Let He Who Hath Never Designed a Bad Logo Cast the First Stone

With as much pomp and circumstance that one can force out of a logo rebranding, Yahoo revealed their new logo to the masses right at midnight, fulfilling their promise to preserve the purple, the exclamation point, and the yodel. CNN even reported that the exclamation point dances sometimes.

Yahoo has been teasing out the new logo with their 30 Days of Change series. Each day throughout August they used a different logo, causing fans speculate about which one would find a permanent home on corporate letterhead.

After the big reveal, the results were… lukewarm. Most people don’t really see what the fuss is about. It still says Yahoo! It’s still purple. Many bloggers tore into Marissa Mayer’s blog post that said her internal design team spent “the majority of Saturday and Sunday” designing it.

Fortunately for Yahoo, an ambivalent reception is better than a negative one. While there are plenty of tragic logos in the world that assault our eyes daily – one merely needs to Google embarrassing logos to see what I mean – very few rebranding efforts received such bad publicity and disdain as the infamous Gap logo of 2010.

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Gap’s updated logo (right) was shamelessly mocked on social channels and throughout the media. Vanity Fair called it a despised symbol of corporate banality and even sites like CrapLogo.me popped up where users could create their own Gap-style logos.

The logo lasted one week before Gap execs reverted back to their old design. However, their team didn’t admit defeat. As they said in a Facebook status on October 6:

We know this logo created a lot of buzz and we’re thrilled to see passionate debates unfolding! So much so we’re asking you to share your designs. We love our version, but we’d like to see other ideas. Stay tuned for details in the next few days on this crowd sourcing project.

Apparently the crowd decided that Gap should revert back to its old logo, where it has stayed ever since.

Are fans really that loyal to a logo or is this just corporate-speak? Would there have been petitions to save the Yahoo! exclamation point had it mysteriously disappeared?

One of the best examples of brand corporate-speak came from David Matathia at Hyundai. When asked about their partnership with AMC’s The Walking Dead, he responded that the car, “really is a trusted partner… It’s really there to help them get out of difficult situations.”


As a result, all the other cars on the show kill zombies, get smeared with blood, break down, and run out of gas while the squeaky clean Hyundai is always fully functioning and peaceful.

Do viewers consider the Hyundai to be part of the team? Not so much.

Was it consumer passion that sparked the debate over the Gap logo? Not really.

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Will Yahoo’s logo change become front-page news today? Probably not.

But just in case it top national headlines, you can always be prepared by following the Yahoo Logo Twitter account — @NewYahooLogo — it’s the same concept as the @NewGapLogo account.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your derision.

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