What Your Company Logo Says About Your Brand: A look behind Yahoo’s new design.
Posted on October 7, 2013

In case you missed it, Yahoo’s new logo was launched to mix reviews, both from designers and the public alike, according to a post on Forbes.com, “Yahoo’s New Logo Fails to Impress—But People Are Talking About It!”

But why the push back? Is it simply much-ado-about-nothing? After all, what’s in a few straight lines, curliquies or color that couldn’t be created by the boss’s niece, or the art class at the high school with the same impact and hoped-for meaning?

But the dust kicked up by the new Yahoo logo is reason enough to consider What Your Company Logo Says About Your Brand.

On a more scientific bent, a summary of study completed by the Rotterdam School of Management, as posted on the Harvard Review website, revealed one design technique—the use of straight lines—that Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and her merry band of designers would reject hands down as not being radiating the true character and purpose of the Yahoo brand. Noted Mayer:

We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated.  Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history.  Having a human touch, personal.  Proud.

The Rotterdam study included two groups who looked closely at 100 logos from Global 500 companies. What’s more, while one team ranked the logos on their overall “attractiveness and symmetry,” the other tries to establish if the logo implied just how “ethical” the company might be.

Now that’s a lot of pressure for any designer, but this group’s findings put it succinctly:

“Rationally or not, people associate symmetrical logos with more ethical, socially responsible behavior.”

When Yahoo made their list of objectives regarding the new logo design, among the many subjective goals sited were a couple about NOT want to use straight lines. After all, they said publicly that straight lines are not part of the human form: we are made up of curves, they so noted.

Thick or thin lines, the new Yahoo logo is purportedly conveying a look at some of what the corporation does in providing “subjective and editorial” content.

Furthermore, the Yahoo! design team agreed they wanted to let the new logo preserve the old logo’s sense of “yodel.” Hence, they worked hard to deliver that “playful” feel that’s purportedly generated by the new logo via the use of the “00’s.”


Tags: New, Yahoo, Logo, Harvard Review, Forbes,