Serifs give way to simpler, smoother new logo design that will translate well across all mediums—from desktop to mobile
Google today unveiled its new logo, bidding adieu to the serifs in favor of a slimmer, more modern wordmark. The release follows Google’s announcement of a major restructuring of the company, which has Google becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet, a new holding company owned by Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
In Google’s own words:
“So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!
“Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, 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).
“It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo.”
In the At Brand office, the reviews are mixed. Some are weighing in that the mark has lost its distinction by joining the flat design trend. I agree with that, but is it a disaster?
Ina Saltz, a typography expert and professor at CCNY, says it is: “It looks childish, it looks unsophisticated, it looks like play dough.”
According to a report from PIX11, Saltz says the spacing between the lowercase “g” and “l” is too tight, the bottom “jaw” of the upper case G sticks out too far, and there’s a dissonance between the angle of the lower case “e” and the first “G.” Instead of switching typefaces completely, Saltz said Google would have been better off beefing up the existing logo to work better on small screens while keeping its overall look.
Rebranding has proven to be a struggle for many major companies, from Gap to Coke and Hershey. Our prediction: the Google rebrand will be better received because the new wordmark breathes and brings continuity to the Google suite of products. It will also translate well across a variety of mediums, which is exactly why the unveiling was animated…highlighting the “G” icon and multi-colored dots. If Google were not so iconic, they could not pull this off, but because of their status as a gargantuan tech leader, this rebranding, while sure to initially get panned by design experts, will come to symbolize Google’s forward thinking approach.