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New Logos Popping Out All Over The Place
By: Maryann Fabian
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Lotsa new logos and rebranding making the rounds these days. Some are good. Some are bad. Some just make you want to scratch your head. (And you can decide which is which.)

Two rather ambitious changes in the online world are Yahoo and YouSendIt, aka Hightail. Yahoo’s rebranding project is so big, it will take a month to reveal the final look. They promise “a modern redesign that’s more reflective of our reimagined design(?) and new experiences.” A statement released by the company that keeps trying to beat Google explained, “To get everyone warmed up, we are kicking off 30 days of change… we will display a variation of the logo on our homepage… for the next month. It’s our way of having some fun while honoring the legacy of our present logo.” You can check out the campaign at http://www.yahoo.com/dailylogo and count down the days until the big reveal at 9 p.m. PDT on September 4. Spoiler alert: Yahoo says the new logo will remain purple and keep the exclamation point because “some things never go out of style.” Unfortunately, for the fast-paced Internet world, some things do.

Why did YouSendIt change its name to Hightail? CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Fortune, “We wanted to choose a name that was different and captured the larger vision of where the world was going.” And, on the Hightail blog: “We’ve got big plans to truly transform the world of digital sharing with ideas so exciting and innovative they needed a brand to match,” Garlinghouse posted. Read between the lines: We were trailing behind Dropbox and Box.net and were hoping a hipper-sounding name would get your attention. Box wants to try for an IPO next year. YouSendIt is not even in the black. P.S. Garlinghouse used to work at Yahoo.

One that almost went under the radar: Farmers Insurance unveiled a new corporate logo last week that’s cleaned up but still not as cute as its TV commercials. The design is meant to reflect the 85-year-old company’s history. A sunrise from the original 1928 logo symbolizes “the optimism of a new day,” and a shield overlay is from a 1950s re-do. “Our new logo is meant to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary,” said chief marketing officer Mike Linton. “To distinguish yourself in today’s saturated insurance marketplace, it’s critical that our logo stands out on television, the Web, mobile devices and other media,” he added. To me, the old logo resembled a fireman’s helmet — a comforting site to someone in need. But the new one is bolder and probably easier to work with.

Lastly, Hooters, the “breastaurant” chain, turned 30 this year. And if you think 30 is wrinkles and sagging-old, well, it’s eons in the restaurant business. “Our goal isn’t just to survive middle age. It’s to prosper,” Hooters exec Terry Marks told USA Today. But, boys will be boys — not much will be changing to stray from the formula, even though competition from Tilted Kilt and others keep clamoring for the same customer’s attention. First up: the owl logo gets a nip and tuck with help from Sky Design of Atlanta. You won’t see much difference here. Same color scheme. Same unkerned boob eyes. According to a press release, “We have already tested the contemporary design of the new Hootie with our customers and it was preferred 9 to 1 over our original logo.” Yep, I’m sure they noticed. The old logo, according to USA Today, was traced out of a dictionary. Go figure.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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