"I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous."
September 5, 2013 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she redesigned the new Yahoo! logo over a weekend.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (291 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
WordArt.
posted by brennen at 10:06 PM on September 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


It looks exactly like something that someone who isn't a pro designed in a weekend.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:06 PM on September 5, 2013 [183 favorites]


The previous logo was less awful.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:08 PM on September 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


Probably took longer than the inexplicable fantasy football redesign.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:10 PM on September 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I can't tell if this is a real Tumblr or a really subtle parody. I feel the same way about the whole 30 day logo rotation scheme. Sure, I saw the logo competition on Yahoo's pages, and experienced it with my own senses. But I still feel that the logo competition may have been a subtle jab at Yahoo at the same time.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:11 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


"Our last move was to tilt the exclamation point by 9 degrees, just to add a bit of whimsy."

"I feel we should rastify it by ... ten percent or so."
posted by entropicamericana at 10:12 PM on September 5, 2013 [52 favorites]


Usually Yahoo! acquires things and ruins them. This is more of a lateral move. I guess that's progress.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:12 PM on September 5, 2013 [40 favorites]


"I feel we should rastify it by ... ten percent or so."

YOU HEARD THE LADY ADD SOME DREAD-LOCKS
posted by louche mustachio at 10:12 PM on September 5, 2013 [79 favorites]


Throw in some yin-yangs. Nothing says hip, fresh and ready for the year 2000 like a yin-yang.
posted by TrialByMedia at 10:15 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh gosh that is ugly. It is the hyperloop of typography.
posted by Thing at 10:16 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahhhh, they went with the optometry look. Noice.
posted by Quilford at 10:16 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Five people in a room for two days debating "every minute detail." The result even looks like a camel.
posted by cribcage at 10:18 PM on September 5, 2013 [26 favorites]


I'm sure there are worse things she could have done with her time.
posted by Grimgrin at 10:18 PM on September 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ahhhh, now I actually get the joke here.
posted by kenko at 10:20 PM on September 5, 2013 [45 favorites]


I hope she is kidding. Is this a joke?
posted by empath at 10:22 PM on September 5, 2013


Well, I think it's clear why she deserves to make more in a month than many Americans will make in their lifetime. You're an oak, Marissa- never let those lazy maples cut you down to size!
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:25 PM on September 5, 2013 [16 favorites]


Is this a joke?


The sad thing is that NOBODY CAN TELL.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:25 PM on September 5, 2013 [37 favorites]


Heyy.... look what's at the top of DesignJargonBullshit.com!
posted by phaedon at 10:26 PM on September 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a human forehead hitting a desk — forever.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:26 PM on September 5, 2013 [42 favorites]


thankfully the new Yahoo logo and the old one are both so boring I can't remember what either of them look like after having tabbed out of the link in the OP
posted by threeants at 10:28 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


That read like an Onion parody, but judging by the contents of the rest of that Tumblr, it's real. Bizarre.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:28 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dammit, when I skimmed the title I thought it read "Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she resigned over the new Yahoo! logo over the weekend."

Wishful thinking, I guess.
posted by carter at 10:28 PM on September 5, 2013 [18 favorites]


I don't use any of their products but seem to hate them more with each passing mention they get... anywhere. Maybe it's that the name itself is just so bad that I cannot imagine myself ever taking anything they do seriously.

Imo, Mayer proved her uselessness when they made her CEO and the first thing she didn't do was change the name to... anything else.
posted by dobbs at 10:30 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've been keeping an occasional eye on the Yahoo! home page.

--The new logo is animated when you load the page.

--It has sliding/flashing text bars that cover other content.

--It still has lots of animated things flashing and sliding.

--It still has a horoscope on the front page.

--All content still does not fit on the page without scrolling.

YMMV, of course. I really don't like pages with constantly flashing and sliding things in attract mode. But I suppose that's a bit of whimsy too.
posted by CrowGoat at 10:32 PM on September 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wow, that Fonts In Use post really says it all.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Gah what is with the scallops, you can't scallop the letter O and the exclamation point only has a tiny one so it's all lopsided. Also that kerning is babytown frolics.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:39 PM on September 5, 2013 [14 favorites]


The sizing of the second 'O' looks like a mistake and otherwise I think it's a fine logo.
posted by cman at 10:40 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't know much about typography, or what constitutes a good or bad logo, but dang -- looking at that new logo makes me physically uncomfortable in a way no other logo ever has. It just looks wrong, somehow.
posted by cjelli at 10:46 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


...but then, that's also more thought than I've given a logo in a while, so maybe that counts as a success. An uncomfortably whimsical success.
posted by cjelli at 10:47 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It makes me sad that people don't know YAHOO is an acronym.
posted by Justinian at 10:48 PM on September 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Well, that logo sure is different. It's really something. Has yahoo decided what kind paper it wants to use for the invitations?
posted by srboisvert at 10:49 PM on September 5, 2013 [14 favorites]


Dammit, when I skimmed the title I thought it read "Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she resigned over the new Yahoo! logo over the weekend."

For some reason, I read that as "redesigned over" and this popped into my head
posted by louche mustachio at 10:49 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


WHIMSY!
posted by not_on_display at 10:49 PM on September 5, 2013 [29 favorites]


It is FULL OF WHIMSY
posted by louche mustachio at 10:50 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


keep on fucking that chicken.
posted by boo_radley at 10:52 PM on September 5, 2013 [21 favorites]


This will fail.

I'll be ready to save their ass.
posted by mazola at 10:54 PM on September 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


It is FULL OF WHIMSY

Can you notice it from there? I'm always that way after I eat radishes....
posted by umberto at 10:54 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


For the texture, we came up with the nice idea of creating a chiseled triangular depth to the logo - this causes the letter Y to appear in the shading at the ends of each of the letters.

Some days I wish time travel and those Men In Black memory wipey things existed so I could go back and stop people from remembering they noticed the FedEx arrow.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:56 PM on September 5, 2013 [16 favorites]


Needs more Celery Man...
posted by littlesq at 10:56 PM on September 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Strip mall sign design 101.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:00 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Trolling graphic designers is an interesting marketing strategy.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:00 PM on September 5, 2013 [28 favorites]


Here’s a fun video (created by our amazing intern ...

YOU JUST STOP RIGHT THERE
posted by louche mustachio at 11:03 PM on September 5, 2013 [16 favorites]


EYEPUKE!

my eyes are puking
posted by naju at 11:08 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This story reminds me of a friend of mine who once said, "I think I'm in a dead relationship," and somebody replied, "It died years ago, you've just been picking at it so much, you thought it was alive."
posted by phaedon at 11:08 PM on September 5, 2013 [24 favorites]


The last time Optima got this much hype it was the logo typeface for John McCain's presidential bid. 46% popularity isn't so bad to aspire to, I guess.
posted by casarkos at 11:17 PM on September 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've had friends working for Yahoo since I moved out to Portland. That's been over six years now. I'm still struggling to figure out how the hell Yahoo gets pageviews. How the hell is this company still relevant? I'm mildly convinced that Yahoo functions off of some sort of Ponzi or Pyramid pageviews scam. I just haven't determined the details.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:21 PM on September 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


The last time Optima got this much hype it was the logo typeface for John McCain's presidential bid.

And before that, Oil of Olay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:22 PM on September 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


My new vision for the Yahoo! front page is a full-screen animated gif of Miley Cyrus twerking on the new logo, which is covered in glitter and blood and rotating in full 3D splendor, lensflares popping all over the place, against a backdrop of Lisa Frank dolphins, neon palm trees and fractals. Hire me, Marissa. Let's crank this out in a weekend.
posted by naju at 11:28 PM on September 5, 2013 [40 favorites]


How the hell is this company still relevant? I'm mildly convinced that Yahoo functions off of some sort of Ponzi or Pyramid pageviews scam. I just haven't determined the details.

Didn't they pay something like $1b in cash for Tumblr? I still can't figure out how they have that much money in their couch cushions and still not be in the red.
posted by littlesq at 11:32 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a logotype, not even a logo.

The jumping Y guy was a logo.
posted by nutate at 11:36 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


If only the idea-guy "information economy" types were forced to bear the financial brunt of these kinds of decisions, while the actual workers got rich...

I can't wait for the day when companies realize that hey, someone in Bangalore can choose a font for $3/hr, and even if it sucks it's still more cost-effective than the way we do it now.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:37 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


On a personal level, I love brands, logos, color, design, and, most of all, Adobe Illustrator.

Really? Do you? because from where I'm sitting, it looks like you really hate all those things with the fury of a thousand suns, and created something that reflected that passion.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:39 PM on September 5, 2013 [24 favorites]


I'm laughing at the idea that Mayer thinks she's qualified to do type design because she's messed around in Illustrator. Why not trust the employees whose job it is to design things?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:40 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Their old logo was actually pretty good! I mean, considering the company is called Yahoo!, especially. But I also genuinely like the Saul Bass-y letterforms of their old one, and I was impressed that they stuck with it through so many flash-in-the-pan logo trends and just owned a doofy silly decent logo for their doofy silly name and it was iconic and a straight line back to the early days of their whole field of business.

The overengineered trying to have it both ways on this one that's all business up front, party in the back! Corporate but a little wacky! Serious but fun! Ugh, kills it. This is the dude's business ponytail circa 1990 of branding. The power lunch at Applebee's of branding. The trying-really-hard-to-be-seen-as-fun-and-wacky middle management guy's weekend Eagles cover band of branding.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:40 PM on September 5, 2013 [53 favorites]


Why not trust the employees whose job it is to design things?

She actually did have the logo team work with her, per the post. And boy is that not the funnest design job ever, when you get to work with the CEO who knows just "enough to be dangerous".
posted by jason_steakums at 11:41 PM on September 5, 2013 [63 favorites]


Basically I want to see everything related to the "web" and "mobile apps" get regarded and paid the same way as customer service or manufacturing.

I.E., you're not special bro. Everything you do, an Indian or Romanian will do way cheaper. And it doesn't matter if it's better or not, the cost savings outweigh it all- that's why they have jobs in the first place.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:43 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


"It makes me sad that people don't know YAHOO is an acronym."

You Always Have Other Options?
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 PM on September 5, 2013 [102 favorites]


Didn't they pay something like $1b in cash for Tumblr?

Don't forget Stamped, Ontheair, Snipit, Propeld, Jybe, Rondee, Summly ($30 million to a 17-year old), GoPollGo, Loki Studios, Ghostbird, Qwiki, Xobni, Atelic, MileWise and Rockmelt. All in one year.

