A fresh and unique set of approaches to Yahoo! logo design

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Yahoo! recently spent a lot of money on a new logo. In fact, they tried new logos for 30 days before settling on one that looked like a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy milk.



But when I look at the 30 that were rejected in favour of this one, it seems to me that they really didn’t expand their horizons. There are rarefied hill stations of Logo design philosophy that they most definitely did not visit. For instance, did they consider the new Apple iOS7 logo design school of thought?


The iOS7 school promotes

  • Anorexically thin fonts, ones that require electron microscopes to measure thickness
  • Colour gradients that are inspired by hallucinogenic highs

If not iOS7, what about the legendary 2005 school of Microsoft Packaging?


Microsoft (at least in the past) believed in a branding philosophy that was quite similar to their approach to software design in things like MS Word. Why focus on the few important features when everything could be shoved into the face of the user through the cunning use of ribbon menus that are designed to make users forget where MS hid the feature they really want to use right now.

But these design options are for amateurs. Let’s now see some truly disruptive logo design philosophies of our time.

More people in the world experience this particular cutting edge design philosophy on a day to day basis than anything else. It is cutting edge because it truly cuts the edge of every blade server that powers corporate email platforms. It’s called

The HR Department Style


The Epicurean HR Department School of Graphic Design works this way

  • That shalt have no gods other than Microsoft Powerpoint.
  • Thou shalt use vibrant clipart from the artistic rainforest that was the MS Office 97 Clipart Gallery
  • In keeping with the company’s diversity and inclusion values, colours that do not mix shall be made to mix in the gradients that will mandatorily be used as the background
  • Try out all fonts first but eventually choose between Algerian, Comic Sans and Monotype Corsiva

If this didn’t work for Yahoo, I don’t know what will.

Perhaps the Indian Engineering College Techno-management Fest school of Graphic Design?


The rules are quite simple

  • Imagine you were ultimately going to make a Flash animation out of the logo.
  • Use a computer generated space scene type background featuring whirling nebulas, supernova explosions and planetary silhouettes all next to each other for no good reason
  • Pick a sci-fiesque font like Coalition
  • Add an outer glow to the main text
  • Add something like “Transcending Boundaries” or “Inspiring Innovation” or “Dividing the numerator of ordinariness by zero” at the bottom.
  • Don’t forget to mention if it’s “international level” or “national level” and use hyphenated words like Techno-management, Manago-scientological or Syngergo-Value-Engineeringo-techno-functional

But perhaps Yahoo! is looking for something more. Something beyond what these bleeding edge design philosophies offer. Something that blends the best of these schools into one world beating logo design philosophy that the world outside India has rarely experienced.

The Indian Government School of Logo Design.

Let’s first see some classic examples from this school


Now let’s apply this design philosophy to Yahoo’s logo

We start, as we always do, with concentric circles. These symbolize the circuitous journey a citizen often has to take when dealing with the government in general.


Now  we need something from the animal kingdom that symbolizes what Yahoo is about. I think spiders (weaving the web etc) will work well. Let’s add spiders all around the outer concentric circle


From the animal kingdom, we must be fair and balanced and move on to some flora. Yahoo! is about the web of knowledge and nothing symbolizes knowledge better than a tree, so we add a tree right in the centerYahoo-Govt-3

But this is the Indian Government School of Logo Design, and here, we believe in the “Let’s cram the entire Mahabharatha of symbolism into every logo” motto. This means that the tree of knowledge has to necessarily drop some leaves and fruit. For Yahoo, their tree will drop spam emails and Tumblr blogs.


And then we get to Typography. The rules are simple.

  • Pick a random Sanskrit quote. It doesn’t matter what it means. Like white people and Chinese tattoos, Sanskrit mottos just have to sound cool without necessarily meaning anything profound For Yahoo! we have picked अवतप्तेनकुलस्थितं तवैतत् which means “Acting like a Mongoose on hot ground”. I feel that this quote is an excellent replacement for the terpischorean jollity of the exclamation point at the end of the word “Yahoo”
  • The text should follow the path of the circles so that they are not that easy to read


The final step involves looking at the logo long and hard and finding out if any space has been left out untouched by the wise hand of our graphic design. My eyes immediately fell on the space between the concentric circles at 0 degrees and 180 degrees. What do we fill it with though? In India, we always respect our elders no matter how irrelevant they eventually become, so for Yahoo! we will pick their founders David Filo and Jerry Yang.

