How Google's new logo was redesigned

As you can see in the video above, Google has tweaked its logo more than a few times since its founding 16 years ago, but never so dramatically as it has with its new logo.

In justifying the change, Google says it needed a new design that would work across the multitude of platforms and devices where you may encounter it.

You don’t have to look too closely to see a resemblance to the design behind Google’s new parent company, Alphabet. 

Google goes into more detail on the thinking behind the logo on its Google Design blog. In that post, the team detail the four key aspects they wanted in the new logo.

  • A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
  • The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
  • A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
  • A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.

The logo was drafted to mesh well with the company’s design language, Material Design. And like many other company logo redesigns, it’s based on a sans serif typeface (of its own design, called Product Sans. You can download a product specimen of Product Sans here.

The new Google logo's designers say that they wanted to maintain the inherent feel of previous logos, which they describe as "simple, friendly, and approachable". For the new logo, they wanted to combine "the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing. Our new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-colored playfulness and rotated ‘e’ of our previous mark – a reminder that we’ll always be a bit unconventional."

Along with the new Google logo, the team also developed a “G” icon for those times when it wouldn't make sense to squeeze in the entire company name, and floating dots for those inevitable wait times you’ll encounter across different Google products.

You’ll spot the changes right away if you do a Google search or use a product like Gmail or Drive. But it may take some time to get updated elsewhere, especially on all the permanent signage on the multiple Google offices worldwide.

Google is the latest major tech company to go through a logo rebranding, following after Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, and others who have gone for a more colourful and friendly look. Such redesigns tend to get mixed reviews, as some long for the old look or are skeptical about the resources used in such a task. But like any change, good or bad, you’ll get used to it.

Previous Google logos

Google's new logo is the seventh major iteration of its design.

The new Google logo, launched September 2015
The previous logo, launched in September 2013
Remember when bevelled logos were all the rage? This was Google's logo from May 2010 to September 2013
And drop shadows – drop shadows! This logo lasted longer than a decade from 1999 to 2010
Bevels, drop shadows and an exclamation mark – it's the late 90s in one logo
The pre-exclamation mark logo
Google's first logo from 1997. Nope, we don't know what they were thinking either

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