An Old Friend Gets a Facelift

New Google Icon

Google has a new logo. It’s bold. It’s modern. And it leaves me nostalgic for the logo of yesterday.

Whenever a company considers undertaking a rebranding effort, it needs to consider the relationship their stakeholders have with the logo and the company. It’s typical during mergers and times of major change, or if a brand is simply “too old-fashioned.” But, as Google has undertaken all of this with aplomb — and seems to have no major changes on the horizon — the timing seems interesting.

Google's logo has changed

If I had to choose one company that controls my digital life, it’s definitely Google. Few waking hours go by without checking my Gmail (I know it’s changed to “Inbox”, but it will forever be etched in my head as Gmail). My browser of choice is Google Chrome. I’m naturally directionally challenged and perpetually lost without Google Maps. Google Docs (which I know is “Drive”, but still) make social and extracurricular responsibilities streamlined and expedient.

As Google has rolled out life-changing app after life-changing app — fully changing not only the way it functions as a company, but also the way individuals interact with the Internet — there has been one beautiful consistency: its logo.

Set in a typeface similar to Catull Regular, the Google logo has long given a nod to what the Internet used to look like. Remember when pages were covered in serif fonts, mainly Times New Roman (because it was — and still is — the unstyled default typeface of the Internet)?

As a web designer, I’m grateful the aesthetics and the functionality of the web have changed. Chrome has given new flexibility and freedom to web developers, as it is often the first to support experimental coding technologies that make for a more beautiful and usable Internet.

As a professional functioning in the digital world, the tools Google puts at my fingertips are essential. My team just used MyMaps on our site promoting the Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline, allowing users to drill down to the street level to see where a pipeline might be built in proximity to their household. No website is complete without Google Analytics, allowing us to gain insights about our visitors and their behaviors.

But for all of its ingenuity, advancements and innovations, there is one Google tool I am most loyal to: its search engine. I used Ask Jeeves once… it was too frilly. I felt the same thing about Bing, Yahoo and everything else that has challenged Google. Google prioritized the content of others, while putting their branding in the background.

Over the years, I’ve thought Google’s old-fashioned logo became ironic as it has expanded its footprint — but that irony became icon in the infinite sea of the ever-changing web. It was a little comforting. I’m not surprised by the change, but I’m sad to see the old logo go.

Most notably, the new Google logo has the flexibility of a completely different icon: a stand-alone “G”. That G fits nicely into a world increasingly controlled by little colored squares on phones and computers.

Google's new look!

Image courtesy of Google

For now, my nostalgia can be consoled by the Google app icon that is still the lowercase “g” of yesterday. And I hope we still get regular Google Doodles replacing the logo, because it’s this graphic designer’s personal dream to make one someday.

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Digital Advocacy

An Old Friend Gets a Facelift

New Google Icon

Google has a new logo. It’s bold. It’s modern. And it leaves me nostalgic for the logo of yesterday.
Whenever a company considers undertaking a rebranding effort, it needs to consider the relationship their stakeholders have with the logo and the company. It’s typical during mergers and times of major change, or if a brand is simply “too old-fashioned.” But, as Google has undertaken all of this with aplomb — and seems to have no major changes on the horizon — the timing seems interesting.

If I had to choose one company that controls my digital life, it’s definitely Google. Few waking hours go by without checking my Gmail (I know it’s changed to “Inbox”, but it will forever be etched in …

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Digital Advocacy

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