  • Filo will be represented by the “First In Last Out” motto of the Fire Department
  • Yang will be represented by one half of that ridiculously overused Chinese symbol of new age philosophy

And we have our final product


85 responses to “A fresh and unique set of approaches to Yahoo! logo design”

  1. chu (@kreitcher) Avatar

    Cadbury!! 😀 Ejjatly!

  2. mahabore Avatar

    You, sir, are a true genius. Maybe one of these days when I can afford your time, energy and efforts, I will contact you to design a logo for my blog. Mind you, I need one in the Indian Govt style only, something that reflects the contents of my blog….

    1. Ram Avatar

      Mahabore nu yen saar blog ku per vechurkeL? varavaa kooda ess aagardhukaa? Maathungo.

      1. mahabore Avatar

        Ayya Ram, Krish Ashok blog kku vandhu avaroda post a padichittu avaroda post a pathi mattum comment pannungo….

        Ennoda blog payer a pathi comment pannum nna, ennodu blog kku vandhu angey oru post aa padichu aparama andha post kku comment pannungo 😉

  3. ashokchandru Avatar


  4. Praveen Avatar

    Utter brilliance! loved it!

  5. Bhuvaneshwari Shankar Avatar

    Entertaining as always Krish! Loved every word!

  6. Giridhar Avatar

    sir athellam irukkatum. unga blog la something wrong with the font. looks like dithered bitmap fonts

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Looks quite OK to me. Browser/OS?

      1. selvagk Avatar

        Saar, blog uses a font-family called ‘Quicksand’, it is the culprit. Issues only vanna porul(Chrome)..:)

      2. Kartik Avatar

        Chrome/Win 7 here.

    2. Kartik Avatar

      Facing the same problem, Krish, kuchh karo. I was about to close the browser window when I noticed this problem on a blog post talking about logo design philosophies. Happy that I persisted and had a good laugh. 🙂

  7. Archita Avatar

    Laughed so hard, I’m coughing now :\

  8. venky Avatar

    loved your observation on HR dept logo & the college tech fest logo => perfect replica.
    The govt logos, although cluttered are classy looking.
    Options you may consider further to make fun about are :
    – indian film production/distribution company logos (shown before the film begins)
    – wedding/upanayanam/kaathukuthu invitation header file logos

  9. Priya Avatar

    Bwhaha… just what my Friday noon torpor needed. Getting back to work now. Thanks so much.

  10. P James Magic Show Avatar

    P James Magic Show 9841072571

    1. Kulkandhu raja Avatar
      Kulkandhu raja

      Pulimark seeyKai podi, motham/sillarai vyabaram – contact gulkanduraja 9898696321

    2. SM Avatar

      That took longer than usual. Are you well?

  11. Rohan D'Sa Avatar
    Rohan D’Sa

    Jalsa-Jilpa is still one of the funniest blogs on the internet, Krish. 🙂

  12. ceeteeatv2 Avatar

    अवतप्तेनकुलस्थितं तवैतत् which means “Acting like a Mongoose on hot ground”

    I almost died laughing here

  13. Neha Avatar

    My jaws and stomach are cursing you! >_<

    The Government style logo is my favorite, followed very closely by the HR deptt. logo. 😀

  14. PCN Avatar

    Truly & Literally ROBLMAO !! This is just brilliant and my year!!

  15. Shubhankar Adhikari Avatar

    Laughed so hard despite this bloody asthma. Brilliance bordering on genius.
    But your font. The Ls are invisible. Apple School of Fonts, is it?

  16. hastenpromos Avatar

    Have guts to comment with our logo !! Really nice to be here for the first time, love the sarcasm and slapstics..thanks for the read.

  17. Saket Vaidya Avatar

    David Filo and Jerry Yang. You mixed it up, I think?

    1. krishashok Avatar

      Ah 🙂 Fixed it now, thanks

  18. M Avatar

    Wow… what an approach to visual design maa. I am like your style maa. What is logo mean maa? I know emblem and stamp.

  19. Maharshi Pingali Avatar
    Maharshi Pingali

    M reveals his name

  20. Zoya Nursingh Avatar
    Zoya Nursingh

    I wait for your blogs with great anticipation and you always are better! Today, I was left, desperately mopping up tea I had spilt on my laptop laughing while reading about alternate the logos,construction of. Moral of the story-to read your blog AFTER tea. Or preferably before! Thank you for the smiles!

  21. joy bhattacharjya Avatar
    joy bhattacharjya

    Superb. Excellent work!

