The New Google Logo, Part 1: Designing an Identity System for a Flexible Brand

September 9, 2015 by Melissa Banks

GoogleLogoAnimated_1

Designing a logo to be both scalable and versatile is a major challenge. People use Google on their desktop. They use it on their phone. They will be using it on their smart watch, their smart car, their refrigerator, and who knows what else. Their logo or mark could appear as small as 16 pixels wide or as large as a huge city billboard. There are an infinite number of combinations of device and size on which to experience the Google brand.

An Unforeseen Future

When Google’s logo was first designed in 1998, the world never expected the brand to grow into what it is today. It was always expected that Google’s logo would only appear on desktop computers. The designers crafted the brand with this in mind.

Old Google logo vs. new Google logo

Which version stands out more?

As technology has changed, the way we experience brands has changed. The old logo, viewed through a modern device such as the Apple Watch or something potentially even smaller, would feel feeble. The thin lines of the serifs would calculate too small to render and the logo would blend into the design. A logo without a powerful presence is a brand’s worst nightmare.

Also, considering Google is an incredibly innovative company at the forefront of technology, it’s critical the brand combats the common reaction that “innovation is risky.”

The next advancement of the design needed to account for accessibility of the brand while preserving the core characteristics of the Google Brand.

Evolving Google’s Identity

The new design maintains much of the quirky and approachable qualities we’ve grown to know and love about Google, including their unique color scheme and slightly tilted “e.”

A geometric, sans-serif typeface replaces the serif typeface, giving the new logotype the impression of simplistic schoolbook lettering. The contemporary nature of this typeface reinforces Google’s aspirations to remain one of the most innovative brands in the world.

The new logotype uses an even stroke weight and a completely vertical axis. This technique ensures visibility and consistency at all sizes. Additionally, this creates more balance and visually grounds the logo to provide more stability to the design.

The added balance, stability and strength communicate confidence to Google’s audience and elicit both trust and loyalty to the brand.

A Dynamic Approach for Brand Identity

GoogleLogoAnimated

Long gone are the days of the static Web. To capture and engage modern audiences, experiences need to be more immersive. The perfect geometry of the letters in the new logo allow for subtle, yet charming, interactive feedback. The animations feel more natural and create seamless transitions while adding a touch of personality. By leaving no stone left unturned, users no longer stop to think about how they’re experiencing Google. It’s just a part of their life.

About the Author - Melissa Banks

Web designer and avid doodler




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