Yahoo!’s logo and branding design have gone unchanged for 30 years. By branding standards, that’s quite an accomplishment. It means that Yahoo!’s branding design was created to be adaptable enough to stay relevant through all the changes the information age has seen.


credit: YAHOO!

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Yahoo!’s brand has evolved, and brand designers were charged with the task of modifying the logo to reflect that evolution. At Yahoo!, there’s a refreshed sense of purpose, innovation, a line of new products, new supporting artists, and mutually beneficial collaboration. What hasn’t changed is Yahoo!’s sense of fun, vibrancy, and an all-inclusive welcome.

A Branding Design Process

From the beginning, Yahoo!’s purple has communicated their market presence with its royal connotation. Couple that with those off-kilter letters and the exclamation point, and you’ve got a branded message:  Fun for everyone with legacy, integrity, and a hint of that famous Yahoooooooo! yodel.

Yahoo! spent 30 days prior to today’s logo launch engaging the public with the unveiling. Each day, a new adaptation of the logo was released. Via social media, the public weighed in on their favourites. This was a brilliant move on Yahoo!’s part. Not only did it engage their target audience (those deeply immersed in the digital world), it built anticipation and put a campaign audience in place. Those people were ready to spread the word before there was word to be spread – a marvellous play on word-of-mouth advertising. This pre-launch publicity also served to set up Yahoo!’s audience to love the final product. Why? The 29 options that were not chosen differed more greatly from the original than the final, new logo. Was this an innovative plan for building an appreciation for the original logo? And essentially, the core values of Yahoo!? I think so.

The build-up to the release also served to buffer the blow of change. It’s human nature to resist change; however, if there’s plenty of warning, and focus is placed on preparedness, change isn’t quite as painful as it might have been. By respecting its audience’s resistance to change, Yahoo! built trust in its brand – another brilliant example of effective brand-building.

To understand what Yahoo!’s new logo branding design represents, it can be helpful to grasp exactly what a logo is. A logo is a representation of all that lies beneath. It is a succinct sign that calls up all the impressions and emotions that have resulted from past experiences with a brand. By updating their logo, but not drastically changing it, Yahoo! have preserved the brand identity they have been building for 30 years, whilst communicating how they are moving into the next decade…and more. This branding design evolution means that more change is coming for Yahoo!, and judging by the engagement this campaign has received, their followers are probably feeling confident in that change.

Branding design is so much more than graphic design. To learn about how a branding design expert can build your brand, connect with How to Build a Brand on Twitter or call +44 (0) 208 123 6776.

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