A logo represents a company’s identity, the sum of its products, services, and brand. A good logo offers visual recognition without all the lengthy and unnecessary details. As companies progress and achieve higher market positions (oftentimes branching out in different directions), so should their logos reflect this growth. When the brand evolves, the logo evolves with it. As a case study, we’d like to share the evolutionary story of the Google logo.
- When Google wasn’t Google
In 1996, Lary Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of what the world would come to know as Google, worked together to invent a search engine named BackRub, the forerunner of Google. Its logo was not as market-savvy as today’s, with a somewhat uninspired design using Lary Page’s hand and a red bold font.
- First Official Debut
In 1997, google.com was officially introduced (taken from “googol,” or the number 1 followed by 100 zeros). As you can see, the logo of the new name was not very sophisticated.
- Google Corporation
In 1998, Google Corporation was founded. At this point, the Google logo became more recognizable as today’s version (rumor had it that the exclamation mark was a bow to Yahoo!, then the leading search engine).
- On the Right Track
The world is definitely familiar with this version. It was adopted by Google in 1999 and lasted until 2010. According to Ruth Kedar, designer of the Google, she chose the Catull font and planned to use more colors. Eventually, she kept it to four basic colors. What is interesting is that she didn’t repeat “blue-red-yellow-green” sequence; instead, she saved the green for “l” to grant a sense of nonconformity. During this period, Google expanded exponentially (perhaps to the power of 100?), and its IPO created the greatest sensation in history.
In 2010, Google revised its logo again. This version wasn’t a big change compared to the its predecessor. Kedar eliminated the shadow effect to make the logo brighter and more eye-catching.
- Flat Design Trend
The main concept of the flat design is to put emphasis on the core message of utility, as opposed to redundant decoration. It’s more abstract, minimal, and iconic, making the overall layout modern and clean. Additionally, the flat design has a higher adaptability to fit in every media and screen. And, of course, it just looks right!
- Spot the Difference Game
Without fanfare, Google launched a new version logo in 2014. Can you tell the difference? (Hint: look at the “g” and “l”.) Still confused? OK, stop guessing! Check out the illustration below to understand better.
Clear enough? Compared to the old version, Google slightly changed the logo by moving a pixel distance between the “g” and “l” to perfect the kerning of the typography. Along with this aesthetic consideration, this change emphasized Google’s fastidiousness of detail.
- Latest logo
As you can see, Google adopted a sans-serif font to its logo. Typically, serif fonts give a sense of “classic.” Sans-serif, on the other hand, looks more modern and clean with no decoration. Does this remind you of something? Yes, flat design! That’s why Google went with this font. Overall, Google remains conservative toward its logo, steering clear of revolutionary changes. Apparently they wish to maintain the logo’s strong image while leaving the creativity to playing with Google Doodle . . . a future topic! Follow us for more stories!