Yahoo’s new logo is great, if they were a financial services firm in 1996. Otherwise it’suuuuuugly:

Over the last few days they’ve been rolling out rejected logos, and some of them were quite nice. But TechCrunch nails it:

. . . the new logo reminds one a lot of fonts used in the 90′s, especially the stock beveled and glossy fonts that appeared on the internet portal GeoCities, where many of us first learned to build these funny things called ‘web pages’. Unfortunately, this is no longer the 90′s and this logo is feeling pretty dated.

The logo is set in Optima, has had bevels applied, and is a flavour of purple called Pantone Violet C. It has a distinctly old-fashioned-internet vibe when it comes down to it.

Ah, GeoCities. I liked to pronounce it “gee-OS-itees,” just to annoy people and make the credulous wonder if they were saying it wrong. Anyway, here’s a page of tongue-in-cheek rejected designs. And here’s the real list, half of which are better than the staid, banal thing they chose. Beveled! BEVELED! Why not give it a rainbow gradient and a tiny animated gif of a construction worker shoveling something?

Their highly-regarded weather app hasn’t been updated, so the old logo’s still there. Seems lazy. I’m already tired of the purple, too. But, you ask, who cares? It’s Yahoo. Who goes there?

Lots of people, and since they’ve been assembling an interesting stable of new products and doing good things with old ones like Flickr, they’re worth rooting for. In a world of Coke and Pepsi it’s nice to have RC Cola still in there pitching. But part of the goodwill comes from the long history they have with the web; those of us who climbed on board early remember starting out a day of “surfing” on the “information superhighway” - yes, the internet began as a conceptual mishmash - by clicking on Yahoo, because they always had a list of new sites. Yes, while you slept, new sites were being created on the internet. You’d get a list with entries like:

Technology (17)

Wow: seventeen new sites to explore. The internet didn’t feel unmanageably huge yet. Yahoo was your guide. Other search engines came along - Alta Vista, Lycos, whiz-bang concepts like Ask Jeeves - but Yahoo was still king, right up until the moment when you heard about this thing called “Google,” with its enigmatic front page. Goodbye Yahoo. But it wasn’t like dumping AOL for broadband.

AOL was like a bad marriage. Yahoo was an old friend from whom you just drifted away.