Gaga for Google’s New Logo
A few months ago, Facebook refreshed their outdated brand with a more modern look and I took a few moments to opine on its merits. This week, another one of the world’s supreme tech giants followed suit with a major brand overhaul, so here we go again.
Google has made several small updates to their playful logotype over the years but essentially they’ve held on tight to the same thin, childlike, multicolored (and I’d add, stupid looking) logo ever since they rose to prominence in the late 1990s, straight through to their more recent metamorphosis into an omnipotent and multifaceted tech deity. The decision to finally update the brand came in step with even larger changes, though, so the time was better than ever for a makeover. (Technically what used to be Google is now Alphabet and the former is now a search-only child company, no longer working on the problems of self-driving cars, jetpacks, or space elevators.)
From a design standpoint, the new identity is more modern—largely due to the move from a serif to sans serif typeface—and comes with an adorable family of supporting marks and animated components that make the identity system much more versatile and unified across all the myriad digital landscapes which the modern Google lives in. Speaking of the sprawling ubiquity of the modern internet, the chunkier, more even letterforms in this new logo scale down onto smaller screens with greater legibility than the delicate lines in the old wordmark could ever achieve. This trend of continuous clarity continues with the much sturdier capital G brandmark, replacing the unfortunately swooshy looped lowercase g.
My two cents: the new identity is as playful, if not more so, than its predecessor without the awkward goofiness; it is cleaner, crisper, flatter, brighter and delightfully modern while still being super friendly. Good riddance to the gradients & drop shadows, weird slanty serifs, and to the confusing collection of disjointed marks that followed it all around.
I love the subtle adjustments to the iconic brand colors and the way that the introduction of the four dots plays to the brand’s major strength, distilling down the identity to its purest form. I love the multi-colored capital G brandmark (see ya lowercase g!). I love the way that motion has been incorporated into the identity at the ground level as an integral part rather than an afterthought; this is especially appropriate for a tech company that lives (now more than ever) exclusively on the web.
All around, three cheers for the rebrand. At least now the scary giant constantly profiling us and tracking our every move has a prettier face.