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1 Subtle Yet Potent Change That Yahoo! Desperately Needs

By Evan Niu, CFA - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:00PM

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Yahoo! has refocused its efforts where it matters, making it the perfect time for a new logo.

Over the past nine months, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) has been on a turnaround tear under Marissa Mayer. Since taking the helm, Mayer has implemented workforce changes, acquired a handful of mobile start-ups, and prioritized products over profits. While Mayer's long-term turnaround plans are materializing, the company is in desperate need of a subtle yet profound change: Yahoo! needs a new logo.

Current Yahoo! logo. Source: Yahoo!.

Yahoo!'s current emblem is a vestige of the '90s, when the search company was founded. It features a childish font with misaligned letters, and is very reminiscent of another household tech name from the '90s that also recently decided to give itself a corporate makeover. eBay (EBAY 1.06%) unveiled its new look last September, after its outgoing logo had been in use for 17 years.

Old eBay logo (top) vs. new eBay logo (bottom). Source: eBay.

Yahoo! and eBay grew up together (they were founded 18 months apart), and the latter simply felt it was about time to get with the times. In contrast, Yahoo! is embarking upon a broader transformation, making it the perfect time to revamp its look.

Even software giant Microsoft (MSFT 2.26%) similarly unveiled a new logo last August, following 25 years under the prior flag.

Old Microsoft logo (top) vs. new Microsoft logo (bottom). Source: Microsoft.

Microsoft took the wraps off its new logo heading into the launch of Windows 8, arguably the most dramatic reworking of its flagship operating system that powers the vast majority of the world's PCs.

Both eBay and Microsoft have embraced clean and modern typographic fonts to define their newfound corporate identities. Yahoo! needs to follow suit, particularly considering the new design direction that the company is pursuing with its products, such as the gorgeous new Mail and Weather apps it just released.

Fortunately, there are signs that Yahoo! is already developing a new corporate logo. Last October, a TechCrunch reader noted that he had participated in an online survey about a possible new Yahoo! logo. The potential replacement logo wasn't terribly different and that was six months ago, but at least the company is exploring a new look. It's time for Mayer to literally make her mark on Yahoo!.

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