Yahoo's managed to double its stock price under Mayer's tenure. Which, I guess, isn't hard to do when you're barely breaking double digits (the last time a Yahoo share was at $100 was in 1999, GOOG is currently poised to break $1000). But still, they must be making a lot of money off of ad revenues, because holy shit is she going for broke.
posted by phaedon at 11:44 PM on September 5, 2013


Can... can you imagine what it must feel like to be a designer at Yahoo right now? Like if you were a chef who busted your way up the brigade de cuisine for like a decade and then then owner comes in and tells you to add ketchup to your steak au poivre
posted by danny the boy at 11:45 PM on September 5, 2013 [45 favorites]


Basically I want to see everything related to the "web" and "mobile apps" get regarded and paid the same way as customer service or manufacturing.

I.E., you're not special bro. Everything you do, an Indian or Romanian will do way cheaper. And it doesn't matter if it's better or not, the cost savings outweigh it all- that's why they have jobs in the first place.


You're telling me I could have paid like 5 cents on the dollar to make daft comments on a blue background run out of India instead of giving five whole bucks to mathowie? Aw maaan.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:46 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


And boy is that not the funnest design job ever, when you get to work with the CEO who knows "just enough to be dangerous".


*strangled sounding* Yay!


*hold up fists as if clutching tiny pom-poms lest anyone question your commitment to Sparkle Motion. Grin broadly - nobody will notice your smile does not reach your eyes.*
posted by louche mustachio at 11:49 PM on September 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


sup yahoos I made you a logo with whimsy
posted by klangklangston at 11:49 PM on September 5, 2013 [20 favorites]


Yes, you could have. Many others did exactly that, but you didn't.

Others are rich and you're not.

Others created a business model which made them rich and you didn't.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:50 PM on September 5, 2013


The "whimsy" is the space between the "Y" and the "a," right?
posted by louche mustachio at 11:51 PM on September 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


sup yahoos I made you a logo with whimsy

!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:52 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey she drives a Mercedes and you don't. She lives in a nice house and you don't.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:55 PM on September 5, 2013


Wait a sec guys I figured it out:

What do Oil Of Olay, John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign, and Yahoo! have in common aside from Optima?

OLD PEOPLE
posted by Sara C. at 11:56 PM on September 5, 2013 [27 favorites]


You can tell she makes a great leader, she's so confident!
posted by Tsuga at 12:00 AM on September 6, 2013 [23 favorites]


Would make more sense if it was revealed that Mayer was dumping her family to date Max the amazing intern and soon to be Product Manager.
posted by benzenedream at 12:02 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes, you could have. Many others did exactly that, but you didn't.

Others are rich and you're not.

Others created a business model which made them rich and you didn't.


Well I've got WHIMSY so those guys can jump in a lake.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:03 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]




Hey she drives a Mercedes and you don't. She lives in a nice house and you don't.


And when she outsources all her design work and everything else for pennies on the dollar she can buy a bigger car and a nicer house and have more money. Then she will be an even better person because $$$=Better Person Points.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:06 AM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she redesigned the new Yahoo! logo over a weekend.

"Badly."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:09 AM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


So much whimsy!
posted by jason_steakums at 12:11 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Don't let the CEO design the logo. Don't even let the CEO have a say in the logo. You worry about the profits, we'll worry about the brand.
posted by braksandwich at 12:18 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail.

yea, I'm suuuure that everyone was just having a rip-roaring old time when you made them work the whole weekend.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:19 AM on September 6, 2013 [46 favorites]


The "whimsy" is the space between the "Y" and the "a," right?

That's where they keep the nosferatu. Excuse me, I mean the NosferatuU!
posted by bleep-blop at 12:32 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whimsical, yet sophisticated
posted by naju at 12:33 AM on September 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


I knew it was going to be Optima when I saw the headline. I was like, "It'll probably be Optimughhhh".

No thanks.
posted by Redfield at 12:40 AM on September 6, 2013


It's... a logo. Changing a logo never saved a business. It's rare that it hurts one. I'm think it wouldn't be big enough news to rate a FPP, when there's another Yahoo logo thread still open, but this is up to nearly 80 comments after two hours so I guess I'm wrong.
posted by JHarris at 12:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


They should have used the 701 first avenue sign to unveil the final masterpiece. Real confidence is exhibited by committing to an actual, physical logo, not by micromanaging an intern's mouse clicks in a graphics editor.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:44 AM on September 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah, it sucks. But it's not like you'll be seeing it often enough for it to bug you. I mean, when was the last time you used Yahoo?
posted by Jubey at 12:49 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just wanted to say that Yahoo Messenger is really popular in the Philippines... I've no idea why but everyone seems to have it.
posted by Admira at 12:56 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


And to think that almost all of the logos they didn't use look better than this one.

I happened to see* the 'day 29' logo, and thought 'Hey that's an improvement, that looks sort of modern'.

*Don't judge me.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ignoring the question of whether CEOs should make that much to start with, obviously, if you pay the designers $X per year and you pay the CEO $X,000 per year, then basically you have just increased your logo cost A THOUSAND FOLD by having the CEO do it. If you think that's a good idea, dear lord, you should not be running a company. Even if she came up with a pretty awesome design, it would have been a terrible business decision. This is not a pretty awesome design.
posted by Sequence at 1:04 AM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


The new logo lost the fun of the former.
posted by rmmcclay at 1:26 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Fonts In Use post really says it all.

It says a lot, but omits "here's what I would have done differently." The last example (with "slightly looser than default" spacing, and nothing else,) looks even worse.

Attention people claiming to be typographers: I'm not convinced you know jack shit about which you are speaking.

That being said, the new logo is all kinds of lame.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope she is kidding. Is this a joke?

Yahoo Serious

(And thanks for the once-in-a-lifetime setup)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:43 AM on September 6, 2013 [74 favorites]


Good thing that design is actually the one job that untrained amateurs can do better than professionals. Maybe this weekend she fire up AutoCAD and take a stab at the company headquarters.
posted by seymourScagnetti at 1:48 AM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


if you pay the designers $X per year and you pay the CEO $X,000 per year, then basically you have just increased your logo cost A THOUSAND FOLD by having the CEO do it.

Not strictly true: you still pay the CEO if they spend the weekend twiddling their thumbs. The logo cost as much as the CEO would have made the company over the weekend otherwise. Some places, it would probably be profitable for the CEO to spend ALL their time designing logos.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:57 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jubey: "Yeah, it sucks. But it's not like you'll be seeing it often enough for it to bug you. I mean, when was the last time you used Yahoo?"

Ugh. Just last night I set up Linux Mint 15 and Y! was the search engine default in the preloaded Firefox. So I saw it.
posted by chavenet at 2:00 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was ... so much thought, for so little effect. It's not a bad wordmark, but it isn't particularly interesting or exciting, either, and doesn't really say much about the company or its new direction other than "hey! new logo!" I feel the spirograph stuff may have saved it from naked crudity, but couldn't see it really making something elegant for the ages.

I do wish I could just stop using the sbcglobal.net e-mail domain that came with my DSL and go with a Yahoo equivalent, then I'd officially be using "Yahoo" instead of "AT&T/Yahoo". But I've tried to use the front page portal and I feel like I've entered a timewarp.
posted by dhartung at 2:07 AM on September 6, 2013


It feels like a thousand designers just cried out in agony and resolved to spend this weekend redoing their resumes.
posted by emmet at 2:11 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Changing a logo never saved a business. It's rare that it hurts one. I'm think it wouldn't be big enough news to rate a FPP

I liked migurski's comment in the MeFi thread about the UC hideous logo blunder: "Branding exercises for companies are the organizational equivalent of psychotherapy, and the resulting guidelines are just the visible result of an internal deliberation about what the organization means and what it’s for."

It's not like it makes a huge difference in the day-to-day operation, but it can be interesting as an insight into what the company really thinks. And it's funny when the logo says it all, such as: "We're a pale shadow of Google, completely free of innovation, the empty plaything of business egos."
posted by bleep-blop at 2:16 AM on September 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


"Lord Finchley tried to mend the electric light. Himself ..."

Springs to mind.
posted by Catch at 2:35 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is what happens when a business leader doesn't allow anyone who really knows about the subject (in this case, logo design) to talk them out of doing a stupid thing. It does not speak well for the corporate culture within Yahoo.
posted by iotic at 2:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but I don't think a headline like "we paid BBD&O $10,000,000 for our new expertly designed logo! What do you think?" would be a very encouraging headline, either.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:45 AM on September 6, 2013


Also that kerning is babytown frolics.

I came I here to say that. Ish.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:47 AM on September 6, 2013


Didn't they pay something like $1b in cash for Tumblr? I still can't figure out how they have that much money in their couch cushions and still not be in the red.

Isn't yahoo fantastically popular in japan, and has pretty much booty-slammed ebay or any other auction service as the primary site there with yahoo japan auctions?

I feel like i've heard some weird story about that like ten times now, and that it was some bizarre thing like orkut and brazil.

I'm pretty sure they're propped up by the behemoth that is yahoo mail in some capacity, and popularity of their sites/services in a few non-western countries. Because seriously, who the fuck even uses yahoo in america anymore?
posted by emptythought at 2:55 AM on September 6, 2013


This has got to have something to do with the NSA.
posted by maxwelton at 3:05 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


All the hatred makes me think Yahoo got it right.
posted by gjc at 3:17 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since we're looking at and discussing the logo, their plan has worked.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:18 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


who the fuck even uses yahoo in america anymore?

Dear god, you DON'T want to meet them.

Think of them as "graduates from the AOL class of netizens". There are plenty of them, and oh MAN, do they not get how email works.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:22 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


"We preferred letters that had thicker and thinner strokes - conveying the subjective and editorial nature of some of what we do."

Urge to punch...rising...
posted by ShutterBun at 3:26 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


"BECAUSE IT'S FUN," MARISSA MAYER EXPLAINS TO A ROOM FILLED WITH VOMITING PEOPLE
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:37 AM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


"I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous."

I don't think she knows even that much.
posted by freakazoid at 3:38 AM on September 6, 2013


Also, the difference in size between the Os is driving me nuts.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:38 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hey she drives a Mercedes and you don't. She lives in a nice house and you don't.

I could drive a Mercedes too! Not for very long, though, I don't know how to drive.
posted by mippy at 3:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


I like these a lot better.
posted by emelenjr at 3:42 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey she drives a Mercedes and you don't. She lives in a nice house and you don't.

Hey, she's the CEO of a large tech company. It's not like there are too many women in the higher echelons of business.

