Opinion: Yahoo's new logo reveals the worst aspects of engineering mindset


#1

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#2

Very well written essay.

My twin brother is an engineer and I am a graphic designer. I don't think it's a stretch to say that everyone would be much worse off if we were forced to do each others' jobs.


#3

But in this case, you'd just be a weekend engineer -- makes all the difference!


#4

Not likely—he's a mechanical engineer in charge of ride safety at Disneyland, where weekend crowds are even bigger. The streets would run red with the blood of tourists mangled by poorly maintained Matterhorn bobsleds and malfunctioning pirates.


#5

I swear they just recently changed the logo to look like some kind of Cooper Black; or maybe it was just something for the mail. Anyways I have to say the old one was [comparatively much better].1


#6

Just a wrong font choice is all. Everyone knows that Helvetica is the font of choice for the world. As shown in the documentary "Helvatica" LOL


#7

Wow. I read Marissa's writeup and immediately cringed. She was personally involved on the design? Wow. No offense to her, she's accomplished amazing things, but I agree with Glenn on this one, and part of the reason I cringe is because she's not only not a designer, she's the boss. Why hire people to design things if you're going to micromanage the process?

I looked at the specs of the new logo...not seeing it. To me it looks like they picked a typeface, slapped some type in there, then moved characters around a bit and modified a bit in Illustrator to be slightly evocative of the old logo. To me, well, okay, I admit it, I come from small-town hell and won't try to claim to be some great or even mediocre designer...but unlike Meyer, I was one. Anyway. I would try to design things to be printed, would try to do things that would reproduce well on a business card, on stationary, a print ad, billboards, and yes, in the upper corner of the screen in a website layout...only to have the soul-crushing thing happen where the business owner's nephew would go in to Word and put the company's name in Helvetica in the most garish WordArt configuration possible and would want to use that in a one-color ad in a space that wouldn't accomodate the, ah, logo. And that's what I think of when I see this. Or the terrible designs you'll see from people who bid $10 on a logo design job on 99 Designs or Freelancer. It looks sloppy, it gets lost on the page, it doesn't reflect any of the work they allegedly put in to the thing.


#8

That's the old logo, with a flat colorscheme.


#9

What? I remember being told that when the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don't eat the tourists, by a leading chaotician no less.


#10

I hate to ask (and it's a weirdish coincidence since it happened ten years and one day ago), but was he around for the Big Thunder Mountain crash?

At the time I was surprised, as I'd assumed something like that would happen on the Matterhorn first. Maybe it's just part of the ride experience, but that 54-year-old rickety rustbucket alarms the hell out of me.


#11

Nope, that was a little before he started there.


#12

They don't eat the tourists, but if things were left to me it would probably only be a matter of time before the Johnny-Depp-bot went on a stabbing spree.


#13

Red with blood. Leave it to a designer to focus on the colors of the carnage.


#14

So I read the essay and the links... and I still don't see the problem beyond Yahoo basically changed their brand's logo on an impulse and there are now people writing about how bad that process is because... because. I'm just confused whether it's just the speed and method used to determine a new logo or if there's something I'm not seeing wrong here.


#15

In her defense, it worked for Steve Jobs.


#16

The problem is that they more or less left the big design decisions and the process as a whole in the hands of people who had no training or expertise in design, and it shows.

This is a poor idea for the same reason it would be a bad idea to leave marketing decisions in the hands of people who had no experience in marketing, or server installation decisions in the hands of people who had no experience in IT.


#17

True, but the author explained some key differences in their approaches.

Plus Jobs actually did take some design classes in school. Part of the reason the first Mac had variable-width type was because he was so taken with calligraphy.


#18

Hum. Both the new and the old logos are ugly, although amazingly, the new one is a bit uglier. Still, they could have made it beautiful, but then they would have slapped that fucking exclamation point on it, rendering the whole thing ugly again. And it is still Yahell, something that formerly worked fairly well but was tweaked into uselessness.


#19

The new yahooey logo looks like an Everlast boxing gear label. Purely subconscious on Marissa's part, I'm certain.


#20