Logo and branding changes can often be contentious things.
Remember when The Post Office mysteriously became Consignia? That didn’t last long. It also cost a lot of money – About £2 million, if you include the placements of the new logo before the old one was quickly reinstated.
Or how about the BBC’s old 1988 cursive RGB logo that wasn’t modern enough so they used Gill Sans? (And cost about half a million pounds to design) The 1997 BBC logo has actually quite successful despite some early misgivings.
We’ve also had the London 2012 Olympic logo, at a cost of some £400,000 and the flak that it caught, not least from officials in Iran who swore it was part of a Jewish conspiracy and spelt out the word Zion.
More recently we’ve had British Gas go from being specialist purveyors of gas to a diversified “home services provider”. Their logo has some questionable aspects to it and they’ve gone for green and blue, commonly understood in colour psychology to convey trust.
But today I want to talk about Yahoo!
I haven’t been following their “30 days of change” particularly closely but it came to my attention once it had started and I was happy to see them considering a refresh.
I must admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Yahoo! since they were one of the major players when I started on the ‘net in 1998. Along with Dogpile, Hotbot and Magellan, they’ve been overshadowed by Google and even Yahoo’s search results are now provided by Bing, another name for Microsoft’s search engine (Formerly known as MSN Search, Live Search and also Windows Live Search)
But they are still one of the big players and so, as Microsoft and Google have moved with the times, so must Yahoo.
And so we’ve had 30 days of change and a shortlist of hopefuls. Of the designs there have been some real turkeys and a couple of fresh revisions but, after all the speculation, the winner is…
…almost exactly the same as the old logo.
The old logo said “wild west” with its serif font. It was wild and fun too. It shouted, it said Yahoo!
The new logo is boring. It is too skinny, I really dislike the bevel, that’s so 1990s – Designers bevel and glow and drop shadow when they first start because it’s easy to do and it’s an instant gratification. But it looks amateurish and, unfortunately, I believe Yahoo have missed a trick with this “new” logo. They had some fantastic designs and, in my opinion, were just not bold enough.
The best Yahoo! logo was this one on the right – it was vibrant and dynamic, bold, boundless, full of life and as wild as the original but without being anchored at any point in time. And they did not use it.