HP's Meg Whitman and Carley Fiorina never thought of something like this. Maybe that's why Fiorina was fired and Whitman named "most underachieving CEO" by Bloomberg.

You go Ms. Mayer. Don't let the haters get you down.
posted by three blind mice at 3:51 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I could drive a Mercedes too! Not for very long, though, I don't know how to drive.

Sounds like you know enough to be dangerous.
posted by Phssthpok at 3:53 AM on September 6, 2013 [35 favorites]


So the undergraduate degree Mayer has is called Symbolic Systems, an extremely hipster major instituted in the eighties, and like five hundred people total have graduated from it total. There's a human-computer interaction cum design track that's really popular, and that puts out a lot of remarkable designers. This was put there to reflect the burgeoning importance of design in the web.

This track, however, would not have existed when she went to college. But I am still inexplicably filled with mental images of Mayer in plaid and hipster glasses, because that's basically what all the SymSys design kids wear, the stereotypical design kids the lot of them.
posted by curuinor at 3:57 AM on September 6, 2013


It's come to this. A CEO of a multi-billion dollar company knocks up a new logo over a weekend and tweets tumbls over themselves to congratulate their superior mediocrity.

The end is nigh!
posted by panaceanot at 3:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Honest question: what other famous corporate logos were designed by CEOs?
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:02 AM on September 6, 2013


It is a sign of progress because it is the same dunderheaded move a male CEO would make.

One of the hallmarks of equality is that an overcompensated female CEO is seen to be just as mediocre as an overcompensated male CEO and she gets to keep her job.
posted by Renoroc at 4:16 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


It makes me pine for the Lucent logo.

PS: The tumblr/Mayer PR campaign on it is planned. It looks dumb to us internet savvy people, but is that really Yahoo's customer anymore?
posted by DigDoug at 4:23 AM on September 6, 2013


Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she redesigned the new Yahoo! logo over a weekend.

Gods. That sentence brought back so many repressed horrors. I've been in the position of "company designer", saddled with a CEO who played Art Director. Well, I guess his wife was the AD, since he was always "suggesting" ideas she doodled-up over the weekend. She seemed to like arrows on everything. Said they made things dynamic.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:27 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes Yahoo is massive in Japan but more importantly Yahoo has a stake in Alibaba in China which is worth heaps.
posted by awfurby at 4:31 AM on September 6, 2013


And here is a tech crunch article abt that: lank
posted by awfurby at 4:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those artists and designers ... They're all so egotistical, they need someone like me to roll in, micromanage them and have the whole world see me doing so.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:45 AM on September 6, 2013


I was hoping they would embrace their name and do a full Li'l Abner complete with wood grained boards, knotholes, hammered nails and baling wire. Seems somehow fitting...
posted by jim in austin at 4:55 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


who the fuck even uses yahoo in america anymore?

Me. I have a Yahoo mail account. Is that shameful?
posted by Area Man at 4:57 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


It may or may not be relevant, but Google's Visual Design Head, Doug Bowman, made some pointed comments about the data-driven design ethos of Google after he left in 2009, and it was generally thought that they were references to Marissa Mayer's insistence on testable and provable benefits to design features - hence the legend of testing 41 different shades of blue and seeing which one users spent the most time with, or his complaint that he was once asked to provide quantifiable arguments for a margin being 3,4 or 5 pixels wide.

With that in mind, the idea of leaning an exclamation point 9 degrees just for jollies seems incredibly bold.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:04 AM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


Not impressed with this lady after she worked from home while pregnant, then when she returned to the office banned the long-standing Yahoo home-working arrangements and built a nursery beside her office.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:08 AM on September 6, 2013 [29 favorites]


It speaks so many volumes about the culture at Yahoo and its future prospects for success under Mayer that no one could, or did, stand up before this story went live to say "Marissa, you're going to sound like a narcissist and we're going to look like a company filled with yesmen catering to total rubes if you say you personally designed this logo over a weekend with no experience other than a love of Illustrator. We are going to look so colossally dumb if this logo is not universally regarded as so sublime that it cures cancer."

I don't love or hate the new logo--though I did think it was a joke when I first saw it given that the only thing that jumped out as me as being different than I remembered was the lack of serifs.

But my god--to tell the world you designed it over the weekend? Even if you need that logo, just say that the design team whipped it up over a period of months or something. You kept the last logo 18 years, and you cluck that your brand is worth $10B. And you just slapped it together over the weekend?

Jesus fucking Christ. What a shitshow.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:12 AM on September 6, 2013 [64 favorites]


I remember the last time some company changed their logofont thingy and everyone on Metafilter hated it.

Then the Earth plunged into the sun and we all died.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


The logo is boring and the blog post is bizarre and weirdly "folksy".. CEO rolls up sleeves and helps lift design work. SURE... but.. still...

I'm not going to hate on Marissa Mayer until she publicly kills a child. Female engineer/computer scientist/programmer, CEO of huge tech company, 300M+ net worth? I want her on the Wheaties.
posted by yonega at 5:19 AM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


People who get riled up about fonts and logos are an element of some larger set also occupied by pretentious (ie most) baristas.

I'm not sure what that larger set is, but I suspect it has tentacles and wants to hurt us.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:21 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh sweet holy merciful Christ, spending the weekend working on a project with a CEO who, by her own admission, is a mere dilletante in the craft at hand is my personal definition of Hell. I would either have a meltdown or bite my own lip off sometime around hour 11. What kind of sense of grandeur and entitlement tells people that this is a good idea?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:25 AM on September 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks this logo is pretty much reasonably ok? Given that it is in fact reasonably ok, all this noise about it sounds really damn silly.

The previous logo, however, was god damn hideous, and I can't believe it took them this long to get rid of that thing.
posted by Anything at 5:27 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Area Man: "who the fuck even uses yahoo in america anymore?

Me. I have a Yahoo mail account. Is that shameful?
"

It's eponysterically straight out of The Onion: Area Man Has Yahoo! Account
posted by chavenet at 5:28 AM on September 6, 2013 [45 favorites]


Yeah, it's not a terrible logo, IMHO. It's just a fantastically bland one. Which makes it very appropriate for Yahoo!, really.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:31 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I knew the new logo was going to be bad, but this took my breath away with it's badness. It looks even worse in place on yahoo.com, and between the Optima and the multiple Os linking it to Oil of Olay, I can't see it as anything other than the name of a cosmetic.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:32 AM on September 6, 2013


Marissa Mayer has broken down the glass ceiling and shown that a CEO can be a heroic Randian Overwoman and not just a Randian Overman; give her a break.
posted by acb at 5:33 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


And to think that almost all of the logos they didn't use look better than this one.

Yeah, that's the thing that really bothers me the most about the new logo. Most of the "30 days" logos were terrible, just slapped together crap. And a few of them still turned out to be better than the one they decided on! How does that happen?

Not to mention that this doesn't look like it was knocked out in a weekend, more like knocked out in an hour or two. That's the worst thing about this logo. It's not hideous, it's just lazy and bland. Bland isn't even the word, because sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to seem bland. This is just... It's a font. That's it. It's not a logo, because it doesn't have any identity. Making one "O" bigger than the other isn't enough to communicate Yahoo's identity.

It's... it's not even enough to be dangerous, let's put it that way.
posted by malapropist at 5:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Me. I have a Yahoo mail account. Is that shameful?

I still use the Yahoo address I've had since the dawn of Yahoo. It's for online shopping, anything I have to sign up for (PTA, HOA, etc.), bill pay, etc. I don't want that stuff clogging up my personal domain's e-mail.
posted by candyland at 5:36 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Female engineer/computer scientist/programmer, CEO of huge tech company, 300M+ net worth? I want her on the Wheaties.

Yeah, nothing I've read from Mayer makes me think she's anything other than exactly the same kind of lunatic egotist tech CEO that all the other lunatic egotist male tech CEOs are, but I can't help think of the line about Ginger Rogers doing it all backwards and in high heels, and wonder how much of the hate is the standard anti-woman-in-tech garbage that permeates business culture to the core.

Makes me want to cut her some slack, until I read yet another of her tone-deaf, arrogant, hilarious pieces of corpo-glurge. Sympathy has limits, you know.
posted by mediareport at 5:36 AM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


Of course, it doesn't matter and kind of makes sense that almost no effort was put into the new logo. This is about getting people talking about Yahoo, of course. Just like the Flickr refresh, the Tumblr acquisition, and whatever else. Yahoo has been back on the map in a way it probably hasn't been since the dot com boom. So it's working.

I can see why they're doing this, and I think it's actually working. I can honestly say that duing the 2000's, at least one calendar year passed without me contemplating Yahoo even once, let alone visiting their site. And here we are now, passionately discussing their site.

The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.
posted by malapropist at 5:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Somehow you knew that she'd change the logo soon after she took over. It's the standard thing that new CEOs of struggling companies feel like they have to do to show that they're not afraid to make BIG CHANGES.
posted by octothorpe at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


more importantly Yahoo has a stake in Alibaba in China which is worth heaps.

Thanks, awfurby; that TechCrunch link was interesting, but a $120 million valuation of Alibaba is more optimistic than the $70-80 million mentioned in the USAToday story it points to, which is also a bit more clear on exactly how investors are currently boosting Yahoo!'s stock price simply as a way to get in on the Alibaba action:

What's more, Alibaba's profit margin jumped 13 percentage points, from 35% of revenue during the fourth quarter of 2012, an acceleration that has investors wanting to own Yahoo, just so they can benefit in a potential Alibaba initial offering.

"The big money sees Yahoo's Alibaba stake as a high-value asset," says Pyykkonen, who has met with large institutional investors in New York, Chicago and San Francisco in recent months. "They're more excited about that than they are with Yahoo's operating business itself," he says...

To get an idea of how important Yahoo's Alibaba stake now is to its stock price, consider that Yahoo last year booked a $4.6 billion gain from its Alibaba sale. That figure dwarfed the $566 million in operating income Yahoo earned in all of 2012, and without it, Yahoo's $3.95 billion in 2012 net income would have been a loss instead. With various analysts pegging Alibaba's potential IPO market value in a range as high as $70 billion to $80 billion, Yahoo's remaining stake could be worth as much as $18 billion. That would provide the company a much-needed income boost as it battles Google and Facebook in the market for online advertising...

If Alibaba can execute a successful initial offering this year — whether in Hong Kong or the U.S. — it will vacuum up some amount of the growth investment dollars that otherwise might have gravitated toward Facebook (or Google). In the meantime, as a proxy, investors are glomming onto Yahoo.

posted by mediareport at 5:55 AM on September 6, 2013


wonder how much of the hate is the standard anti-woman-in-tech garbage

I'm fairly sure everything I've read in comments and podcasts up until the unveiling of this logo has been very enthusiastic about Ms Mayer heading up Yahoo!