  22. Kumar Manish Avatar

    Nice and good to see a well written critic on this Yahoo Logo. If interested, you can check my blog at – http://www.communicatekaro.wordpress.com 🙂

  23. Bharat Avatar


  24. Hemamalini Avatar


  25. The Karicodist Avatar
    The Karicodist

    I relate to the engineering college style very well (guilty of designing one like that). Great post, and thanks for the laughs! 😀

  26. The Karicodist Avatar
    The Karicodist

    Reblogged this on The Karicodist and commented:
    I relate to the ‘engineering college’ design style very well, and have attempted to dabble in the Indian government style design philosophy as well. I might try HR department for kicks. ;D

  27. Pubby Avatar

    First, i think its total waste to spend employees time on logo re-design. Secondly i came here as one of my friend sent this link.
    Lookslike these days everyone wants few minutes of fame.
    There is nothing new in this article you have simply copied stuff from other blogs.

    1. hahahehe Avatar

      All the alphabets, words , sentences & ideas that you used in your comment have been used a gazillon times before. So, why are you simply copy-pasting here?

    2. SM Avatar

      All the oxygen molecules you’re breathing have been used before …

  28. nutsure Avatar

    They could use Shammi Kapoor’s ”Junglee” image. Rafi’s song if audio effect is required. Just a wild suggestion….

  29. motomoto Avatar

    Hey Krish! What to happened to our infamous P James Magic Show commentator? The post almost feel incomplete without his signature spam.

    Anyhow, awesomely funny as usual. Also, I am tired of this font. I’ve dedicated a portable browser just for your blog, so that I can enforce a different font.

    Sorry about the nitpicking. Big fan tho!

  30. Arun Simha Avatar


    As always, your posts are entertaining. I’ve shared this on our internal ilist at Y! We Yahoos love it!

  31. drsaind Avatar

    Ullooo ban gaya yahoo ko? I find only six differences between the logo & an owl.

  32. Pradee Avatar

    You have spelled terpsichorean wrong!

  33. Mahesh Shantaram Avatar

    If you started charging for content, I would happily send my money order!

  34. Karthik Avatar

    Very well written – great stuff.

  35. Laavanya Avatar

    The college tech fest stuff – hit the nail smack on its head. 😛

  36. Sdc Avatar

    I lost it at ‘acting like a mongoose on hot ground’.

    I want to start a new white guy trend and tattoo hat across my back.

  37. Yennappa idhu Avatar
    Yennappa idhu

    The Indian Government School logo is missing a map in the background and a lotus at the bottom. The committee might have other suggestions too.

  38. Mu Avatar


  39. Tapan Avatar

    The government one – sublime…

  40. Neelima Avatar

    Lol lol lol lol….

  41. Badri Avatar

    I think you meant terpsichorean and not terpischorean as per google….

  42. Surya Sripati (@suryasripati) Avatar

    “David Filo will be represented by First in Last Out, motto of fire dept’ – hahaha

    BTW, Krish – How about a having a widget that would make it easy for us readers to share your post on other social forums.

  43. Raamachandran Avatar

    No! It does not reflect the union of states India is made up of. Irritating

  44. Vijay Avatar

    Laughed myself out! 🙂

  45. Enthusiastic Reader Avatar

    Dear Sir

    Thank you for this wonderful article.

    It is very interesting and informative.

    There is a much to learn in the art of making logo designing.

    Yours faithfully,


  46. Deepika Avatar

    “These symbolize the circuitous journey a citizen often has to take when dealing with the government in general.”
    Total LOL. Reminds me of this: http://www.27bslash6.com/brochure.html

  47. Logo Design Avatar

    Haha Interesting post comparing with cadbury dairy milk.

  48. rk Avatar

    No, the logo looks too clean to be from the Indian govt school of design. The letters inside should always be some bold sans-serif and all caps. The concentric circles are too thin and don’t look like they have been printed on blotting paper. Consequently the writing is a little too legible. But I think the govt has something it can work with.

    The tech fest on the other hand… perfect 🙂

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    Actually an amazing post! I am actually a real buff of
    the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
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  50. Mili Lalwaney Avatar

    Hilarious to the core

  51. Mili Lalwaney Avatar

    Especially the HR department style….My HR designs mailers and newsletters exactly the same way hahahahahhahahhhahaahhaha

  52. Sundar Avatar


  53. Ramanan R. V. Avatar

    “Now we need something from the animal kingdom that symbolizes what Yahoo is about. I think spiders ”
    Seriously, I think bugs, because that is essentially what the new yahoo mail is all about. 🙂

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  55. great_raisin Avatar

    Could not able to control loffter after reading at work.. Manager would love to say अवतप्तेनकुलस्थितं तवैतत् to me right now.

  56. naema landosta Avatar

    thank you very much

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