Community contest: Yahoo!’s 30 days of change

Yahoo! is doing a bit of rebranding. The internet giant has announced that it will unveil a new logo on September 5. Perhaps more exciting, however, is Yahoo!’s “30 Days of Change” hype campaign, which will roll out a different variation on the famous wordmark each day for the next month. But there is yet more exciting news …

You’ve probably guessed it: we at 99designs are going to jump right into this branding-fest by hosting a community contest to see what our own designers can do with Yahoo!’s logo (just for fun, of course).

Be fun, be creative and be different! Enter the contest HERE

Big changes for Yahoo!

Over the past year, Yahoo! has changed dramatically. For instance, they purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion dollars and dramatically changed their home page “in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and stay longer.”

Yahoo! websites through the years.

Yahoo!’s website through the years

But their logo has remained more or less the same since 1996. Here’s a brief history of Yahoo!’s logo progression:

Yahoo! logo progression

Yahoo!’s logo progression

In the beginning, Yahoo! didnt have a logo. In fact, it did not even have a proper name. The two Stanford University grad student cofounders simply called it “Jerry’s Guide to the Web.” It took several months to come up with “Yahoo!”

In 1995, Yahoo! implemented the jumping “Y” guy. It resembles a person jumping for joy after finding what he needed on Yahoo!. Yikes.

Later on that year, Yahoo! figured they needed a new logotype – specifically, a horizontal one that would take up less space than the vertical jumping “Y” logo. They eventually redesigned the logo to using a variation of the Able font. David Shen, Yahoo!’s lone designer at the time, made sure the type rose as you read towards the right “so that, upon reading the word, you would get a sense of rising energy with the exclamation point punctuating that energy at the end.”

Yahoo! changed their iconic purple color to bright red in 1995. They chose red because “it would more reliably display across different monitors and computers, which at the time was an issue for other colors. We also liked red for its boldness.”

In 1997, Yahoo! released a new, abbreviated logo, called the “Y-Bang”. This logo was originally developed for a button on the Yahoo! Toolbar that linked to their front page. In 2004, Yahoo! partnered up with Ogilvy, a prestigious ad agency to redesign the Y-Bang and created a version with a white “Y” inside the purple oval and a purple exclamation point next to it. This icon is still the official abbreviated logo that is seen throughout the Yahoo! websites.

Finally, in 2008, Yahoo! went back to their roots and rereleased their iconic purple logo.

Yahoo!’s new approach:

Kathy Savitt, Yahoo!’s Chief Marketing Officer, exclaims “over the past year, there’s been a renewed sense of purpose and progress at Yahoo!, and we want everything we do to reflect the spirit of innovation. While the company is rapidly evolving, our logo–the essence of our brand–should too.”

The company has made changes in an attempt to improve its email, photo sharing, weather and news products. With the inclusion of Tumblr, Yahoo! is ready to extend their reach, and its impending new logo will aim to emblematize this new spirit. Cue “30 Days of Change”.

Where we come in:

We know our community has big opinions and big talent when it comes to branding re-designs like this, so we thought it would be fun to get some engagement from our awesome community to redesign the Yahoo! logo.

We will be awarding ONE winner and displaying 29 of the very best and most unique entries on our blog in order to highlight the talent of the top 30 designers! We imagine Yahoo!’s 30 logo designs will be impressive, but also think our community – many of whom use Yahoo! daily – can give the company’s design team a run for its money.

To read more about the Yahoo! redesign, check out the company’s blog post: http://yahoo.tumblr.com/post/57582020969/kicking-off-30-days-of-change

You can see a new Yahoo! logo each day here: http://www.yahoo.com/dailylogo

Don’t forget, be fun, be creative, be different! Enter the community contest HERE.

Floyd Hijada
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