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Yahoo Logo Design History and Evolution

At 22 years old, Yahoo is one of the oldest Internet technology companies. It is known for a variety of social media, email, search, video sharing, and news sites that are all united underneath the Yahoo brand. Originally built as a search website in 1994, Yahoo now offers a variety of other products. This article will examine the history of the Yahoo logo and show why it has been so effective.

Throughout the many shifting trends of the world wide web, Yahoo has worked to remain relevant by rebranding their business and their products. In the first years of business, the Yahoo logo was altered five times before the company settled on the basic logo shape that has remained consistent since 1996.

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Yahoo Logo Design Elements

The current Yahoo logo consists of the phrase, “Yahoo,” with an exclamation point at the end of the word. The logo is a deep purple that the company has confirmed to be Pantone Violet C. When examined closely, one can see that the letters in the logo are three dimensional. The font is a custom designed, sans serif, capitalized font with relatively short, wide letters. Both the first “Y” and the last “O” are slightly larger than the rest of the interior letters. The exclamation point is tilted 9 degrees outwards.

Changes and Evolution

1. Shape

Almost all iterations of Yahoo logo history have just consisted of the phrase “Yahoo.” The first 1994 logo was just the word typed out in simple text. In 1995, the logo was briefly changed to a more elaborate text that included an exclamation point at the end. In 1996, the logo was changed to an image of a stylized yellow man jumping over a blue circle with “Yahoo!” written below. This was quickly simplified to just the text and exclamation point with a slight shadow behind the text. Between 1996 and 2009, the logo remained roughly the same. When the company decided to do a massive rebranding campaign, they changed the logo color in 2009. A new font was debuted in 2013.

2. Color

During the early years of Yahoo logo history, the logo shifted from black to burgundy to yellow to purple to black. Eventually, the company focused on red in 1996. This color gave them a bold presence, but caused some confusion since their main email competitor, Gmail, also had a red logo. They decided to shift to a purple shade to stand out, and this is now the iconic Yahoo color associated with all their products.

3. Font

The very first font used for the logo was a simple Times New Roman font. However, all further fonts in Yahoo logo design have been original. Other fonts included the elaborate curlicue font used briefly in 1995 and a handwritten font for the jumping man logo. For a long time, the logo was an uneven, serif style font that is referred to as the “original Yahoo font.” This font is still heavily associated with Yahoo, but the company moved to a san serif font in 2013.

Influences/Inspiration

Yahoo’s branding focuses on being more creative and less professional than other major search engines like Google. Therefore, they decided to switch from a basic red color to an unusual purple hue. This was intended to attract more female users and make the site appear more quirky. In a post from her social media, Yahoo CEO explains “We wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated”. The winged shapes at the end of the letters is also intended to be slightly reminiscent of the serifs in the original logo. Both the letter shape and the tilted exclamation point are intended to be a nod to the company’s older logos.

Trivia

Though the logo might seem straight, when you view a large version of it, you will see that every single line is slightly curved. This was an intentional choice to make it look more organic. In the United States, Yahoo’s logo was originally red before shifting to purple, but this is not the case in one of Yahoo’s other major consumer markets. The Yahoo Japan logo history is the exact opposite. It was originally differentiated from the American logo due to purple text reading “JAPAN,” but now the entire Japanese version of the logo is bright red.

Conclusion

Yahoo logo history has focused on simple designs that draw attention to their company without needing to state precisely what Yahoo does. This consistency is very helpful since the products and services offered by Yahoo are constantly changing. The distinctive purple shade is not used by any other major tech company, so Yahoo’s logo really stands out amid all the basic blue and red logos of other companies.

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