In describing the new Yahoo! logo that launched today, CEO Marissa Mayer said it is based on “a sans serif font with scallops”. That font is Optima. The ‘O’s come straight from Herman Zapf’s typeface, while the other letters are derived from it. Setting aside the question of whether Optima is a good choice for an internet company that wants to be perceived as forward-looking, let’s just take a look at how they used the type.
The typorati has already made various complaints about the logo, but what distracts me most is how crammed these letters are — and unevenly so. Looking at each of the pairs (‘AH’, ‘HO’, ‘OO’), it’s clear that the designers considered only the extremes of each letter and inserted a mathematically equal space between those extremes, ignoring the holistic space around each letter. It’s a classic mistake made by those who are new to working with type.
Smart analysis (read the comments too). I can’t say I hate the new logo, but it certainly doesn’t pop as it should (at least to my eyes).