There's been very strong murmurs of 'This person might actually turn the ship around'.

Any backlash has *nothing* to do with sexism as far as I can tell, and everything to do with "30 days of change" ... 1 day of disappointment.

Her blog post is insulting to so very many people.
posted by panaceanot at 5:57 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The anger about the work-from-home ban while building her own personal nursery was pretty furious, panaceanot, and went on for weeks.
posted by mediareport at 6:03 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


...I've always heard the phrase "I know enough to be dangerous" used as a warning rather than an endorsement.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:14 AM on September 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Deck chairs / Titanic.
posted by SPUTNIK at 6:17 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is Mayer's name misspelled in the Tumblr URL? The blog with the correct spelling, marissamayer.tumblr.com, is empty and the description points to the misspelled URL. Why wouldn't she use the correct URL? Maybe this is a prank.
posted by desjardins at 6:28 AM on September 6, 2013


I hope she is kidding. Is this a joke?

Yahoo Serious
(And thanks for the once-in-a-lifetime setup)


Magnificent.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2013


Didn't Steve Jobs design the Apple logo?
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:29 AM on September 6, 2013


No.

and besides, the Apple logo is actually good.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:33 AM on September 6, 2013


Sympathy has limits, you know.

For me it stops at 99%.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:34 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't help the impression that the outrage from the designosphere is more fueled by someone stepping on their turf rather than by the actual qualities of the logo itself, with these thousand little contrived nitpicks being the indirect means of responding to the former.
posted by Anything at 6:38 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why wouldn't she use the correct URL? Maybe this is a prank.


It's like Flickr. Or Tumblr. Marissa Mayr.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:38 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yahoo's managed to double its stock price under Mayer's tenure. Which, I guess, isn't hard to do when you're barely breaking double digits (the last time a Yahoo share was at $100 was in 1999, GOOG is currently poised to break $1000). But still, they must be making a lot of money off of ad revenues, because holy shit is she going for broke.

If you add up the value of all of Yahoo's shares, you come up with something like $29,000,000,000. So no, it's not that easy to double it.
posted by leopard at 6:39 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The logo needs to be bigger.
posted by Kabanos at 6:42 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


People who say "Who even uses Yahoo! anymore" are living in a fantasy land full of smart, computer literate people I wish I could be a part of. Spend some time among the masses. There is plenty of diversity of internet use which includes soccer moms, rural users who didn't get a computer until a few years ago, people who don't know how to use a mac, people who use AOL, and lots and lots of other folks.
posted by eq21 at 6:45 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just scrolled all the way down the 30 Days of Yahoo! logo redesign images and reading "Yahoo!" over and over and over again made me sneeze.
posted by zyxwvut at 6:46 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yahoo Auctions is basically eBay in Japan. There are a number of companies who will bid on items on your behalf (many sellers don't ship outside of Japan) for things like collectable/customised dolls (Blythe/BJD type things) and those frilly Elegant Gothic Lolita dresses (which are limited edition and cost roughly what you'd pay for a designer frock).
posted by mippy at 6:48 AM on September 6, 2013


SMH.

YA and OO are some of the worst kerning pairs out there, and they're blessed with both in one tiny name. So many of the 30 days of logos were textbook solutions to this issue. Making the a lowercase, making the descender on the y hug the a, borrowing the negative space between the Y and A to make the letterform of the A, etc. Then, at the end, they just nuked them all and went with Optima?

I imagine the conversation went like this:

Mayer: "We had serifs, but we should move towards sans serifs"
AD: "Here's a great selection of sans fonts..."
Mayer: "But what about something kindof serify? For our history."
Intern: "How about Optima! Its a pseudo-serif!"
Mayer: "Hey Art Director, why didn't you tell me pseudo-serif was an option? This kids a genius!"
AD: "Pseudo-serif isn't really a thing, basically just Optima, and maybe FF Meta..."
Mayer: "Optima was already installed on my computer, and I've already typed YAHOO into illustrator. We're going with this."

I liked the direction they were going with Y! It's an abstraction that can stand on the legs of the 18 years of history with their old logo, the millions of dollars poured into superbowl ads and actually being relevant in the 2000s. They're a brand that could be recognized with purple, Y and an exclamation point. Why not work with that? Move away from yahoo, and towards "why".
posted by fontophilic at 6:49 AM on September 6, 2013 [27 favorites]


I don't know much about typography, or what constitutes a good or bad logo, but dang -- looking at that new logo makes me physically uncomfortable in a way no other logo ever has. It just looks wrong, somehow.

It uses a geometry which cannot, and yet somehow does, exist. "Marissa Mayer" is merely the label given to a collection of entities from the Nameless Void sent here to subtly drive us all to madness.
posted by emjaybee at 6:51 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm going to be super-duper edgy and daring, guys, and proclaim that I like Yahoo!'s new logo. Gasp! Zounds! Yoinks!

The logo looks like it belongs to a company that potentially makes products that aren't shitty. It's a little bit fun. The fact that it's not typographically perfect suggests, to me as a consumer, that the product revisions they have planned aren't "look at our sexy grids", but they'll be more intelligent and maybe even usable than what Yahoo! offers today. Google, under Mayer's supervision, was known for its playfulness and fun, particularly within its products (and Mayer turned out a lot of excellent products); when they turned away from Mayer's approach and started doing their "be more like Apple" shtick was when they coincidentally started killing a lot of their best projects and integrating things which did not need to be integrated, most of which involved Google+ which was another horrible decision. So maybe Yahoo! becomes a company that gets to make cool things now.

The only thing Yahoo!'s made recently that I've paid attention to is their weather app, which won major awards and is kind of gorgeous overall. So what I'm saying is, Yahoo! is capable of making good things! And maybe they'll make more! And if they do, they need a logo that doesn't scream "look at what this old dinosaur is cranking out". They need something that says, "we're competent as hell, but we also give a shit about people, unlike Google which is incompetent and Apple which is an asshole". This logo does that for them. I like they way it looks on their blog, white on a big purple colorfield. It's warm but it suggests it's the face of a company that can deliver on impressive promises.

Which is not to say that that's what Yahoo! is actually going to do. And this all falls apart if Yahoo! keeps, you know, sucking. But they've been buying out a fuckton of companies for seemingly no reason, they're releasing some good products, and they're up to some weird, furtive shit, which is always fun for everyone. So hopefully this leads someplace good. And if it does, we'll come to look at this new logo as something we love, because that's how branding works. All a logo needs is the capacity to harbor some respect, and this has plenty of that. Versus, say, the Bing logo, which is still a horrible piece of ass. Hell, I like Bing, and I still can't take it seriously, because that logo suggests a five-year-old perpetually hitting his head with the same damn wooden block.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:52 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks this logo is pretty much reasonably ok?

Here are a few of the ways in which this logo is not a good logo:

1) Unbalanced visually. The Y is different height from the ! which is different height from the O which is different height from the other O which is a different height from the A and the H. But not, as in the old logo, different enough to look deliberate -- it's all just close enough to look almost right but still feel wrong. The uncanny valley of x-heights. Ditto the kerning (though kerning that word is basically impossible, I'll give 'em a pass on that)

2) the "chisel" effect is a dated cliché, and completely arbitrary decoration. All that shading interferes with the trademark purple, making it look more like a blue-black.

3) Also re that shading, which direction is the light coming from exactly?

4) "We didn't want to have any straight lines in the logo" so we chose a base font that is all made of straight lines, and added a chisel effect that is all made of straight lines.

5) "Serifs were a big part of our old logo. It felt wrong to give them up altogether" so we chose a base font that has no serifs and replaced them with something that is almost but not quite entirely unlike serifs, is barely noticeable except at very large sizes, and at very large sizes competes with those straight-line chisels that are right next to them.

6) "we preferred lettters that had thicker and thinner strokes - conveying the subjective and editorial nature of some of what we do" presented without comment

7) Look at this fucking blueprint. All those guidelines and notations are a cargo-cult imitation of what guidelines and notations are for (to show the geometric or mathematical relations between elements in the design): they either point out the obvious ("widest point of each letter is consistent", "thinnest point consistent on all letters"), the arbitrary ("3x spacer" between the Y and the A at some odd angle that matches exactly nothing else in the design, "2x spacer" between the dot and the line in the exclamation mark, neither spacing is used anywhere else. Nowhere is "1x" utilized in the logo, either, as far as I can tell), the inexplicable (the label "curves from the 'O' define all the lines. None are straight" points to two apparently perfectly straight lines extended from the A, and two mildly curved lines extended from the H which bear no apparent relationship to the curves from the O), or the just pulled-from-thin-air ("the 'waist on long segments is consistent", pointing to a segment of the H delineated by nothing whatsoever).

Also there's no concept, it doesn't try to express any visual message other than the word itself, the font choice is strangely unwhimsical and dull for a company with of all things an exclamation mark in its name, and it's just kind of boring to look at.


That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure someone who is a real logo designer could say much more
posted by ook at 6:55 AM on September 6, 2013 [32 favorites]


Good thing they didn't go with the Yankees one (Day 11).
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 7:08 AM on September 6, 2013


I hope Max the intern got paid for this.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:09 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's something about her that is so fucking annoying. Stop trying to prove yourself, Marissa.
posted by stormpooper at 7:11 AM on September 6, 2013


I'm not a pro but I know a little bit, enough that I can sans serif and tilt that shit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:14 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yahoo didn't need a new logo. If I were to change the logo, I'd just leave the Y! in the old typeface and leave it at that if there was need for change (use on smaller screen, etc). But they didn't ask me.
posted by birdherder at 7:15 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


And to think that almost all of the logos they didn't use look better than this one.

I'm a non-designer, but I love day 5. The exclamation point in Yahoo! is a hell of an albatross, though.
posted by capricorn at 7:17 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be more fair and correct than my earlier comment, the various actual design blogs actually seem to be way more moderate in their criticism than people in this thread.
posted by Anything at 7:18 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't help the impression that the outrage from the designosphere is more fueled by someone stepping on their turf rather than by the actual qualities of the logo itself, with these thousand little contrived nitpicks being the indirect means of responding to the former.

I have to agree with this. I don't think it matters how good or bad the logo was, there was a message sent by this action, one that's a major slight to anyone in the design world.

