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.
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Brian Fung · September 5, 2013