember when you were purple and fun? Remember when we would go out and have a few drinks and not have to worry about getting a sitter and paying them $20/hour just to spend the entire evening wondering if they were a serial killer and if it was ok to leave the kids a 5 lb. bag of gummy bears for dinner? Good times.
Version 2 – More Questions
Of course, there’s an even simpler question, and simplicity is the heart of minimalism:
Note how the question mark on the right has a 9° rotation, for that critically important added touch of whimsy. I pushed it up to 10° and showed a focus group, and they stripped off their clothes and started doing keg stands, so clearly that was one degree too far.
Your Move, Yahoo.
All of these logos can be yours for the very reasonable price of a year’s supply of tacos or a membership to any artisanal cheese-of-the-month club. Ok, I don’t really expect Yahoo to embrace these designs, but I just needed to get this off of my chest. If you’d like to see other people take a crack at it, check out this design from a Yahoo intern or the contest winner from 99designs.