It's a multi-faceted message, which is this:
- All of your work can be dismissed, cast aside, and ignored if the CEO wills it so.
- The CEO values her own perception of the logo and design more than how you feel the world, especially the design world, will see it.
- The Executive team perceives that the designers are not doing anything that absolutely anyone else could do, like the CEO, who is supposed to be (in theory) the most abstracted position when it comes to the individual details of someone elses job.

It's an attack in where what many perceive as being an art is being handled by a "non-artist," and that the CEO perceives no value in a field that is considered largely artistic, that many have invested a lot of time, education, and experience in.

In some ways, this is reminiscent of the backlash against publications using amateur photographers in preference to professionals, except this was a much more blatant dismissal of value.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:19 AM on September 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't think I would even have realized that Yahoo had a new logo if there hadn't been two Metafilter posts on the matter. I'm a little impressed that so many people have feelings about it - and I'm someone who was outraged, outraged, when I noticed the toilet paper I used to buy shortened their roll by 1/4 inch.

The logo redesign does bring back happy memories, though, of the time the company I was working for redesigned their logo back in the late 90s. I can't even begin to imagine how much they spent on the relaunch, but as part of it they our office an ice sculpture of the new logo for a party we were having. I still have a mildly distressing photo of a friend licking said ice sculpture in a lascivious manner.

A year or so later the company completely imploded thanks to a fairly well-publicized (at the time) scandal; astonishingly enough, the new logo did nothing to save any of our jobs.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:20 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


All that being said, it reminds me of something that would have come out of the gimp logo-fy plug-in, and I woudn't be surprised if they narrowly dodged papyrus with a drop shadow.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:22 AM on September 6, 2013


MysticMCJ, the impression I, at least, get from Mayer's actual blog post is very different from how it's made up to be in the frankly misleading framing of this FPP. I'm not sure which one you (or many others here) are actually responding to.
posted by Anything at 7:27 AM on September 6, 2013


I'm not a pro but I know a little bit, enough that I can sans serif and tilt that shit.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:14 AM on September 6
[+] [!]


Pleeeeeeease tell me there is more to this dis track.
posted by clavicle at 7:31 AM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


You Always Have Other Options?

So close. It's "You Always Have Other Options!"
posted by straight at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm responding to the outrage over this, and stating the message that I believe the design community heard.

Often, the message heard can have little to no relation to the actual messages that were sent.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:38 AM on September 6, 2013


It's not a bad wordmark, but it isn't particularly interesting or exciting, either, and doesn't really say much about the company or its new direction other than "hey! new logo!"

No logo redesign ever says anything but that.
posted by straight at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Our logo, it is like a ham sandwich. We have overthought it.
posted by localroger at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2013


I'm not a pro but I know a little bit, enough that I can sans serif and tilt that shit.


We'll see how smart you are when the kerning comes
I got 99 designers but I did it with one, just me!
posted by Think_Long at 7:49 AM on September 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't know anything about logos and wordmarks and typography, so I'm just going to be curious about why the CEO is so keen to claim the credit here, good or bad. Even if she designed this on her own, on her iPad, she should be shining the spotlight on her team, not herself.

But then I don't know anything about CEOing, either.
posted by notyou at 7:51 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's warm but it suggests it's the face of a company that can deliver on impressive promises.

Rory, I agree with you that the logo looks fine, but the idea that the logo itself (as opposed to the public process of changing the logo) suggests anything at all about the company--much less the kind of specific suggestion you make here--seems utterly ridiculous to me.
posted by straight at 7:54 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looked through all the Logo-A-Day things, and only day 4 really stuck out for me. Most of them made me hungry for frozen yogurt. All of them seem to be just, I don't know, font specific? Like the spec was constrained in a really brutal way: "You can get as creative as negative space, but no more creative than that". I dunno.
posted by boo_radley at 8:00 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nothing says "whimsical" like chiseled letterforms. NOT. (Chiseled and non-straight-lines are another weird mismatch, but ..)

This logo is a train wreck on a lot of levels. Some of the ones in the video are not too bad, though; even Day One is tons nicer than the finished product.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:02 AM on September 6, 2013


and more than anything, this makes me want to design a new logo for metafilter.
posted by boo_radley at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2013


and more than anything, this makes me want to design a new logo for metafilter.


MetaFilter

POW. Done.

I went with size 10 verdana, bolded, because bold doesn't exist in nature. This shit is so easy.
posted by Think_Long at 8:05 AM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yeah, the MetaFilter logo needs more... beanplate?

Maybe switch to bizarro-ital, in which all the characters lean left, marching ahead keep on truckin' style.
posted by notyou at 8:06 AM on September 6, 2013


(Or maybe "Flag it and Move On" style.)
posted by notyou at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2013


I have to say, from their stupid name to their ugly site to their idiotic homcidic-feelings-inducing acronym to their CEO either designing the logo and being proud of it and then crowing about reducing their entire design team to head-smacking helpless frustration or just being so lost in the weeds that anything, ANYTHING looks better than whatever else they were thinking, I don't find much to like here. Apart from flickr, I haven't used any Yahoo product since....I don't even know when. And I was on flickr before Yahoo bought and then almost drove it straight off the cliff. So, I give it a good, solid meh.
posted by nevercalm at 8:09 AM on September 6, 2013


Think_Long: "MetaFilter

POW. Done.

I went with size 10 verdana, bolded, because bold doesn't exist in nature. This shit is so easy.
"

what is this garbage, get out of my way, I'll do it myself:

MetaFilter

There. Simplicity itself.
posted by boo_radley at 8:10 AM on September 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


MeTa
posted by Anything at 8:10 AM on September 6, 2013


I can't remember the stats, but Yahoo Search has the most marketshare in Japan, so if you want to send people to your site either through organic or paid Search, you need to understand how Yahoo works.

The weird thing is that Yahoo Japan uses Google's Search technology under the hood (in the US they use Bing) to drive results.

Why is Yahoo popular in Japan? Yahoo Auctions mostly, but Japanese people still like the insanely busy portal-type landing page (Yahoo Japan is a separate business unit so has its own look and feel).

Rakuten is taking over as Japan's online marketplace, tho.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if she would let one of the designers be CEO for a day.


Why not? They know as much about that as she does about design.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:13 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


(And yes, I am aware she was there working with them. My point still stands.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:14 AM on September 6, 2013


"Our last move was to tilt the exclamation point by 9 degrees, just to add a bit of whimsy."

"I feel we should rastify it by ... ten percent or so."


It needs to be 20% cooler.
posted by radwolf76 at 8:16 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had some interactions with Ms. Meyer when I was an engineer at a Famous Search Engine, and she hasn't changed a bit.

I found the "let's work all weekend, isn't this fun" bullshit to be particularly offensive.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2013 [28 favorites]


The animated logo appeals to people who like cuteness. The front page is useful for people who want someone to tell them what's on the Web. The new logo mostly exists to get people talking about yahoo.com. So far, so good.
posted by theora55 at 8:25 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the shorter letters in the middle that swell on either side make it look, when read left-to-right, as if it is strong, then fades out, but then comes roaring back.

Is this how she sees the company's fate now that she is at the helm? Logo as allegory?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:42 AM on September 6, 2013


Is this where I go to complain about the Yahoo fantasy sports pages redesign? UGH IT IS TERRIBLE AND UNUSABLE. Light, barely visible text against a dark but translucent (and therefore distracting and busy) background.

Also I know very little about design and logo and typeface and whatnot, but the Yahoo Fantasy sports logo looks really weird to me.
posted by misskaz at 8:43 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, to recap:

1. New logo is ugly.
2. Or maybe no uglier than the old one.
3. Who cares anyway?
4. Designers hate it and have many reasons why if you want to listen.
5. Stupid designers, they don't understand that logos don't matter!
6. This is all just to generate publicity for Yahoo
7. Ms. Mayer is kind of a jerk, even if you don't care whether she fancies herself a logo designer.
posted by emjaybee at 8:44 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


misskaz: Also I know very little about design and logo and typeface and whatnot, but the Yahoo Fantasy sports logo looks really weird to me.

That is the logo of a sex toy manufacturer.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:44 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


""I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous."

I don't think she knows even that much.
"

12 died in the making of the logo. (Four were killed when they leaned forward into rotating blades.)
posted by klangklangston at 8:47 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, misskaz. All of Yahoo!'s sports pages have gotten that treatment -- and it's a disaster.

Puck Daddy is unreadable, now. I mean, literally unreadable. It's always been figuratively unreadable.

-------------------
*Maybe Mayer rolled up her sleeves, got in the trenches, and contributed to the redesign of those pages, too? Or maybe she should have?
posted by notyou at 8:48 AM on September 6, 2013


thousand little contrived nitpicks

Heh, you should sit in on a design critique. For a designer, nitpicking is like 60% of the job.
posted by malapropist at 8:48 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a multi-faceted message, which is this:
- All of your work can be dismissed, cast aside, and ignored if the CEO wills it so.
- The CEO values her own perception of the logo and design more than how you feel the world, especially the design world, will see it.
- The Executive team perceives that the designers are not doing anything that absolutely anyone else could do, like the CEO, who is supposed to be (in theory) the most abstracted position when it comes to the individual details of someone elses job.

It's an attack in where what many perceive as being an art is being handled by a "non-artist," and that the CEO perceives no value in a field that is considered largely artistic, that many have invested a lot of time, education, and experience in.

In some ways, this is reminiscent of the backlash against publications using amateur photographers in preference to professionals, except this was a much more blatant dismissal of value.


All that stuff is just day-to-day design grind stuff though, this is nothing noteworthy in that regard except maybe the high profile of the case, but that kind of dismissal is really just a boring (though frustrating) fact of life for any working designer who hasn't made a significant name for themselves to the point where they can turn down work. I really don't think that's the issue, nor is the "stepping onto their turf" thing from upthread. Design is just one of those lovely fields where if you've got an eye for it and express a negative opinion about something, well, you're obviously just being pretentious or defensive. If you're a fan of the brand and have a negative opinion, sure, that's fine, but god forbid it's a professionally-informed opinion.

What people don't realize from the outside is that the ability to pinpoint and explain the negatives of a design is what makes good design - you put yourself and your colleagues through this meat grinder multiple times in the process, and you expect them to do it to you. It's as much about culling as it is about creating. Having a design you poured your heart into run the gauntlet, killing your babies as it were, is a fundamental part of the job, and this logo positively screams that it got to skip the brutal reassessment part of the process because it was the CEO's. Everything designers in this thread are saying about it is stuff that should have been said about it during that process, but wasn't or was totally ignored.

