Industry experts see this transition to a simpler and sleeker logo as a bold move to establish uniformity in the company’s branding, establishing the ties between Google and Alphabet.
The search engine giant rationalized the move as a reflection of the change in people’s online behaviors, moving away from their dependence on desktop PCs and toward their embrace of different platforms, most especially mobile.
According to the company’s official blog, “Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).”
Furthermore, Google said that this change reflects how its different products work for consumers, taking the best features and recasting these as the company moves forward to the future.
The rollout of the new logo introduces three key elements.
First, the Google Logotype has moved away from the use of a serif font toward a sans serif logotype which incorporates the company’s multi-color sequence. By simplifying the logo, the company tries to emphasize friendliness and approachability.
Other notable features that you will notice are the four multi-colored dots which represent “interactive, assistive, and transitional moments.” The search engine added that these dots represent “…Intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you. We consider these unique, magic moments.”
Finally, the new Google G represents a compact version of the new logo that will be used in small contexts, like in Google Chrome tabs. The company explained that the rationale behind this approach is to increase the compact logo’s visual weight in relation to other elements that share a space with it.
But apart from these aesthetic upgrades, a key reason for the redesign of the company’s logo brings about one significant benefit: The new logo’s file size is significantly reduced. Compared to the old logo, which weighs in at 14,000 bytes, the new one has a considerably smaller file size. This smaller file size enables Google to become more accessible and useful to its worldwide users.
A tough task to pull off
Pulling off rebranding and the launch of a new logo can be quite tricky. Further complicating matters is the fact that such changes can spread to social media like wildfire.
Take Tropicana’s rebranding efforts in 2009, for example. Due to the negative reaction to the new packaging and logo, coupled with a massive drop in sales, the company reverted to its old assets in just a matter of weeks.
Another notable example is Gap’s attempt to change its iconic logo. It took only four days for the clothing company to go back to its old logo after the poor reception of the new one it rolled out.
In 2013, another tech company, Yahoo, announced the unveiling of a new logo, something that drew the ire of industry experts and netizens. What made Google’s logo redesign a relative success when compared to Yahoo’s?
It didn’t help Yahoo’s case when it announced that it was choosing among 29 versions of its logo, and that their design team, which included CEO Marissa Mayer, spent only one weekend on this endeavor.
Google, on the other hand, has steadily released Doodles, and using this as a platform for the release of the revamped logo offered some consistency.
In announcing the update of its new logo, Yahoo took a rational and clinical approach. Google, on the other hand, switched the focus toward user experience and emotional appeal.
A mixed bag of reviews
After Google’s rollout of its new logo, several media outfits polled leading designers on their take of this redesign.
Tobias Frere-Jones of Frere-Jones Type said, “I don’t think this redesign speaks to any larger trend, because clean simplicity will always succeed, even if it doesn’t excite. But I really hope this ‘e’ does not become a thing.”
Milton Glaser, a graphic designer, begged to differ by saying, “It’s immediately recognizable and fits the technical criteria of taking up less space and reducing the bandwidth needed.”
Former New York Times Art Director Steve Heller said, “Google’s new logo is a homerun. They’ve managed to take the three often conflicting attributes of logo design—the letter, the word and the image—and turn them into a joyful, memorable modern expression of their brand. Some might say the animation is a bell and whistle, I say it is an evocation of contemporary media.”
What we love about Google’s new logo
Taking cues from the poll conducted by media outfits, we also conducted our own survey among SuperFastBusiness’s own pool of developers and designers. The overall consensus is that the new logo is “Simple, clean and informative.” Out of the 15 members polled, only one thought negatively about the new logo saying “It looks cheap. The font for the G looks classy, the colors do not. The current logo at Google.com looks even worse.”
Here’s what our other team members love about Google’s new logo.
1. More lightweight than ever
“Ever since the beginning, Google has been keen on making their site run fast. Even though their home page just consists of a logo, they still continue to optimize it, compared to Yahoo’s home page that has lots of unwanted content,” says one team member.
2. We can easily integrate/craft CSS out of their social media icon now to any modern Web design
“Transitioning to flat, crisp and sans serif style is what’s popular these days, because having designs like these make mobile screens reach their full potential. It’s easier to make CSS crafted logos on simple shapes rather than displaying an image file for a logo that would distort on most mobile devices, especially retina displays,” adds another SuperFastBusiness ninja.
3. A bold move forward
The move from a serif typeface to a sans serif typeface also heralds Google’s bold move to charge to the future with confidence. Serif typefaces have always been associated with traditional companies and the shift underscores Google’s vision of being a pacesetter.
4. The dots
The introduction of the Google dots represents a movement from the static toward the dynamic. The new animation offers a dash of innovation and fun.
5. A sign of things to come
Google may have started out as a search engine, but over the years, the company has introduced several pioneering platforms. The redesign of the company’s logo, in a sense, signifies that it has a lot more to offer.
6. Embracing change
Over the course of its near-17 years of existence, Google has utilized essentially the same serif typeface for its logo, rolling out subtle changes over the years. With this new logo, there are no subtle changes.
What do you think about the new Google Logo?