Google readies its brand for “a world of seamless computing”
Any new logo will always divide opinion and Google’s is doing exactly that. People will scream new, people will scream old and people will say so what! It’s this debate that drives attention to a brand and can be the reason behind some rebranding design decisions.
We as users expect and often demand simplicity from Google. Simply put, we expect its products and services ‘to work’. The new brand echoes this with a new san serif custom typeface, bringing it in line with its newly-created parent company, Alphabet. The colour sequence is consistent with previous versions, with the individual colours benefiting from a tweak that adds more punch and vibrancy. In a world where responsive design is key, the new logo seamlessly resizes without any loss of legibility on a multitude of devices, from smartwatches to smart TVs, something the previous logo failed to do.
Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management & Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience, stated the new look better represents “how Google is working for you”. They went on to say they’ve “taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.”
A bit of research
We carried out our own mini survey to see if employees of Milton Bayer were a fan of the new logo and thought it’d be nice to show the results in cake-form. For no other reason than the fact we love cake and it seemed like a good excuse…
“Looks a little childish”
“It’s more modern and unlike the Yahoo logo update it actually looks different”
“I love its simplicity. Brings the brand bang up to date”
“It’s a definite improvement, but I’m not in love with it”
Not exactly conclusive, but it seems that the new logo is a hit.
What we love
The rotated ‘e’ adds a touch of character, whilst also matching the angle of the same letter in the old logo. This, along with the slightly tweaked colour pallette, produces more of an organic rebrand and one which already feels familiar.
Obviously a brand doesn’t consist solely of its logo, a case even more relevant with Google. The way the logo and its supporting assets work in unison is what really makes the brand come to life. The new ‘Google dots in motion” bounce, rotate and animate so that users know when Google is working. The 4 dots represent expression and transitional moments, helping the logo playfully morph into a sleek microphone icon, a brief loading animation or the new compact ‘Google G’.
The new Google G
The Google G is taken from the logotype and incorporates all 4 brand colours. The obvious way of doing this would’ve been to have 4 equal quadrants or be representative of the number of characters using each colour. Google were cleverer than that though, instead optically refining the sections, reducing the amount of yellow to lead the eye into the neatly formed marque.
The new G is far more representative of the the full logotype and ensures the brand is instantly recogniseable, irrespective of display size. It also sits perfectly with other Google products. Could we see the ‘G’ replace the Google logotype in the future? Quite possibly. This isn’t the first time Google have rebranded and it certainly won’t be the last. Take a look at the previous incarnations to see just how much the logo has evolved. No matter what you think of the new one, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a drastic improvement on some of its predecessors, 1998 is a particular eye burner!!
One minor issue
There is one typographical issue with the new logo however. The cross bar of the ‘e’ is a different thickness to that of the ‘G’ and the weight of the other characters, making it feel a little imbalanced and unfinished. Design decision or design oversight? I’m not too sure to be honest, it just doesn’t quite look right. But that might be me being uber picky.
For me it’s the minimalistic look of the new Google logo that makes it feel more accessible and ultimately why it’s a hit. The animated, playfulness of the other elements add a real sense of fun to the brand without becoming too childish.
The internal design team at Google drafted a brief that identified four challenges they wanted to address before embarking on its most recent rebrand:
- 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.
The new brand puts a massive tick alongside all 4 bullet points, above, and despite 1 or 2 discrepancies, is a definite success. If you’ve not seen it in all its integrated and animated glory yet, Google it.