Also, the whole "controversial designs are good because they get people talking" is, like, not even a thing. You're still stuck with it after. It would be a massively stupid gambit to intentionally fuck with your branding just to drum up a passing crowd momentarily interested in seeing what the fuss is about. That's not what your brand is there for. At the end of the day, does this bring in more users that they'll retain, or will it be sound and fury signifying 15 seconds of web fame?
posted by jason_steakums at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2013 [17 favorites]


If anyone is having trouble understanding why CEO "pitches in" on corporate branding over the weekend is causing such concern then simply replace Mayer with Ballmer.
posted by fullerine at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


1) It looks like Google-envy.
2) It's unattractive.
3) Different sizes on the O's is off-putting.
4) It looks like what you get from someone who is not a professional.
posted by nickrussell at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Mayer's job is to replicate the success Stephen Elop had in reshaping Nokia into a competitive beast.
posted by pwnguin at 9:05 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Everything about her blog post gives me hives and flashbacks to pretty much every project I've been involved with where an executive who knows "just enough to be dangerous :)" "rolls up their sleeves" and "dives into the trenches" with the actual pros.

Yes, she mentions the other design people and uses the word "we", but her "I'm not a pro but I love Illustrator" comment and the resulting logo just scream "I'm going to ram my own marginally qualified pet idea for this project straight through to the top, but instead of stepping up and owning it I'll make some people jump through the expected hoops so that any negative consequences aren't all on me."
posted by usonian at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh sweet holy merciful Christ, spending the weekend working on a project with a CEO who, by her own admission, is a mere dilletante in the craft at hand is my personal definition of Hell. I would either have a meltdown or bite my own lip off sometime around hour 11.

Quite. So I will repeat here the props I gave in the other thread to the magnificent Max Ma for his choice of uplifting corporate-friendly anthems. Now there's a young designer who truly understands the power of negative spaces - unless his elision of the following lyrics was somehow accidental:

Days go by my window
World slows down as it goes
Goodbye to last night
Lost love out of sight
Can't you help me see?
They! won't! get! right!
posted by flabdablet at 9:23 AM on September 6, 2013


I can see why they're doing this, and I think it's actually working. I can honestly say that duing the 2000's, at least one calendar year passed without me contemplating Yahoo even once, let alone visiting their site. And here we are now, passionately discussing their site.

Actually, though, it's discussion of the brand, not the site. The site still is unchanged and still sucks. Listicles and happy puffery about paleo diets and celebrity bumps in Arial/Helvetica do not a radical reconceptualization make. It's the same old Yahoo circa 1999.

If they want people to chatter about their branding and how awesome Marissa Meyer is, then good job, I guess. But if they've "changed" the logo (which isn't really changed all that much, except to be uglier and less distinctive, if that's possible) and nothing else I don't see the point.
posted by blucevalo at 9:29 AM on September 6, 2013


If anyone is having trouble understanding why CEO "pitches in" on corporate branding over the weekend is causing such concern then simply replace Mayer with Ballmer.

But CEOs are not interchangeable cogs. Mayer made her name in design at Google while Ballmer made his name in sales. Replace Mayer with Steve Jobs and probably very few people would have any concern.
posted by gyc at 9:35 AM on September 6, 2013


Goddamn, this is what drives me nuts about engineers. You read a wikipedia page and you think you're a fucking expert. No you don't know enough to be dangerous - you know enough to look stupid. When you actually know enough to be dangerous, you are then humble enough to have real designers do it for you, since you know how much you don't know. Then you're smart enough to ask the right questions to the experts who are actually doing the work. Goddamn.

No wait, stop St. Peepsburg, tell me how you really feel....
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I'm not a pro, but I know enough to be dangerous."

More like...

I ain't passed the bar
but I know a little bit

enough to know
that I can just go redesign my shit

Well we'll see how smart you are when Metafilter comes.


You may have 99 problems with this logo design but Meyer's got none
posted by GuyZero at 9:55 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those of you worried that all this griping is due to garden-variety sexism, fear not: she's actually kind of a jerk (I tried to find an article about how she ran for office once on a super-conservative platform but the Internet doesn't seem to want to yield any results...anyone remember what that was about?).
posted by Mooseli at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2013


For those of you worried that all this griping is due to garden-variety sexism, fear not: she's actually kind of a jerk

Huh? Want to explain how that makes her a jerk?
posted by gyc at 9:59 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried to find an article about how she ran for office once on a super-conservative platform but the Internet doesn't seem to want to yield any results...anyone remember what that was about?

You have her confused with Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina. Meyer's never run for anything.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on September 6, 2013


I haven't read the whole thread, so I may have missed this, but I read the two pieces in the FPP and I don't see where it says that Marissa Mayer designed this logo. She credits a team of professional designers by name in her piece. All she says is that she took part and she makes a little self-deprecating joke about knowing enough about Adobe Illustrator to "be dangerous." It would be a bit odd if she, as the client, took no part in the final design process or decision. I mean, I'm sure most designers would prefer it if their clients just said "you do what you think best" but that has basically never happened in the history of logo design.

It would be interesting to see how the responses here would have played out if this had just been announced as the work of Yahoo's "logo design team: Bob Stohrer, Marc DeBartolomeis, and Russ Khaydarov" with the fact that the CEO is going to have weighed in on the final form tacitly assumed. I'm guessing that responses would have been considerably less negative (because, really, it's Yahoo--who gives a crap what their logo looks like?).
posted by yoink at 10:02 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yoink I understand what you mean but I still disagree. They did a 30 days of new logos thing and hyped everyone up on a new logo which was always doomed for failure, at least in terms of getting positive buzz going. Although I guess people are talking about Yahoo! so... mission accomplished?
posted by cell divide at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


PS: The tumblr/Mayer PR campaign on it is planned. It looks dumb to us internet savvy people, but is that really Yahoo's customer anymore?

What they really should have done is broken this story on Pinterest.
posted by Sara C. at 10:15 AM on September 6, 2013


> Mayer made her name in design at Google

Mayer was Google's first female engineer and went from that to product manager and then generic "executive". Her big design cred was overseeing the layout of the original Google home page, which was certainly big, but saying that she "made her name in design" is an oversimplification at best.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:17 AM on September 6, 2013


Huh? Want to explain how that makes her a jerk?

That a company give to a political party doesn't mean anything.

It's when they don't that you have to look twice. I think few CEOs aren't jerks, but then I could be wrong, since I don't actually know any.

As to the logo? As to the design? Who cares?

Company Logos.

Most look like shit. She just added to the ranks of the rank. The logo wasn't going to make or break yahoo.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2013


I had some interactions with Ms. Meyer when I was an engineer at a Famous Search Engine, and she hasn't changed a bit.

Yeah I've been trying to find a polite way to say the same thing, thanks for saying it that way Lupus. She's famous for micromanaging. And for making strong assertions about user interface and design that, in my limited personal experience, were dubious. I'm an admirer of Marissa and all she's accomplished. But locking the logo design team in a room for a weekend with her is not the kind of CEO move that's going to save a floundering company. And bragging about it apparently has backfired, at least with the peanut gallery here.

I think the logo itself is OK, not very exciting. My main complaint is it seems very bland. I have sympathy for anyone who has to kern the letters Y-A-H-O-O though.
posted by Nelson at 10:24 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"I haven't read the whole thread, so I may have missed this, but I read the two pieces in the FPP and I don't see where it says that Marissa Mayer designed this logo. She credits a team of professional designers by name in her piece. All she says is that she took part and she makes a little self-deprecating joke about knowing enough about Adobe Illustrator to "be dangerous." It would be a bit odd if she, as the client, took no part in the final design process or decision. I mean, I'm sure most designers would prefer it if their clients just said "you do what you think best" but that has basically never happened in the history of logo design."

Part of the reaction is also that many of us have seen the design process go to shit when the client gets actively involved in all of the choices. It's very hard to overrule them, they're often inarticulate and prone to quasi-jargon in the place of actual criticism (I weep every time our ED tells a designer that something needs to "pop more"), and they tend to come at design from the perspective of the final product, not the iterations needed to get there. They're fine as ultimate consumers, and they can give advice (obviously), but the best process is generally to just show the client a couple of options at the end of the process and have them pick the one they like best (and that's usually two crappy options then the one the designer wants you to choose).
posted by klangklangston at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Her big design cred was overseeing the layout of the original Google home page, which was certainly big, but saying that she "made her name in design" is an oversimplification at best.

She was "VP of user experience" so she had a hand in every design decision made at Google during her tenure there (and that includes that dim and distant time when everybody in the artsy-designy-Metafiltery world loved Google and held them up as an exemplar of everything wonderful about design and user-friendliness). It would be odd if somehow "Melissa Mayer plus professional designers" was now a sure-bet ticket to design incompetence when it used to be a sure-bet ticket to field-leading excellence.

Design is subjective and when people have a motive to hate on a design they will be able to find "reasons" to hate on it. If the logo is similar to other excellent logos then it's "derivative" if it's different then it's "clueless about basic principles of design." This is a game that is just too easy to play.
posted by yoink at 10:38 AM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


As to the logo? As to the design? Who cares?

Company Logos.

Most look like shit.


In the first result I got there, I'd say everything except Cypress, Atmel, 3com, PayPal, TellMe, that particular styling of the Google logo with the exaggerated depth effect and drop shadow that they've since toned down, and the tagline portion of the Hitachi logo beat out the new Yahoo logo.

Design is subjective and when people have a motive to hate on a design they will be able to find "reasons" to hate on it. If the logo is similar to other excellent logos then it's "derivative" if it's different then it's "clueless about basic principles of design." This is a game that is just too easy to play.

Do you just make up commenters to respond to?
posted by jason_steakums at 10:44 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have sympathy for anyone who has to kern the letters Y-A-H-O-O though.

Lemme see... Make each letter an individual WordArt, Select All, Arrange, Align, Distribute Horizontally. Did and Done. What's next, our coders are having problems with their frames and style sheets? Let me just fire up Word, it can edit HTML, right?
posted by achrise at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


she had a hand in every design decision made at Google during her tenure there

Indeed. But there's a lot of people who question whether that was good for Google, particularly as the company grew. Nicholas Carlson's biography of her talks about this some:
“Her weakness was an unwillingness to delegate,” says Craig Silverstein ... The team who grew most frustrated with Mayer over the “office hours” and, more generally, the need for her to sign off on product changes, were the engineers in charge of Google search. ... “These four guys, they were constantly being hampered. They’d say: ‘We want to roll out this ranking change.’ Marissa’s like, ‘until I review it, you can’t launch it.’ They’re like: ‘But it’s been three weeks.’”
And of course there's designer Doug Bowman's description of his frustrations at Google. He doesn't ever mention Marissa by name, but I understand his complaints to be with the process she created.

