This week Google revealed a new logo after 16 years of not too much change to their visual ID – aside from the gradual reduction of a ‘drop shadow’ and a slightly tighter font – it’s no surprise that everyone has something to say about the new, bold, simplified design.
Whenever a big brand announces a visual identity facelift it’s inevitable that there will be a division of opinion. All too often we’re left wondering who actually signed-off a logo redesign, such as the logo-blunder from Hershey’s last year, which, to put it bluntly resembled a steaming pile of excrement. Airbnb is another example of a logo design fail, where sadly no one internally seemed to notice that the new logo looked like a symbol for male or female genitalia.
The current trend being rolled out by a lot of brands in recent times is a more ‘clean-cut’ look and feel. But, this can be taken too far as the Brand team at Gap would concede. Whether it’s layout’s or logos, the world seems to lose their minds when confronted with any form of change from the familiar, and the sense is that brand’s can’t win. They either create something too abstract, or too simple. Have Google found the perfect balance?
At first glance it’s easy to assume that Google’s uncomplicated motif is simply a reflection of the search engine’s ease of use. Or maybe the childlike design echoes the famous Google mantra of ‘Don’t be evil’? However, according to a blog released by Google the explanation is much more to do with creating something that works across all devices.
“We’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk)”
The bods at Google refer to the new design as “simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly”. The change from a serif font to Google’s new type, which is known as Product Sans, does give the brand a clean and modern edge, but it also takes away the authoritative nature of the Google brand. The new font resembles the letters used at primary school to help children learning to read and write, so in all likelihood the logo is a nod to Google’s new parent company, Alphabet.
With this combination of font and primary colour, it’s starting to look a little like something from Sesame Street, which could be considered ‘friendly’. But, in order to achieve ‘friendliness’ do users need to be made to feel like kids? Should we not actually be a little insulted by this dumbing down?
Google is meant to be a brand that anyone of any age can access, so maybe it’s a good thing that it’s so simple. Surely their team of creative genius’ could have come up with something a little more original? (To be fair the ‘e’ in the Google logo is on a slant).
Some elements of the new Google logo and their launch method really can’t be faulted. The launch video, the logo evolution timeline on Google’s homepage, and the coloured dots coming together to create the letter ‘G’ (which no doubt will be one of the most recognisable ‘G’s of all time, so you’d better like it!) are all very nice touches. Only when the brand identity has been fully rolled out will we see the extent of Google’s efforts.
However, the reality of it all is that Google replaces it’s logo with a quirky doodle every single day and 99% of the time we love the daily dose of creativity. Is this change really worth all the fuss? Well, actually, yes it is, especially if you work in Digital. This change impacts all Google products, from Chrome to G+, meaning all websites with social sharing buttons will need to be updated. In fact, the redesign of the G+ icon almost makes me want to use the platform.
As with all major rebrands, you can always count on the Twitter community to share the most hilarious opinions. Here are some of our favourites:
And of course, not wanting to feel left out…