Last week, Google unveiled its new, sans-serif logo to go with its complete corporate restructuring. Along with it’s fresh look, Google announced a new CEO in Sundar Pichai with its co-founders forming an umbrella parent company, Alphabet. There’s been a lot of talk among designers about Google’s new look with about a 50/50 split in opinion. Love it or loathe it, we’re breaking down the new Google logo and putting this 16-years-in-the-making update into perspective.
Google’s Brand Identity
Google maintained its trademark blue, red, yellow and green color scheme, but essentially that’s about it. Every other element received an overhaul in some way, shape or form. While it may seem as if the rebranding was a complete transformation, Google clearly didn’t go in blind and stuck true to the company’s original brand goals. Google simply tweaked its look to grow with this new stage in the company’s lifecycle.
Google’s always been a company about simplicity. Google made its debut as a logo and a search bar on a white screen during a time when website design looked more like the inside of your six-year-old niece’s coloring book. Their homepage has pretty much remained the same over the years, aside from a few small tweaks. Google’s brought their branding into the next generation with it’s clean lines and purposeful white space. The old serif font has been ditched for a schoolbook-inspired sans-serif called Product Sans and the standalone, blue ‘G’ logo has been replaced by a similar ‘G’ colored with all four Google colors. Even neigh-sayers of the new logo have to admit Google’s done a good job in sticking to these brand standards.
The change to Google’s logo comes during an industry-wide shift in focus from desktop to mobile. What works on desktop doesn’t always work on phone or smartwatch, which is why it’s so important for logos to by identifiable across platforms. The former serif ‘G’ got lost in detail on smaller devices, and its signature typeface made it difficult to scale.
The new logo and brand identity is broken down into a family of separate elements: the logo, the G-o-o-g-l-e, the set of dots, and the monogram ‘G’. Having a couple unified elements makes the brand’s application endless. There’s no getting stuck using the same tireless logo. The elements give the brand more usability as well as more personality.