Here’s how Yahoo came up with its new logo

September 5, 2013
(Marissa Mayer / Yahoo)
(Marissa Mayer / Yahoo)

Wednesday night, Yahoo unveiled a fresh new design to its iconic purple logo. One of the most interesting changes is the way the company abandoned its traditional serifs for a scooped-out finish where the little feet would have gone. On Tumblr Thursday morning, CEO Marissa Mayer explains how that idea emerged:

Serifs were a big part of our old logo. It felt wrong to give them up altogether so we went with a sans serif font with 'scallops" on the ends of the letters.

Mayer's post goes into much more detail. Some additional highlights:

  • The color they chose is called Pantone Violet C.
  • Upon close inspection, all the letters appear to have a 3D texture to them that forms a "Y" at the tops of each letter.
  • The exclamation point is tilted 9 degrees clockwise — "just to add a bit of whimsy," Mayer says.
  • An internal poll showed 87 percent of Yahoo employees were interested in a logo redesign.

To get the full effect, watch the design team's video showing how each letter was mathematically crafted according to the one before it. It's fascinating, especially if you're a typeface nerd.

Update: Twitter user @bertrandom has created a website whose sole purpose is to churn out text using the new Yahoo logo. Here's what The Switch would look like. (Hat tip: BoingBoing)

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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