Unsolicited Yahoo Logo #31

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.


  1. says

    Oh my goodness!

    “I think we can all agree that nothing says “let the good times roll” like a 9° tilt.”

    I actually laughed out loud! Wowza.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Will Stevens says

    Maybe it’s time they finally buried the hatchet with Yahoo Serious and launched a joint comeback campaign?

    • Dr. Pete says

      Centuries from now, Yahoo Serious will be recognized as a genius before his time, and Young Einstein will be the only movie anyone is allowed to watch. Fortunately, I’ll be dead by then.

  3. says

    Great dry humor take on their logo.

    I’ve always felt that exclamation point is so putridly outdated- it was corny 15 years ago, and they’re still sticking to it.

    I also think the intern’s new logo was awesome. But, it’s not like Yahoo’s logo is bad or anything, just not as good as it could be.

    • Dr. Pete says

      Their new logo is fine, honestly. I think it was the conceit of the process and video that bothered me. There’s so much to branding that’s still opinion, and they created a pseudo-science explanation for every little detail. Meanwhile, most normal people just thought “Wow, 30 versions, and that’s what you got?” and moved on with life.

      • says

        I hear you. But the ironic thing is, tilting the exclamation point ‘9 degrees’ is definitely whimsical. I guess the presentation of the idea was the bad part though.

        • Dr. Pete says

          I think it was the idea that 9 degrees was somehow science that I found funny. It’s true that the tilt (in general) does matter. I actually love the Yahoo brand of a decade or so ago and their irreverence. They knew how to make fun of themselves back then.

          • says

            I agree about the irreverence. Ahh the good ol’ day when Yang was running the show hehe.

            Marissa Mayer is a bit too mindful of everyone watching her, imo. We’l see what happens.

  4. says

    Dr. Pete, your humor amuses me. You have the right amount of dry without taking it too far. It’s more than 9 degrees, but it works for you.

    How much do you charge for your logo design for new companies? You really need to add a pricing page. And a few contact forms.

    • Dr. Pete says

      I hope future posts dissuade anyone from thinking they should hire me to redesign their logo. There’s a reason this isn’t my day job :)

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