Unless you've been living under a non wifi-connected rock, you might have heard that Google has a new logo.
On the first of September Google quietly and without word unveiled their brand new logo, delivered via an animated Google doodle of a hand scrubbing away at the old logo and revealing a shiny new one.
This makeover was met with a lot of animosity and disagreement as can be expected when you tamper with any element of a company as big as Google. However, a lot of the arguments have been that the new logo is very un-Google-y, and that it doesn't uphold the Google brand like the previous did.
On the contrary, it did what brands like Google do best: disrupt the norm.
It's important to keep in mind that this new logo is just one facet of a whole new Google identity. Google has not just received a superficial makeover, but a revitalisation from the inside out, and this new logo reflects that internal makeover in a way that the old logo just couldn't.
Generally speaking, when we see serif typefaces like the one used in the former Google logo, we tend to think of seriousness, tradition, and authority. These were all concepts that Google once prided itself on in the past. At the company's inception Google worked to be viewed as an authority of knowledge and tech, so a serious serif logo fit them just right.
But, times have changed, Google has evolved, and so has their identity. No longer do they take the most pride in their seriousness and authority, but instead they have transformed into a modern, curious, streamlined, and unconventional company and serifs just don't quite underpin that anymore.
By removing the knobby serifs and shedding the seriousness associated with them, Google has created a new visualisation of their brand. Now when we look at Google (through an unbiased viewpoint) we can instantly recognise that they are bold, modern, and accessible.
Google for years has been a paragon of simplicity. The six coloured letters that sit on the clean, white background, inviting you to search for anything and everything. This is what makes Google… well, Google.
This new design overhaul has tapped into this idea of Google being a beacon of simplicity by creating a new logo that reflects that. The sharper letterforms, the fewer awkward spaces between letters, the bold and consistent weight, it all adds up to create a simpler, sleeker logo that speaks to a simple and sleek company.
Google hasn't lost their rule-breaking 'tude either. During a 2008 interview with Wired, the original Google logo designer Ruth Kedar revealed that "We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”
This rule breaking ethos has been maintained throughout the new design as well, with their slightly rotated 'e' being dubbed "a reminder that we'll always be a bit unconventional."
This new logo is not just about looking good though, it has many more functional purposes as well, namely scalability.
Scalability was actually where the old Google logo hit some snags. Due to the finer lines and edges of the serif shapes, as the scale decreased, so did the readability.
The new logo however, thanks to its bold shapes and clean lines, is highly scaleable, which is an ever increasing demand in the world of design thanks to the rapid increase of wearable tech and rapid decrease in app icon sizes.
Overall, the new Google logo is by no means un-Google-y. In fact, it represents the current Google identity visually while also maintaining a high degree of functionality on smaller applications. And who said form and function can't mix?
So, what predictions do we have for the future of the Google logo?
If we look back over the history of the Google logo, we can see that Google doesn't follow trends, but it does follow wherever the wind is blowing. As technology evolves and new requirements and demands are made of companies like Google, their logo will expand and change to follow suit.
Google is by no means an old fashioned or conservative company, and while their logo has remained fairly consistent up until now, it hasn't been totally stagnant.
In 2013, during the rising trend of flat design, Google took what was then considered a bold step by removing the bevelled effects on each letter and flattening their logo.
At the time, this was a hotly debated move that was met with quite a lot of disagreement, particularly since this was during the time where a lot of companies had taken similar moves in flattening their logos. People immediately worried that this was Google gradually tearing away elements of what made them unique. Does any of this sound familiar?
But as people grew to understand, this was not Google's attempt to stay trendy, but rather it was an attempt to stay Google-y. The simpler, more streamlined letterforms and colours reinforced their ethos of simplicity, and the flattened logo aided its readability on smaller screens, as smartphone browsing became more and more prevalent.
While simply flattening the logo seems like such a trivial thing when compared to the total overhaul we've seen this month, it is definitely proof that Google is constantly evolving and adapting to new developments in the tech world as well as within Google itself.
For now, Google have thought a few steps ahead and prepared a logo that will survive them for the oncoming wave of wearable tech and the continued rise of smartphone internet browsing. But, that being said, this is not the first time we're discussing a change to the Google logo and I'm fairly certain that it definitely won't be the last.
Whether you hate the change of logo or absolutely love it, do keep in mind that if brands and logos never went through changes and evolutions, Google would still be known as 'BackRub' and their logo would still be a scanned image of Larry Page's hand. So, sometimes a little bit of a design shake up is a good thing.