Googling a New Look

Googling a New Look

Google. It’s a verb. It’s a site. It’s something that’s worked its way into the way we think, the way we learn about our world. But it’s also a brand. And that brand has a new logo.

While it lost its drop shadows and gradients as the years went on, until now, the Google logo had remained relatively unchanged. So why the update?

Along with the roll-out of the new brand, Google published this article detailing a bit of the process they went through in creating their new identity. The whole article is worth a read, but one of the most valuable bits of information comes in the form of the four “challenges” that their design team wanted to address in creating a new logo. They wanted:

  • A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
  • The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
  • A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
  • A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.

In terms of design, the old Google logo was… well, it wasn’t that great. In fact, when held against the light of these four challenges, you begin to see what else the old Google logo wasn’t: it wasn’t built from the ground up for the modern digital age.

When the original Google logo was first designed, all it needed to do was sit there. Ho hum. Static in the center of a white screen. Now the logo has to appear at countless different sizes, in motion, print, on screens of all different ratios and resolutions, and needs to appear as one of the central brand elements of two separate operating systems. No small order for any logo, and definitely deserving of an overhaul.

With its scalability, its iconic reduction, and its thoughtful implementation of motion, Google’s new logo is a great example of what a logo needs to be in 2o15. And in that modernity and adaptability, it’s hard to argue that Google’s logo isn’t an effective and conceptually sound representation of the overall Google brand.