But like I said above, I admire Marissa and her accomplishments. One particular thing she's often credited for at Google is creating a product management training program that turned a lot of fresh-out-of-college kids into effective PMs. That's the kind of leadership that makes companies successful.
posted by Nelson at 11:02 AM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not a pro but I know a little bit, enough that I can sans serif and tilt that shit
Nine degrees, I do exactly what I please
Do not disturb while I'm smokin' my herb
Got my designers' mockups all kicked to the curb
Think ya'll know more about design than than me? Well that's absurd

At home loading up Illustrator, I'm the illest Mayer
Designers don't like my new logo? You're all just traitors
Ain't no room for you at Yahoo no more, haters
Ass deep in alligators, but my chairman swagger
Overrides your fake papers

Curved lines are straight dope, straight lines are fuck nope
'Cept those chiseled ones on the Y, don't say that doesn't make sense, just cope
Got my design team to hang themselves in the conference room with a rope
I say it's time for them to find a new job in Hell with the Pope

Designing logos for the Church or Nestle or maybe even BP
A/B testing that kerning except when it's designed by me
'Cause my eye is so refined ya'll know it's time to see
The true logo design ninja master (that would be me).
posted by zug at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2013 [15 favorites]


Do you just make up commenters to respond to?

Allow me to introduce you to Metafilter conventions: you are quoting another commentator when you put what they say in italics. The comments I put in quotation marks were hypothetical examples of the kinds of things you can say about any design if you are dead set on disliking it.

And of course there's designer Doug Bowman's description of his frustrations at Google. He doesn't ever mention Marissa by name, but I understand his complaints to be with the process she created.


Yeah, and I can well understand a designer being pissed off at being told "just because you personally like the way it looks doesn't mean it works best: we need actual data to show that users respond to it" (p.s., explanatory note to jason_steakums: that is not an actual quotation of something anybody actually said, it is my paraphrase of the kinds of comments Bowman complains about). On the other hand, I can also understand a company saying "we'd rather have actual data showing that this design works better than just trust one particular designer's aesthetic preferences."

And in any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Everybody loved and lauded--for a long time--the designs that Google actually implemented on Mayer's watch. Maybe she pissed all kinds of people off while she did it, maybe she was a bitch to work for, but it is demonstrably not the case that when she meddles in the design process that is a recipe for design outputs that "professional designers" or "people who understand design" will see as incompetent.
posted by yoink at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2013


While she's tweaking the logo, NSA is scanning and rescanning every piece of Yahoo Mail! ever sent.
posted by newdaddy at 11:30 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The strong first impression I got from the blog post was similar to what MysticMCJ said, that there seemed to be significant implied stress on the idea that "we can do in a weekend what it takes overpaid designers weeks or months to do... *preen*" ... which does seem sort of ill-advised to me, based on the final outcome.

My first impression of the logo itself was kind of "ugh, late-80s Optima overuse flashbacks... but at least it's not Peignot," but then I'm older than most of you – and the CEO and everyone on the design team and the Yahoo market, I'm sure... so probably not terribly pertinent. I do think it's not very good at all, but not outrageously bad.

And then my mind flitted and wandered from bad or tired typography and fonts to '80s fonts and logos generally, and I was reminded of the Procter & Gambel logo controversy, which might put this in perspective. At least people are not attributing the design to the Devil himself. (Though the modern P&G logo is certainly an ugly devil.)
posted by taz at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's as if their old logo was put in a back brace.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


her "I'm not a pro but I love Illustrator" comment and the resulting logo just scream "I'm going to ram my own marginally qualified pet idea for this project straight through to the top, but instead of stepping up and owning it I'll make some people jump through the expected hoops so that any negative consequences aren't all on me."

Oh Jesus F. Christ. If she uses the term "we" 23 times and the term "our" 15 times and makes a single self-deprecating remark, it just SCREAMS self-promoting narcissism *and* a reluctance to own the results. Imagine what other words she could have used to send a different message!

For those of you worried that all this griping is due to garden-variety sexism, fear not: she's actually kind of a jerk (I tried to find an article about how she ran for office once on a super-conservative platform but the Internet doesn't seem to want to yield any results...anyone remember what that was about?).

Oh whew, thank God. A giant corporation made a donation to a Republican political committee, which is further proof that she's a jerk, and you're confusing its CEO with some other women tech CEOs with vastly different politics. I was starting to worry about sexism!

But locking the logo design team in a room for a weekend with her is not the kind of CEO move that's going to save a floundering company.

Yahoo's stock price has doubled in the past year. This is a company that will generate over $1,000,000,000 in earnings this year. It generates over $5,000,000,000 in annual revenues.

I'm sure Mayer is a super-privileged workaholic whose personal role in the successes and failures of the companies she's worked for is vastly overstated by all, but so many comments on this thread are simple nonsense.
posted by leopard at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was starting to worry about sexism!

Good thing for you that there's a MeTa post where you can make those accusations, without actually making them!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


<Roseanne Roseannadanna>
What's all this about Miley Cyrus twerking the Yahoo! logo?
</Roseanne Roseannadanna>

What? Oh, Nevermind.

posted by zippy at 12:10 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this one is kinda clever.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2013 [13 favorites]


Also, where is miketheintern.tumblr.com?
posted by gottabefunky at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2013


Allow me to introduce you to Metafilter conventions: you are quoting another commentator when you put what they say in italics.

That's what I always said Strunk and White were missing, that perfect soupçon of dickery that really drives lessons home.

The comments I put in quotation marks were hypothetical examples of the kinds of things you can say about any design if you are dead set on disliking it.

The point I'm making is, who in this thread is actually saying those things for the motives you give? Assuming that everyone who doesn't like something is dead set on disliking it and being disingenuous with what they're saying is just ridiculous and useless.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:48 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is refreshing, you usually have to go to political threads to get this kind of dickery.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:02 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: That perfect soupçon of dickery
posted by klangklangston at 1:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha! Good find, gottabefunky.
posted by ook at 1:47 PM on September 6, 2013


I don't know jack shit about yahoo, but I do know that artists and designers exist for a reason and that engineer types need to learn the lesson that math doesn't solve all problems equally.

That logo is milquetoast crap, it looks like an engineer CEO led a committee to design it one weekend on a lark.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


phaedon: "Don't forget Stamped, Ontheair, Snipit, Propeld, Jybe, Rondee, Summly ($30 million to a 17-year old), GoPollGo, Loki Studios, Ghostbird, Qwiki, Xobni, Atelic, MileWise and Rockmelt. All in one year."

Sequence: "if you pay the designers $X per year and you pay the CEO $X,000 per year, then basically you have just increased your logo cost A THOUSAND FOLD by having the CEO do it. If you think that's a good idea, dear lord, you should not be running a company. Even if she came up with a pretty awesome design, it would have been a terrible business decision."

Anyone calling out the expensive absurdity of a highly paid CEO who knows 'just enough to be dangerous' taking up a weekend noodling away on an Optima logo while she locks up her team as a "terrible business decision" is ignoring the fact that this was one weekend where at least she couldn't turn around and, in the inimitable YAHOO! style, blow $1,000,000,000+ on something like a cache of GIF porn.
posted by meehawl at 3:18 PM on September 6, 2013


blow $1,000,000,000+ on something like a cache of GIF porn.

This is a totally unfair characterization of Tumblr. Most of their porn is JPEG. Except for the animation excerpts, of course.
posted by localroger at 3:28 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Marissa Meyer and Zach Bogue buy the most expensive house in San Francisco History."

Could these people be any grosser, any more crass?
posted by Unified Theory at 3:40 PM on September 6, 2013


Could these people be any grosser, any more crass?
Don't tempt them. A quick tour of Florida or southern California or even Houston is all you need to know that the answer is: yes, they could be far more crass.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:11 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is a company that will generate over $1,000,000,000 in earnings this year. It generates over $5,000,000,000 in annual revenues.

Where are you getting those numbers, leopard? I'm not snarking, just trying to reconcile them with what that USA Today story linked above says:

To get an idea of how important Yahoo's Alibaba stake now is to its stock price, consider that Yahoo last year booked a $4.6 billion gain from its Alibaba sale. That figure dwarfed the $566 million in operating income Yahoo earned in all of 2012, and without it, Yahoo's $3.95 billion in 2012 net income would have been a loss instead.

Just wondering where you're seeing 2013 predictions of over $1 billion in earnings this year.
posted by mediareport at 4:20 PM on September 6, 2013


Or $5 billion in annual earnings (that don't depend on Alibaba sales).
posted by mediareport at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2013


That house isn't even that big.
posted by desjardins at 4:24 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or that expensive. $35M is the most expensive house sold ever in 'Frisco?

If Mayer and Bogue save up, maybe one day they can buy this $150M+ place in LA. The weather's nicer, too.
posted by notyou at 5:10 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My numbers came from here. I was referring to the last 12 months of revenue (4.82B) and the last twelve months of EBITDA (1.28B). These numbers include AliBaba.

According to Yahoo's latest 10-Q (found here), in the first six months of 2013 Yahoo had:

Operating Income $323M (up from $224M in the first six months of the previous year)
Earnings in Equity Interests of $442M (presumably this is AliBaba? -- up from $352M)
Net Income of $726M (up from $515M)

By the way, this thread provides an interesting contrast to this one. In that thread, everyone rails about incompetent CEOs who are incomprehensibly promoted just because they look the part and everyone wonders why no one cares about performance. In this thread, people mock Yahoo's logo, are disturbed by the price of their wealthy CEO's house, confuse Mayer with other women CEOs, and are mainly interested in judging a CEO by her blog and some utterly banal CEO-speak ("enough to be dangerous") instead of the fact that the company has performed well on her watch.
posted by leopard at 7:02 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The real problem with the new logo isn't the font or the kerning or the scallops or anything else; it's the fact that it spells out "YAHOO!". It's a horrible, ridiculous, dated and dumb name for a thing, not just a tech company or any kind of a company. It sounds like the brand name of a brand of dish soap or something. It sounded kind of fresh twenty years ago, I guess. Like the company, it's past its expiration date. They should change the name to "Why Holdings, Inc.".
posted by Fnarf at 7:17 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fnarf: "The real problem with the new logo isn't the font or the kerning or the scallops or anything else; it's the fact that it spells out "YAHOO!". "

Don't worry, as I alluded to upthread, they'll be changing the name to "Google" in the future.
posted by pwnguin at 7:22 PM on September 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The world is NOT a meritocracy.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:27 PM on September 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


ShutterBun:
It says a lot, but omits "here's what I would have done differently." The last example (with "slightly looser than default" spacing, and nothing else,) looks even worse.
I wrote that post at Fonts In Use. If you actually read my text, you’d know that I was not attempting to offer a better logo design. My post was specifically addressing the poor kerning and spacing, and the final image merely an illustration to show how proper spacing works.
posted by Typographica at 7:37 PM on September 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Having thought it over some more, I'm not sure why Mayer is arrogantly boasting about Yahoo spending only two days on a weekend reworking something as vitally important as its logo. Any CEO with a lick of sense would have realized that logos are utterly irrelevant and would have therefore provided a highly paid professional design team vast amounts of time and independence so that they could carry out their completely pointless mission with the proper amount of respect. And for her to then post something about the logo to her blog? Doesn't she realize how bad her lack of her perspective makes her look?
posted by leopard at 9:46 PM on September 6, 2013


On a personal level, I love brands, logos, color, design, and, most of all, Adobe Illustrator.

