The Google logo is one of the most iconic logos in history. The simple letters and basic colors used are recognized by internet users around the world and have become synonymous with internet searching. The logo has had the same basic structure since the company’s inception over 20 years ago. While the idea for the logo has remained the same, it has gone through several versions over the years to keep up with the ever-changing world wide web. Read on to discover how Google has updated their logo while keeping it simple.
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The initial logo was created when the company was still in its planning stages and was likely created using Microsoft Word. The logo was made up of the colorful letters, but WordArt 3D feature gave it a look that definitely feels dated to modern eyes. Once the company was ready to go live, one of the Google creators, Sergey Brin, created a new and sleeker logo using GIMP. This new logo was much more similar to the one we see today, although the color order is different. This logo began with a green upper-case G.
In 1998, the logo went through several big changes. It kept the Baskerville Old Face font used in the previous logo, but the color order was changed. The capital G at the beginning was now blue. The company also added an exclamation point to the end of the logo. This was probably influenced by the Yahoo logo, which also used an exclamation point and was one of the most popular search engines at the time.
Over the next couple of years, Google’s popularity as a search engine continued to grow, and its creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to update the logo to keep it fresh and modern. Instead of designing it themselves, they turned to a graphic designer. Ruth Kedar was member of the faculty in the art department at Stanford and had grown to fame with her design of a set of playing cards.
Kedar came up with several new iterations of the logo, all variations on the traditional logo. One variation featured a target and another utilized a magnifying glass. Kedar was attempting to emphasize the idea that the Google search engine could help users find precisely what they needed. While none of these logos were chosen, hints of Kedar’s design remain, including the color order and the Catull font that would be seen in the logo for the next 10 years.
Page and Brin’s main reason for rejecting Kedar’s early logos was they were going for simplicity. They felt that the traditional letters were iconic and easily recognizable. Adding pictures into the mix might limit them in the future if they chose another direction for the logo or the company itself. They eventually went with the simple Catull font, four colors and some subtle background shading. The logo would last from May 31, 1999 to May 5, 2010, the longest used iteration of the logo.
In 2010, the logo underwent a few minor changes. The colors were made brighter and the shadowing was made subtler. This logo lasted until 2013, when the company decided to change the logo again, this time with slightly bigger modifications. The focus of the internet was changing and as such, Google had to change too. The new logo entirely removed the 3D effect, making the image lay flat on the screen. A few changes were also made to the lettering style.
One of the logo’s biggest changes appearing in 2015, when the company scrapped the Catull font and went with a new font altogether. This time, instead of using a font that had already been created, they had graphic designers within the company create a new font. This font was called Product Sans. It used the same colors, but was a more simplified font than the ones in previous use. During this time, many companies updated their logos for a simple and modern look.
Google’s designers say their goal is to keep the logo simple and to align the look across all of their programs. Whenever they feel a redesign is necessary, they go back to the basics of the logo: the four colors and the simple lettering. They want their logo to translate the idea that Google products are easy to use while still providing the highest level of quality. This idea is shown through their logo and their pages.
While the Google logo has underwent several changes over the course of its 20-year lifetime, the company has strived to keep its core components in place. The logo relies on simple lettering and an easily recognizable look that has made it one of the most iconic images on the internet. The logo also has great flexibility to change along with the internet, always keeping the company modern and relevant.