Thoughts on The New Google Identity

google new identityMany of you might have already seen the new Google identity. I’m not surprised that the brand is evolving its look in wake of the current company restructuring and formation of Alphabet. Change is oftentimes necessary and with a brand like Google that has so much reach and weight in this world, the changes are extremely tricky.

Here is the designer’s dilemma – a major change can undo the value and visual stock of what has already been laid into place. This can cause mass chaos, identity issues, isolation of users, and of loss of awareness. When redesigning an established brand, there needs to be a common thread of visual coherence that resonates through both the new redesign and the old.

google brand elementsIn many ways the new identity does a great job of maintaining continuity:

  1. They maintain the identifiable primary colors while just brightening and refreshing them.
  2. The word Google is preserved as the main word-mark rather than deviating towards another format.
  3. They also carry in the colors into the incredibly thought out dot schematic.
  4. they also carry the colors into the simplistic new G that will carry the identity to smaller settings instead of the word-mark.

Remember the old Google logos? Similar coloring but subtle font changes throughout the years – and thank goodness the Yahoo! exclamation point of the 1998 period did not stick. One thing that I believe has been iconic, is the fancy lower case g – the double story looptail. It brought character to the brand and further reinforced the google name by being so visually recognizable.

We had a tiny glimpse of what preserving the fancy g would look like in their posting of “Evolving the Google Identity.”

fancy google g

See it? It’s extremely close to the new Google identity but preserves the legacy of the fancy lowercase g. I love it. However, I can think of a few reasons why they decided to ditch the g treatment:

  1. The Alphabet identity is very simple and without flourishes, and they wanted to emulate that as much as possible.
  2. They decided that just leaving the same basic primary color scheme was enough of a visual thread and that no one would mind the iconic g being dictched.
  3. Only typography and branding nerds like myself will notice these things anyway.

In conclusion, I think most of the changes to the brand identity are pretty brilliant. The attention to detail, especially in the dot motion, is fantastic. However, I will miss the playful fancy g that I thought gave the google name so much character.

Authored By

Managing Partner / Creative Director

Sara loves design, typography, user experience, and art. She gives talks around the globe on web design, user experience, typography, and more. A seasoned designer, Sara has done work for clients such as Disney Publishing and Flickr. She loves open source, her pets, traveling, and WordPress.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on The New Google Identity

  1. Great thoughts, Sara. Being a Graphic Designer, I have enjoyed what Google has done to update its’ brand. I will miss the iconic ‘G’ that made it look like it was originally a mistake but decided to keep it anyway. I am a big fan of sans-serif typefaces. It makes a brand look more accessible yet remain youthful at the same time. The first time I saw this logo today I thought, “Well, that’s a different looking Century Gothic.” I guess that’s what bugs me about it, too. While it is very aesthetically pleasing to look at, it does scream a little dated when it comes to the type selection. I love the brightened primary colors. They do still ‘Google’ at the end of the day while maintaining the whimsy by creating an slight angle with the ‘e’. I guess I would have preferred a more subtle change. Maybe, a slight turn to a slab serif. Still accessible. Still youthful.

  2. I think the biggest reason they ditched the styling on the “g” was mentioned in the post. “The old logo, with its intricate serifs and larger file size, required that we serve a text-based approximation of the logo for low bandwidth connections.”

    This new logo can be served in 305 bytes. Performance was as much a consideration as aesthetic, which seems appropriate for Google.

  3. I must say, you have blogged my exact thoughts. As a designer, the little ‘g’ change bugs me. I may grow accustomed to the new one but I still believe that the old one was iconic for the brand. I like their idea of preserving it in the pocture you posted above, pity they didn’t. Oh well…

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