You may have seen the new Google logo while surfing the internet over the last week and naturally, some people have expressed their opinions on the subject, in particular the designers of this world. Some referring to the new logo highlighting the playful attitude of Google with the rotated lowercase “e” making it a – perhaps needless and obvious – ‘wink’ to the world which they just love (and something Heineken did many moons ago with the “e” in their logo.) While others think the new Google logo is simply ‘garbage’.
(Curtesy of www.logok.org)
The new logo doesn’t have a drastic change in its appearance but its new type face is a subtle difference to the famous logo that has been coating our screens for the last 5 years. The most noticeable change is the removal of the ‘serifs’ that have helped define their iconic logo for the past 17 years.
Almost everyone loves a serif typeface. It oozes history and elegance and its organic curves create an essence of “clean lines” when it comes to typography. Google’s logos had an old style typeface – reminiscent of literature, newspapers and printing, paying its respects to the history behind the idea of “public news”. The logo appealed to many, from its sturdy and handsome “G” to its appealing and little “oo”. The new logo, although still retaining the playful rainbow of colours, has now moved from The Daily Telegraph to the Daily Mail and evoked the charm of a child’s refrigerator magnet boarder line on…wait for it…the much hated and the ridiculously over used ‘Comic Sans’. The “g” has been transformed into a school room letter with the double “oo” resembling a cliché educational owl. Talk about using the obvious!
Don’t get me wrong, the new logo is different, it pushes the boundaries of brand recognition by standing out and causing controversy. Isn’t that how Google made its name anyway? It’s different and it has caused people to talk about it, good and bad. In my opinion, although in some ways it looks childish, it is clean and simple and adds a new and different look to the much loved brand which has got people talking about Google, making the brand fresh, again.
Google’s own designers created a brief blurb when designing the framework of the new logo, to describe what they did and why. “The Google logo has always had a simple, friendly and approachable style. We wanted to retain these qualities by combining the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing. Our new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-coloured playfulness and rotated “e” of our previous mark – a reminder that we’ll always be a bit unconventional”
Let’s rewind the clock, and look at how Google’s logo has evolved since the beginning. It started with something that could have been pulled out of the 80’s. Bad type, badly done. Just bad. (No offense Google)
It wasn’t until 1997 that Google’s logo started to take shape but even then, it was quite a way off from being the ironic style it has become famous by.
As you can see the shape of the type changes with the trends and vibes of the time and needless to say, the designers who thought of the first couple of logos will be hiding away in a hole now, but at least they were part of something big.
Google didn’t just wake up one morning and find a logo that worked really well, they had a few errors and concepts in the late 90’s which…well, might cause you designers out there to have a slight design heart attack.
The vortex one:
The totally-not-Google-colours one:
The Olympic rip-off one:
The ‘ah-nearly-there’ Google one:
And the iconic one:
Since 1997, the development of the logo is subtle and it was only in 2010 when they changed it to the iconic style, where the clean serif font became a big hit with Google lovers and users.
From then on, the logo had minor changes and in 2013 was only slightly developed but caused a lot of hype for such a subtle change. They removed the ‘noughties’ shadow effect and went simple and clean and, in my opinion, more visually pleasing.
Then a couple of weeks ago, it was revamped to a totally different typeface and made utterly simple. Smart Google, smart. It took me a while to appreciate the change, but seeing the evolution of the brand, it makes sense, for Google anyway.
People will always use Google as a search engine, no matter what its logo looks like, as consumers have already bought into the company as a service provider and developed a deep powerful relationship with them, not their logo.
Written by Becki Ashton