Thoughts On The New Yahoo! Logo
September 5, 2013 | by Chris Kalaboukis
Back when I used to work at Yahoo!, we used to have all hands meetings on a regular basis – we’d all pile into the huge cafeteria on campus and there’d usually be all sorts of goodies – one time when Krispy Kreme first came to the Bay Area, we had boxes and boxes of sweet deliciousness delivered, other times it was pizza, beer, popcorn. Those days were pretty fun, even if sometimes the news wasn’t so good, we all felt like we were part of one big family.
My most memorable moment: we were all sitting down and watching the stage, I think it was right after Terry or Jerry had said their piece, and I seem to recall someone rolling up to the mic in a wheelchair. The crowd completely hushed, wondering what it was all about. She started talking about being diagnosed with a disease (I can’t recall which one but it was fairly rare) and feeling incredibly alone and sad. But then she went on Yahoo! Groups and found a group which was focused on the victims of this particular disease. She never felt alone again – they found support with each other via this group – some of them even moved closer to each other based on the connections that they made via this group. I don’t think that there was a dry eye in the house as she told this story – and I’m sure that for most of the people there, that was the proudest that they ever felt about the company that they worked for.
My colleague leaned over to me and said “this is what Yahoo! should be all about” and I said “yep, connecting people”. This is what the internet should be about – amplifying the voice of the user so that they can be heard.
When I look at the new logo – do we see that passion? Do we see the heart and soul of an internet company which has touched so many lives? Does what you see now represent all of what Yahoo! has to offer? Doubt if even superlogo can do that. Tall order, huh.
I like it. It’s modern, its clean (i remember using tiny versions on powerpoint decks and the serifs making it look muddy – lets hope that this cleanliness starts to infect design all over Yahoo!), its practical (I can see it work in all sorts of resolutions and formats). Plus there are all sorts or subtleties that are cool – the larger Y and O almost connoting a dual loudspeaker. In another light, it has a slight reference to a fish – maybe a goldfish cracker coming up against a fishing line (the exclamation mark). I think that loudspeaker connotation is cool – you can say that it represents an amplifier – that Yahoo! amplifies the voice of the people – the voice of their users.
Yahoo! has always been most powerful when it amplifies that voice – the voice of the user (Yahoo! Answers, Groups, Tumblr – anywhere where regular folks get a voice), the voice of the long tail. Maybe if Yahoo! can focus on the long tail again and be that amplifier, that would a be powerful value proposition.