Yahoo overhauls visual identity to inject 'excitement' and 'momentum'

 

Yahoo has refreshed its visual identity to capture the brand's exuberant personality and reimagine it for the future. Done in collaboration with design consultancy Pentagram in the US, this marks the first significant change to the brand since the previous logo was introduced in 2013.

The update also coincides with the launch of new products and enhancements, including a reimagined Yahoo Mail app, and signals a strategic change for the company as it prepares to introduce other products and services over the coming year. According to a blog post on Pentagram, the agency explained that the identity reflects a new brand strategy for Yahoo that focuses on helping users find a more personalised, customised experience online.

With Yahoo's new products, users will be empowered to better sift out "irrelevant parts of the digital world", offering them more control of what they see and when they see it. According to Pentagram, such a strategy positions the internet company as an "amplification brand", amplifying the things that matter, helping to "amplify you". The idea is visualised in Yahoo’s exclamation point, a punctuation mark that literally stands for amplification. Pentagram said:

This strategy of simplicity and amplification is expressed in a new logo that is simpler and more flexible than its predecessor, and that looks back to the original, quirky 1996 logo.

The new logo features Yahoo's signature colour since 2003 - purple. The Pentagram designers refined the palette and made it more contemporary, selecting a primary purple which is a bright shade termed as "grape jelly" and secondary purples known as "hulk pants" and "malbec", as well as accent colours. As with the original logo, the new identity captures the voice of a brand named after an exclamation of joy and discovery, and still looks like it should be shouted or yodeled "yahoOOOOoooo!". The repeating circles of the “a,” “o”s and the dot on the exclamation point echo of the audio mnemonic of the yodel.

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The new wordmark is set in Centra No. 2 Extrabold, and the letters of the logotype have been modified to be more geometric and compact. The exclamation mark has been italicised for emphasis, as it has been in every iteration of the logo since the company’s founding.

Meanwhile, the "y" and "!" of the logo are both set at an angle of 22.5 degrees, representing a forward tilt that suggests a sense of momentum and excitement.

According to Pentagram, the angle, which is precisely 1/16th of a circle, is the basis for a visual language built around angles and incremental slices. The Pentagram designers worked with Yahoo to iterate through and evaluate a wide range of options. Some of the options were more evocative of the original 1996 logo with its offset baseline and random angles, and some that were completely new, Pentagram said. The team also conducted in-depth research with employees and stakeholders as part of the process.

The logo has been optimised to work across various platforms and scales, from mobile apps to the side of a building. The identity is further streamlined with a simple “y!” monogram, useful for favicons and social media icons. Pentagram added in its blog post that the monogram is also the foundation for a cohesive brand architecture that locks up the “y!” with various channels to create sub-brands for Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Weather. Marketing has reached out to Yahoo for additional information about the visual refresh.

Yahoo is under Verizon Media, the media unit of Verizon which was formerly known as Oath, and is housed alongside other brands such as TechCrunch and HuffPost. Oath changed its name to Verizon Media in January this year.