Yahoo's New Logo Is Another Win for Marissa Mayer

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 5 2013 12:28 PM

Yahoo's New Logo Is Another Win for Marissa Mayer

Yahoo new logo
Yahoo's new logo, in its home and away uniforms.

Image courtesy of Yahoo

After teasing people for 29 days with 29 different riffs on the Yahoo logo, the erstwhile search giant unveiled the real thing on Thursday, to mixed reviews. On the down side, it's still sort of ugly. On the up side, at least it's better than this one.

Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

In a Tumblr post characteristically titled, "Geeking Out on the Logo," CEO Marissa Mayer humble-bragged a bit about how she personally oversaw the design process:

So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team: Bob Stohrer, Marc DeBartolomeis, Russ Khaydarov, and our intern Max Ma. We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail.  
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.
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Mayer then went on for a while about the symbolism and "mathematical consistency" of the new logo, and added, "Our last move was to tilt the exclamation point by 9 degrees, just to add a bit of whimsy."

Yahoo old logo
The old logo, as seen on a sign at corporate headquarters that someone's probably going to have to replace now.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Yes, indubitably, nine is the precise number of degrees necessary to convey whimsy—at least, it is when combined with the fact that the exclamation point is animated, such that it occasionally gets up and dances a little jig. (Not kidding: Check it out when you load the Yahoo homepage.)

Really, though, it doesn't matter whether the new logo per se is a winner or a loser. Yahoo is clearly the winner here, inasmuch as it has managed once again to get people talking about it in the context of change and new beginnings. Say what you will about Mayer, she's a virtuosa at finding new ways to hang "UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT" banner from the eaves of every once-moribund Yahoo property. From the working-from-home prohibition to the Tumblr acquisition to the big email reset to the redesign of major Yahoo pages, Mayer has put her stamp on the company in innumerable ways in just over a year since taking the helm.

For (much, much) more on Mayer's background and tenure at Yahoo, check out Jacob Weisberg's Vogue profile and Nicholas Carlson's epic "unauthorized biography" in Business Insider.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

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