On Sept 6, search giant Yahoo! debuted its first new logo since opening its virtual doors 18 years ago. After a month-long buildup in which it released all the designs that failed to garner a thumbs up, the logo was considered a letdown. The new logo is a part of a larger re-branding effort and used to kick off Yahoo!’s “30 Days of Change,” during which it will unveil several initiatives.
In a blog post on Tumblr, CEO Marissa Mayer wrote, “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.”
Instead, it has been criticized as “boring” and that it “has nothing going for it.” The Atlantic Wire even said that it “look[s] more out of place on a child’s lunchbox than the last logo did.” Seventy-nine percent of people polled by market research group Survata preferred the old logo.
The new logo:
In the midst of the backlash following the rollout, Yahoo!’s own design intern triggered a whole new PR dilemma. Max Ma, an intern who assisted in developing the new logo, seems to have his own opinion about the final logo design chosen. He posted his own version of the Yahoo! logo on his personal website, which quickly went viral.
This internal communications problem is now morphing into an external issue for Yahoo!: Ma’s logo is drawing a better reaction than the final logo from sites such as The Huffington Post, and has been praised on Twitter. If Yahoo!’s own employees cannot agree on the new logo, how can they expect their customers to buy in to their re-branding efforts?
Here is his design:
Yahoo! has not publicly addressed Ma’s version or his decision to publish it online, though a similar version was included in the 30 day rollout. How would you handle this type of internal communications and image problem? Which logo would you choose? What does each say about Yahoo!’s brand?