San Francisco's iconic neon Yahoo! sign is coming down

The neon Yahoo billboard, which sits by the highway on the way to the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, is about to come down. It has been an iconic (and quite lovely) sign of the Internet boom that remade the city starting in the mid-nineties.

It’s been a San Francisco icon for more than a decade. It’s graced our skyline through the boom and bust. And it’s one of the most recognizable pieces of advertising the city has seen in a long time. But the San Francisco Egotist has learned that in two weeks, the Yahoo! billboard will be no longer. Jon Charles, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoor in San Francisco confirmed, “Yes, the Yahoo! board will be available starting in December 2011.”

So how did such a distinctive board come about in the first place? Who created it? And what will San Francisco lose when it’s gone? Steve Stone was the Co-Creative Director and Robert Boyce was the Media Director at Black Rocket – the agency that brought the Yahoo! yodel into existence (among other memorable advertising). They told us the history of the Yahoo! billboard.

The end of an era: The Yahoo! billboard comes down. (via JWZ)

(Image: Yahoo sign, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from jacob-davies's photostream)


  1. Too bad. It was a kind of fun bit of nostalgia from days gone by, like those “Burma Shave” signs you still see in some parts of the country. The actual product may not be around anymore but— wait. Yahoo still exists!?

  2. Awwww.  I’ll miss it (especially when the main thing it leaves is as crappy, uber-generic coca-cola sign), but there’s always something reminding me of where I live.  I remember seeing an airplane pulling an ad banner around Willie Mays Park one day for “Borland C++ Complier”. 

  3. I hope they replace it with something even more retro, like spelling their name into the side of their warehouse by using a different color brick, or painting it down the side of their smokestacks.

  4. I was just reminiscing the other day about the Old Folgers Coffee guy that used to be near the clock at the exit of the bridge not far from this sign. It used to smell like coffee when you drove by that area. It was there for longer than 10 years.  10 years doesn’t seem that long for the Yahoo sign although they don’t quite make em like that anymore.

  5. If Google were smart, they’d buy up the billboard and put their own neon version (or better yet, some full-screen zowiness), just to show everyone that the new Master of the Internet is fully ensconced.

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