Posted on: 24 September 2015
Akendi Perspectives: Google’s Logo Redesign
With Google unleashing its redesigned logo this month, we thought we’d gather up some feedback from around the office. Here are some of our thoughts on this tech giant’s latest move…
Tedde Van Gelderen, President
Starting to dislike it more lately to be honest. In short: it doesn’t match what I think of the company and the vibe their products leave me with. The previous design was more techy, nerdy and not overly sophisticated, the new design pretends to be more modern, hip and slick. While I could see Google as a hip organization from an HR perspective, their products simply aren’t (yet) in my view. A redesign doesn’t change that and the current design oversells what the feel of the products leave behind with the user.
We as a company are a heavy Google users and a fair share of their products are bare bones, yes, but usable when it comes to usability and UX. Others (looking at your Google Drive and Calendar) are still far behind what is possible and they should be in a much better, place design wise by now. Google has had years to get these apps right so you start to think there is a deliberate goal to keep things Google-like. Which is my point. The mismatch between the new design and where the company really is with its products. Every time this happens with an organization I get this sinking feeling that marketing has taken over and ultimately oversold what the company is about. A somewhat quirky, engineering driven place that values function over form most of the time. I’m ok with that, so leave the company look alone.
Siobhan Kennedy, Senior Designer
I’m always pleased to see an identity redesign that retains the brand’s essentials while modernizing its look. The new Google logo hasn’t strayed too far from the original but definitely feels more energetic with its fresh geometric font and complete set of accompanying elements including the jumping ball animation to let you know a search is in progress. Accounting for the numerous platforms, apps and devices in which the brand needs to be displayed is no small feat, it’s refreshing to see they’ve approached the redesign holistically.
Foong Ling Chen, Experience Architect
I appreciate the line weight. It’s bold yet friendly. The sans serif approach and roundness of the font help to tip the scale towards friendliness. It looks a lot better (compared to the previous logo) on smaller screens. I also like the capital ‘G’ round icon in the browser tab. To me, the previous blue square with the small ‘g’ symbolizes a dictionary or a reference document, while Google is much more than just a search engine. My only qualm is that the ‘oo’ looks like something out of Sesame Street. In other words, it makes the logo look slightly childish.
Michelle Brown, Experience Architect
Honestly, the new Google logo looks a lot like the old Google logo, and that’s a good thing. I still find it immediately recognizable and yes, it’s different, but it’s not that different. This logo change is very similar to other logo changes over the years: Apple, Shell, Nike, Pepsi, and even Kentucky Fried Chicken. All these logos underwent the same exact change. The concept stayed the same but they became simplified, some of the detail was lost. And while I might sentimentally miss the old loopy ‘g’ in the old Google logo, ultimately I don’t think it’s a bad logo.
Jessica Murray, Visual Designer
I like the new Google logo, the previous logo felt like it was stuck in the 90s and just wasn’t matching the rest of Google’s brand. This new design is refreshing, modern, and captures Google’s personality without changing it completely. One of my favourite elements of this new logo is the geometric sans serif typeface, it’s modern and playful matching Google’s personality. Overall this logo choice is a bit on the safe side but that may be exactly what Google needed to do. The innovation isn’t in the visual design although beautiful and well executed, it’s the versatility of this design that makes it successful. Google is thinking beyond traditional static logo design and is utilizing their logo for device size while also bringing their logo to life through animation and interactivity.
Daniel Iaboni, Senior Experience Architect
If it wasn’t for the massive media campaign I doubt I would have really noticed that the brand had changed, unless it somehow influenced the behaviour of their products. To me, Google provides a lot of the backbone to the services I use (mail, calendar, search, etc.), but I rarely access them through the primary Google interface. For example, I don’t go to google.ca to search, I type my parameters right into the URL field of the browser. I see their re-branding like I see their corporate motto “Don’t be evil”, something that is nice to say, but ultimately not influencing the business.
Amanda Billark, Visual Designer
To me, a successful logo design is not only one that looks great but achieves business and design goals set out at the beginning of the project. In a blog post the Google design team identified challenges they hoped to address in the redesign of their logo. Considering these, I think the final design is very successful. Here’s why:
- Their logo is extremely scalable. When the initial iteration of this logo launched in 1998 we could only use Google from a desktop computer. Times have changed and so have the devices we use – from tv’s to smart watches the new scalable logo ensures the google brand can be viewed on all devices.
- Intelligent animation is used to communicate with users and show ‘Google working for you’. I feel this really taps into that special, wondrous feeling of using Google for the first time (it was like magic!). The animation is simple, engaging, informative and playful.
- The new system brings visual consistency across all Google products (i.e: Google Drive, Google Chrome, even Android). I think creating this kind of consistency will only strengthen people’s relationship with Google as they continue to grow.
- I think they’ve nicely captured the essence of the old identity and given it a much needed update. While I don’t think the re-design is groundbreaking, I do think it’s very appropriate and on-brand.
Join the conversation and let us know your perspective!
Siobhan is a passionate advocate for clean, effective designs that speak clearly and with gusto. Through the Akendi blog, Siobhan shares inspirations, tips, and resources for developing clean, harmonious design systems that are a joy to use.