Really? Adobe Illustrator MOST OF ALL? Like, if she had to banish 4 of these things from existence, Color and design wouldn't make the cut, but Illustrator would?

I also would like to see more of the Exclamation point rotation scale. If 9 degrees is whimsy, then 2 degrees is sober contemplation, and 18 degrees is P.Diddy at Burning man.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:46 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like Mayer thinks she's Jordan McDeere.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:22 AM on September 7, 2013


Really? Adobe Illustrator MOST OF ALL? Like, if she had to banish 4 of these things from existence, Color and design wouldn't make the cut, but Illustrator would?

This is beanplaty even by Metafilter standards.

it's the fact that it spells out "YAHOO!". It's a horrible, ridiculous, dated and dumb name for a thing, not just a tech company or any kind of a company.

Unless the name of the company actually is Hitler, or a reference to some gross bodily function, or a terrible meme which will be dated yesterday, or some other obvious piece of sabotage, I think a company's name has about as much effect on its success as its logo: basically none. If anything, "Yahoo!" is memorable, and it is a name dating back to the early Internet, which isn't something your random startup has.
posted by JHarris at 1:44 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hah! I like it! And congrats to Marissa! Redesigning the logo got the Internet a-buzz about Yahoo! She's definitely doing something right. :)
posted by ruelle at 1:52 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


YAHOO
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:00 AM on September 7, 2013


The Y is narrow enough that it just looks like a tall Y at the beginning of the word, but the O is wide, and next to another O, so IMO it looks oversized.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:05 AM on September 7, 2013


I have a Yahoo mail account. Is that shameful?
posted by Area Man


It's not entirely shameful, but you've got to admit, "Area Man Admits To Still Having Yahoo! Mail Account" makes a pretty convincing Onion headline in a couple of years.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:12 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you actually read my text, you’d know that I was not attempting to offer a better logo design.

If you actually read my post, you'd note that that was specifically what I mentioned I felt was missing. (not that you promised it, but others felt the article "said it all")
posted by ShutterBun at 2:19 AM on September 7, 2013


For those of you worried that all this griping is due to garden-variety sexism, fear not: she's actually kind of a jerk (I tried to find an article about how she ran for office once on a super-conservative platform but the Internet doesn't seem to want to yield any results...anyone remember what that was about?).

***

You have her confused with Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina. Meyer's never run for anything.

If who you donate to is a mark of whether or not you are a jerk, btw, Mayer has consistently donated heavily to Obama campaigns as a private citizen, and has had him over to eat (as host of a fundraising dinner - although I guess that gets back to the "she has an amazing house" reason for disliking her, so...).
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:03 AM on September 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Goddamn, this is what drives me nuts about engineers. You read a wikipedia page and you think you're a fucking expert. No you don't know enough to be dangerous - you know enough to look stupid. When you actually know enough to be dangerous, you are then humble enough to have real designers do it for you, since you know how much you don't know. Then you're smart enough to ask the right questions to the experts who are actually doing the work. Goddamn.

No wait, stop St. Peepsburg, tell me how you really feel....


Isn't looking stupid the only danger in design?
posted by yonega at 10:06 AM on September 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Depends if you're designing a reactor chamber.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:16 AM on September 7, 2013


From Twitter: "Max Ma, the intern Marissa Mayer thanked by name when she unveiled hew new Yahoo logo, had another idea for the logo http://maxmadesign.com/#work003.html"
posted by PenDevil at 12:52 PM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sadly it looks like the Max Ma logo (along with the rest of the web site) has already been nuked from orbit. Alternate link anybody?
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:27 PM on September 7, 2013


Imagine what a sane person would do for a revamped Yahoo logo.

It looks basically like that. Nothing mindblowing, but a million times better than what they actually went with.

It lost the different sized o's and the exclamation point, though, which is probably why it never stood a chance. It also doesn't really appeal to the old/luddite demographic they are clearly going for. It reminds me of the new(ish) AOL logo, also like something that would belong in the gawker family of websites. It's a little bit io9.
posted by Sara C. at 4:35 PM on September 7, 2013


Dr Dracator: scroll down a bit on this page.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:44 PM on September 7, 2013


Her big design cred was overseeing the layout of the original Google home page

Well, given that Google has the best home page of any site on the entire world wide web, I have to conclude that Mayer is a genius and all the "designers" criticizing her logo have no idea what they're talking about.
posted by straight at 10:49 PM on September 7, 2013


The most interesting thing about the new Yahoo! logo is that it shows that Marissa Mayer doesn't know what Marissa Mayer doesn't know.
posted by Mick at 7:42 AM on September 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Prepare the Senate campaign.....
posted by thelonius at 10:34 AM on September 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huffpost link has been updated - Apparently she didn't buy that house.

"A story has been removed that indicated Marissa Mayer and Zach Bogue bought the most expensive house in San Francisco history. Mayer later tweeted that they did not purchase the property in question, which is situated on the city's famed Billionaires Row. Real estate records only confirmed that the deed transferred in March to "Bellihouse LLC," which appears to be unrelated to Mayer or Bogue. The property was assessed at $23.8 million. While none of the parties involved have publicly confirmed the final sale price, it's likely one of the most expensive in the city's history. We regret any confusion and hope the buyers enjoy their new home."
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:21 PM on September 9, 2013


Yahoo's logo reveals the worst aspects of the engineering mindset

There is a break in childhood development: a point at which you move from concrete to abstract thinking. Some people never get there. Engineers, software or otherwise, use an enormous amount of abstract thinking, but some also often appear rooted in the concrete for everything but math and science. For them, visual and literary aesthetics involve a literal reading: if you say one thing but mean the other, you're not making sense to them. The idea of gray areas, shading, or things that they can't immediately grasp fully are rejected. When I read Mayer's explanation, I feel like I'm peering into the mind of an engineer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:33 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow. He can tell all that by the style, color and size of six ASCII characters?
posted by JHarris at 4:25 PM on September 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


The most interesting thing about the new Yahoo! logo is that it shows that Marissa Mayer doesn't know what Marissa Mayer doesn't know.

The cool kids who have graduated from the reality-based community call that "Triumph of the Will."
posted by KokuRyu at 4:27 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yahoo’s new logo makes it look more like a cosmetics brand than an internet company. A comparison image.
posted by Nelson at 2:03 PM on September 11, 2013


Critiquing logos strikes me as saying nothing-things about nothing-things.
posted by JHarris at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2013


What does that make criticizing comments criticizing logos?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:26 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love ya to bits, JHarris, and you've made your non-opinion on logos pretty clear, but there's no one forcing you to comment in the thread.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:26 PM on September 11, 2013


Well... you can definitely say things about logos - and the comparison of the Yahoo logo to Revlon et al is interesting, in part because of what it isn't (not the fat-tyre fonts of an exciting! Internet! company! ironically!), but also because of what it is (if your homepage is lumi or nuzzel, you are probably not the target audience for Yahoo, and that is worth noting).

On the other hand, drawing conclusions about psychology from graphic design feels less safe...
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:56 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, I understand, and was not intending it to come across as dumping on the thread. I'm just saying, it all seems so pointless. It's more an existential statement. Making judgements about someone's personality about a logo they played a role in making is just the extreme end of that continuum. Sometimes I think we'd all be a lot better off as a species if we didn't care so much about marketing things. These are all pretty much personal opinions though, don't mind me.
posted by JHarris at 3:23 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I take my cheap shots sometimes, but JHarris, you're right.
posted by brennen at 8:39 PM on September 11, 2013


Marissa Mayer: 'It's Treason' For Yahoo To Disobey The NSA, Julie Bort, Business Insider, 11 September 2013
posted by ob1quixote at 11:08 PM on September 11, 2013


Ugh. What idiotic reasoning. This is the state of things in the United States. Mayer claims she pushed back, but yeah, she can't tell us the details, so she could be lying for all we know. Then she makes a blog post about the new Yahoo logo, wheee.
posted by JHarris at 11:17 PM on September 11, 2013


Qwest refused to participate in NSA surveillance, and the CEO was thrown in prison and the company was basically destroyed after it lost a bunch of government contracts soon afterwards. (They refused the request pre-9/11, btw).
posted by empath at 1:53 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's the video of Mayer talking about treason; she actually makes the statement twice.

No, Marissa Mayer, it's not treason:

United States Constitution, Article III, Section 3
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

It might be contempt of court or the like, given that you would be violating a court order regarding a warrant (although it is a "general warrant" and therefore an illegitimate one). Or you would be violating a court order regarding a National Security Letter (that is not a valid warrant or subpoena and therefore is illegitimate as well). But were you to tell we the people what you provide to the National Security Agency or other government entities, you would assuredly not be warring against the USA nor giving assistance to its enemies (who have not even been officially declared).


Hell, didn't Chelsea Manning avoid a treason conviction? I somehow think Marissa Mayer and her team of lawyers could manage the same. What a terrible thing to stumble over.
posted by mediareport at 5:31 AM on September 12, 2013


I'm just saying, it all seems so pointless.

Boy I love it when people describe the thing I do for a living as pointless that really gives me the feels
posted by ook at 6:34 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Not to dissuade anyone from criticism of Mayer for her understanding of the Constitution, but Yahoo! has a poor history when it comes to being a bastion of Internet freedom.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:50 AM on September 12, 2013


Generate your own logo in the style of Yahoo!'s new logo, on the fly, courtesy of Bertrand Fan, an engineer at Flickr (yes, it's a Yahoo! company)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:24 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


METAFILTER! Now with more whimsy!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


And they said Yahoo's kerning sucked.
posted by flabdablet at 8:23 PM on September 13, 2013


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