Yahoo, the pioneering web portal and search engine, has a refreshed visual identity from Pentagram that also reimagines the brand for the future. The update, the first since 2013, coincides with the launch of new products and enhancements, including a new Yahoo Mail app — and signals a strategic change for the company. At Pentagram, partner on the project is Michael Bierut and team members include Abby Matousek and Britt Cobb.
The identity focuses on the idea of helping users find a more personalized, customized experience online, and giving them more control of what they see and when they see it. The strategy positions Yahoo as an “amplification brand” — amplifying the things that matter — helping to “amplify you.” The idea is visualized in Yahoo’s exclamation point, a punctuation mark that literally stands for amplification.
This strategy of simplicity and amplification is expressed in a new logo that is simpler and more flexible than its predecessor, and that looks back to the original, quirky 1996 logo. Set in Centra No. 2 Extrabold, the letters of the logotype are modified to be more geometric and compact. The exclamation mark has been italicized for emphasis and the “y” and “!” of the logo are set at a 22.5 degree angle, a forward tilt to suggest momentum and excitement.
As with the original logo, the new identity captures the voice of a brand named after an exclamation of joy and discovery; the repeating circles of the “a,” “o”s and the dot on the exclamation point echo of the audio mnemonic of the yodel.
The logo has been optimized to work across various platforms and scales, and can be further streamlined with a simple “y!” monogram, useful for favicons and social media icons. The monogram is also the foundation for a cohesive brand architecture that locks up the “y!” with various channels to create sub-brands for Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Weather.